Recently I’ve contemplated writing a book. I’m not sure how good I would be at it or if I even have a story that people would want to read. I just know that I have a story to tell. So I contemplate. How do I tell my story and where is the beginning exactly? Have you ever wondered that? Where the beginning is? How far back do I go to look for the beginning? I don’t want my story to be a long, drawn out account of every event in my life. I don’t want to bore others with a trip down my memory lane. Nobody cares about how I got in trouble once in kindergarten and had to sit behind the piano. It was a huge deal for me at the time, but over the years I’ve forgotten what I did to deserve that punishment. I also swam in a relay race once and was the anchor leg for our team. By the time it was my turn to swim the other teams had all finished the race so I was alone in the pool as I swam my laps. Those events were significant in my young life, but I don’t wonder about them. They are just memories. But there are other things. Things that happened that have always made me wonder. Things that I need to write down. The earliest of these events was just a simple conversation. It took place over 30 years ago when I was a child and I’ve never forgotten it.
My family took an extended vacation up the eastern seaboard one summer. My dad had work, a cousin got married, and we did the whole tourist thing. We arrived back at home just in time for school to start. I remember talking to my best friend about some of the summer activities I missed out on. At one point she made an offhanded comment about playing a game called Topsy Turvy with a neighbor girl who was a year younger than us. I had never heard of this game and asked how to play. She said it was no big deal. They just took off all their clothes and rolled around on top of each other in the bed. I remember her nonchalant attitude as she said it. I remember her obvious boredom with the simplicity of the game. And I remember feeling cheated. Like I had missed out on something important. I had never had any thoughts about my friend, and I certainly had never felt any kind of sexual tension in my young life. It wasn’t about that. It was just a nudge, a tug, a something, and I wanted to know what that something was.
Sometime later during a moment of boredom I mentioned the idea of playing Topsy Turvy. My friend wasn’t interested, and we moved on to something else. I never asked to play it again. The neighbor girl and I spent quite a bit of time together as well. We even had sleepovers. I never told her that I knew about Topsy Turvy, and she never asked me to play. She moved out of state later that year,
Looking back now I wonder lots of things about that game. I wonder why a young girl would have a name for a game consisting of rolling around in bed naked. I wonder if there was some sort of abuse somewhere. I also wonder if she, like me, was aware that something was different about her. I don’t know. I’ll never know. The only thing I do know is that Topsy Turvy was the beginning.
I don’t know if will ever write that book. I don’t know if I even need to. I feel the need to write down my story so I come here and write. The beginning and middle parts all mixed together. Even so my story is being told. Maybe one day I’ll sort it all out and give it purpose.