My First Confession
I recall a time in which I wanted a baby sister but would settle for a doll, a simulacrum of a girl to play boy with. It was my third birthday and I insisted. My parents bought me the doll, a cute girl doll, frilled and feminine. At first I was pleased with this gift, a delight to my eyes. Then I heard the sound of my parents moving about in the garden. I had become the subject of inquisition: worried eyes wondering and troubled voices that asked, “Well now that you have a doll to play with arc you really sure that’s what you truly want?” Eyes upon me, judging my desire, they waited for signs of a normal self. A strange unease overtook me, I hid within myself, transformed. Some other me exeluded, silenced, made abject, “No,” I confessed, “the doll I had desired, it’s what girls want, This I want no longer.” Smiles burst the tension and ease returned to the body of a young boy, hugged by adults. It was America in the early nineteen-flfties and it was no time to play boy with a cute girl doll. There were imaginary Indians on television, snakes in the jungle electric and communists behind the curtain. Back to the toy store went my baby sister, an uncertain double replaced by a six shooting gun. Many wild savages did I slay, each recording a continuous count notched upon the handle of my weapon; and each day felt better, the further I progressed from the shame of my first confession.