2007-02-03 - 6:32 p.m.
I am in the teepee in Mrs. May’s kindergarden classroom and Mandy Billiard is in there with me. We’ve been learning about Indians and earlier we made headdresses out of turkey feathers that this kid Sparky's dad brought in. He killed the turkeys himself. That’s what Sparky said. After that, we had milk and now Mrs. May has let us do whatever we want.
I raced for the teepee and Mandy Billiard came in after me. She wears glasses because one of her eyes is crooked, but she’s cute. She’s got dark hair cut short like Dorothy Hamill’s and she smells good, like some kind of candy.
“What do you want to do?” Mandy asks.
“I don’t know.”
She reaches around me for the plastic bucket of dried corn. Indians ate a lot of hard corn. They ate popcorn and killed buffaloes. They lived in teepees. I don’t know any Indians. Mandy holds a handful of corn in front of me. “Take one and make a wish.”
Mandy’s staring at the corn in her hand but I’m staring at her nose, which is little and has a scab on the tip from where a bug bit it.
I have an idea. I take a kernel of corn and throw it out the hole in the teepee. I yell, “atomic bomb!” I started playing catch with Dad in the front yard this year and so I know how to throw. Also, I know what an atomic bomb is.
Mandy laughs when I do this, so I do it again. “Atomic bomb!”
Mandy squeals and throws what’s left in her hand out the hole in the teepee.
“Atomic bomb! Atomic bomb!” The corn goes everywhere. Some of it goes under the shelves for toys like Legos. Some of it goes under the door to the girls’ bathroom. Some of it goes all the way to Mrs. May’s feet. She walks over fast. She doesn’t usually walk like this. She leans over, poking her head in the teepee hole.
“What do you think you’re doing?” She’s looking at Mandy.
“He started it,” she says, pointing at me.
“But I only threw a couple.”
Mrs. May stares at me. My ears feel hot.
“I’m sorry,” I say.
“There is to be no more throwing of atomic bombs,” Mrs. May says. She straightens and leaves.
Mandy leans in and kisses me on the cheek. She smells like sour apple Blow Pops. That’s it. That’s what she smells like.