First Grade Crush
named my brother after my first grade crush because that is what you do when you’re six. My mother bestowed this great honor, this privilege, she said to me, which, at six, makes you puff up your chest in importance as you tell anyone and everyone you’re going to have a new brother and you’re naming him after your first grade crush, who — it must be added — found themselves uncomfortable over this whole nonsense and would run away when you came near. Once you were able to pin them — you’re so big and mighty for a girl! — to a tree and you kissed them or tried to kiss them, time is faulty for remembrance, but they squirmed out of your blue windbreakered arms and ran off towards the swings.
Now, years later, here is your bother that you behold proudly for all of his accomplishments and being the best brother one can be. You tell people at parties sometimes, when you’re feeling nostalgic and perhaps a bit lonesome, that you named your brother after your first grade crush. “So I’ll never forget him,” you add dreamily. The listening crowd chuckles and your brother, whom you’ve named after your first grade crush, rolls his eyes because he’s heard this all before and he knows he’ll hear it all again. Now you cannot even remember your first grade crush’s last name; maybe it was Smith, but you’re not terribly, sure as decades have passed. But you do hazily remember what your first grade crush looked like. Glasses, for sure, light brown hair, and he was as tall as you — you’re so tall for a girl! You have no idea what’s happened to him, if he’s married, happy, living his best life? You smile at these thoughts because you were silly then, and even now, in your own way, but you would never take it back that you’ve named your brother after your first grade crush.