Dandelion Wine

In kindergarten, those of us who couldn’t tie our own shoes were instructed to ask our parents to teach us how. So at home, I started campaigning for a lesson. My family kept putting me off until later and I was a timid kid, so I didn’t complain. Finally, one morning, I put on my shoes and asked my older sister to show me how to tie them.

She proceeded to show me how to my tie shoes “the easy way”, which involved making a simple knot, making two loops and tying the loops together over the first knot. To this day, whenever I see someone tying his shoe I study his movements ambiguously. You make a loop, then push things around a bit, and suddenly it’s tied. But you’ve lost me at the beginning, I’m not even sure where the second loop comes from.
Well I know enough to get by, but for the last twenty years I’ve been living as a functional shoestring-illiterate.

I was a model. The extent of my career was two runway shows when I was very young. One was at the church hall, I’m not sure where the other one was. This was for the Ballantine (?) Clothing Store.

One of the times was on a Saturday, the same day that I had a soccer game. The other time was a weekday. I walked over to the store after school (or maybe it was after soccer practice). The Ballantine’s lived in the back of the store, so I sat in their living room with them watching TV and chewing gum. I had been given some money for a treat, so on the way I’d bought some gum. The gum was in the shape of a hot dog. I remember the father mentioned that he didn’t like gum. I didn’t know what to do with the gum after it had lost its flavor. At my own home I would’ve wrapped it in a piece of paper and thrown it away. But this wasn’t my own home. I didn’t know where the garbage can was. I didn’t know where to find a little piece of paper. I wasn’t even sure if I was supposed to leave my chair. So I stuck the big wad of gum in my pants pocket.

I was supposed to walk out on the runway, turn a circle at the halfway point, another circle at the end, and then walk back. At one of the shows, everyone in the audience laughed when I stepped out. That was the one that wasn’t at the church hall. Now that I think about it, it would make sense that the one at the church hall might have been a practice.

My sister Karen was involved in this, I think she modeled too. Maybe she walked me to the store after my soccer practice and left for awhile to finish her paper route. I don’t know.

What did I wear? Garanimal jeans and an Atari t-shirt.

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