• Mathura Hawley

boobs

Updated: Aug 1, 2021


I think about the joke - which I cannot remember but it was about boobs and I had told it to Todd Krissell - and that will make it the most extreme crime my eight year old self has ever committed. "

My mother calls my name from the bottom of the stairwell and I run to my bedroom doorway and answer “Yes?” She says “Come down here” in a way which means trouble, and I see it in her face as I round the landing. “Did you tell a naughty joke at school today?” she asks. I look down as my face reddens. “I heard you told a joke about headlights,” she says, then asks “did you?” I think about the joke - which I cannot remember but it was about boobs and I had told it to Todd Krissell - and that will make it the most extreme crime my eight year old self has ever committed. I look at her, and quietly say “Yes, I did.” She holds her hands to her heart in devastation, mostly embarrassed that another mother has called out her parental imperfection. And although I hate disappointing her, I feel more embarrassed for her than bad for what I have done. In that moment, a part of me becomes aware that to tell the truth at first seems terrifying, but once you do, it frees you, making the burden of whatever comes after, someone else’s to carry.


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