I am 3. I am in front of my house, chasing my best friend and neighbour, who is the same person. We are at play, a child’s play, but something he does irritates me. I finally catch him, and instead of doing nothing, I bite him in the face. I realize quickly just how unacceptable this is, based purely on my mother’s eyes, after she hears his crying and comes bounding out the front door to surveil the scene. I am certain that the biting was not a familial revenge tactic for his father chasing me up the street while I was naked, of which there is photo evidence. We always called them the Holy Bowmans because they enjoyed church in a way we did not. My mother, while not a believer, did want to give me a taste of religion. She grew up assuming she would end up a nun, as did most self-respecting Catholic girls, and so she would sometimes entice me to attend mass with the promise of a donut.
In a couple of years, a Valentine’s Day snowstorm will necessitate my dad chaperoning me to the Bowman front door, acting as my anchor so that I don’t blow away. My younger cousin is being born across down as we trudge to my destination, so determined because we would play British Monopoly, where Park Place is Park Lane and Piccadilly takes over for Marvin Gardens.