I'd forgotten about these things. Seriously. I don't know how; when I was a girl I ate enough of them to become an urban legend.
The bus dropped us off at school at least half an hour before they unlocked the doors. We stood freezing in the church doorway (unlocked, Mass and warmth inside, but we froze to stay cool) and pawed through the morning's ill-gotten goodies – a brown paper bag filled with candy from the forbidden convenience store across busy 20th Street.
We weren't allowed to go there by ourselves. We couldn't even be seen there alone on weekends. It didn't stop us from trying, obvious as flames in our plaid skirts and white blouses. The school secretary's office faced the street, and she knew us all by name.
Enter the parents. Specifically, G's parents.
G's last name was Montana, and it rhymed with her first. She was in our class but a year older than the rest of us, an advantage to her when puberty hit us with a sap and stole our alliances.
G's parents wanted her to fit in. She was an only child, adored as the One Who Made It Full-Term. Every frozen morning included a stop at the forbidden store. Five dollars bought G the warmth of a circle of girls, all reaching into the bag, finding the candy they'd requested the morning before.
My treat was Pop Rocks. I loved the way they sounded in my mouth; like the all words I couldn't say aloud magically turned to glass shards melting between my teeth, leaving behind a sublime and secret sweetness.
Then this morning here was a package in my hand, a treat for a pirate the night before.
What is it? they asked.
Something magical, I answered.
Open it, they begged.
I did. I placed a pinch of the sweet pink crumble on their outstretched tongues like a sacrament.
I watched their surprised smiles like a newly-discovered icon.
I pinched a bit for myself, when they weren't looking. My mouth crackled with all the words I still need to say.
Oh, and something else from childhood:
Ok, so I still do it.
Oh! AND, I'm participating in NaBloPoMo, and will have the logo up as soon as Blogger stops freaking out.