Childhood Kisses

May 21, 2012
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As children, we want to touch the world, smell the world, taste, hear, and see the world all with our own senses. We like to tickle puddles or to kiss tree bark then ask why they are silent. Sometimes, though, our experiences char certain curiosities. In those moments, we realize that many good things have an evil, and then we are human.
It is believed that we cannot remember anything from before the age of five, but our minds have the ability to conquer such theories. I remember a lot from that hot, island Sunday: how our car suddenly stopped and started smoking, or that it only took milliseconds for my mom to run back looking under the hood. She screamed, “Get out of the car,” as she raced to retrieve her two youngest from their car seats. I remember leaving my favorite church shoes to evaporate into the burning air. I remember asking why my dad was running the other way while his wife and four kids ran to the left on the scalding, black pavement. That was the road to the fire station. I do not remember looking back at the flames.
At the time, my parents tried to protect our childhood innocence. They claimed it was a freak accident of manufactured nature. I now know that every ex-pastor to that congregation had been targeted with other similarly cruel accidents, save for the liquor merchant down the road. I know that my parents suspected the burnt station wagon was something other than an accident.
At age four, I discovered that fire burns and destroys past its warm comfort. This is a harmless illusion to have: a protection method. Then I discovered the same for humankind, and, although I escaped burning with the car, my trust did not.

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