13 July 2007


When I lived in Hawaii, up until I was nine years old, I went to Saint Joseph's Catholic School. Boys from kindergarten up to 8th grade all wore the same thing - blue slacks, white button-up shirt, and white shoes. Girls wore blue jumpsuit looking dresses with white collared-shirts underneath. The higher grades, 6-8, were allowed to wear the blue St. Joseph's windbreakers. I envied them, no matter how hot it may have been, especially during P.E. time, which consisted of lining up in equally spaced rows and doing jumping jacks and other exercises led by one of the jacket-wearing kids. I wouldn't have called them kids back then, even though one of them very well may have been my brother.

The school didn't have a playground, so during lunch/recess, we'd eat our food as fast as we could then run outside to play tag on the school grounds, which was little more than a large parking lot. On especially wild days, some of us boys would bug the jump-roping girls, and they'd chase us around pretending to be angry but not hiding their smiles or giggles. I remember though, one relatively calm day, when my best friend "Bubba" (nicknamed for his skinny, miniature stature) and I used the oversized Smarties candy and pretended to give and receive communion. Our first communion wouldn't be until the next year, so we were too young to know what really went on during the Eucharist. Honestly, I still don't completely understand the ceremonial first communion. On that day, under one of the few covered areas of the school grounds, which only now do I remember being surrounded by chain-link fences, Bubba and I took turns giving and receiving the pastel colored, sugar based body of Christ. I don't recall much about Bubba, whose real name was Jeffrey, but I do remember his goofy dwarf-like face giggling and smiling, trying to hold back fits of laughter. I also remember on that day, we called our little game "Chameleon."

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