Corinne was the first girlfriend I can remember, though my mother assures me there were others before her.
In their teens and twenties people ask each other, "What was your first sexual experience?" I’d always respond by saying, "tying my girlfriend to a tree, naked … in kindergarten." I’m not sure when or why I stopped telling this story. Maybe it wasn’t getting the response I was looking for. Maybe it wasn’t so funny to me anymore. Maybe…I don’t know. In my late thirties and forties, it would haunt me.
It was in that haunting time that I revealed the memory to my therapist and spirit-guide, Marilyne.
We’ve spent a decade trying to figure out who, to find the lost or repressed memory that would solve the puzzle of how I learned at 5 to have a girl remove her clothes and let me tie her to a tree.
Wait. There’s more to the memory. This part’s more nebulous, a part of the memory I never told anyone, until that day in Marilyne’s office. Memories this old are like dreams. We play them out in our minds, but each time we replay them, they change a little bit, until, like a dream, things are happening in our memory that never happened, that never could happen.
Wait. There`s more.
In the part of the memory I never tell, and often forget, there’s another small girl. A year or two younger than us. Is she naked too? She’s running, toward the house. She’s gone. In the memory, she just disappears. Something about it disturbs me. Disturbed me then. Disturbs me now. Was it her little sister? What was she doing there? Was she part of the game?
Typically, I can’t remember how, or even if Marilyne responded. Something else dissociated away. Well, it was years ago.
I’m going to have to tell Marilyne. I really don’t want to.