When I was five (and this I barely remember mind you, I was five or so—maybe younger, who's a boy of five to say—and all memory is as cloudy as Seattle in copyrighted images or Tom Hanks movies I've never seen or something) I carried a dead squirrel into my small white boyhood home by it's bushy tail. I presented the creature to my mother as a gift, like a dog with a dead rabbit between it's jowls, limp and nubile. I guess it could also be a rabbit.
I was proud. In elementary I took upon myself to own the blacktop playground for what it was; a mound of black something to step and pound on and run and scrape knees and kick things, forms of kickballs or tetherballs, always red. I remember standing in line at Sunny Vale Elementary and promising the girl behind I was not cutting but not quite knowing how to say it.
The summer after we moved. I don't remember school after that, not until third grade, but it was different. My attention felt divided. I was a boy in two, interest piqued by different sectors of memory, such a selective doll. I remember reading with my father and having fun with my mother. I remember my father's beer and my mother's youthful smile. She will be forty-three years this year. My attention is divided. I am a half-man in two.