I can’t write about my true first love. I fear legal action. Suffice it to say it was messy and dripping with all the drama two somewhat unbalanced teenaged girls could muster.
But before this was John. John Doe. My husband.
I think I was inspired to create John after watching Frankenstein for the thousandth time. Having no cadavers to work with, I used what materials were available: his hands and face were made from my grandmother’s old stockings, his body from my father’s clothes, and he was stuffed with the mismatched socks and hole-y discards from our bag of rags. I glued on felt eyes and a mustache. John had no nose. No mouth. I gave him hair of brown yarn from my grandmother’s knitting basket. Then, for the finishing touch, I drenched him in Old Spice. When he was complete, I gave him a kiss to wake him and carried him out into the world, his arm draped around my shoulder like a drunkard, and introduced him as my husband.
He was, in some ways, the perfect husband. He let me lead when dancing. I got to choose the music. I won every argument. When he lay beside me in bed at night, he did not snore.
His best feature was that he was good for practical jokes and was often, in his own way, the life of the party. I would place him in life-like positions around the house: in chairs, at the table, in the bathtub, and the backseat of the car. The best time to do this was when we had company and they’d been drinking. My mother’s often-drunk husband (they weren’t married long and he was far too dreadful to call a stepfather) was a prime target for these gags (though I admit that it was sick and wrong to lay John under the rear wheels of said husband’s car and scream like mad when he backed up).
What happened to John?, you ask. What happens to all first loves, I guess. He was forgotten. Replaced. My first girlfriend (the one I vowed not to write about) pronounced him thoroughly creepy, so he was removed from my bed, and soon, my life. But I remember him still. I smell Old Spice on some stranger in line at the grocery store, and just like that, I’m back, dancing cheek to cheek with my once-upon-a-time husband; moving together so fast and loose that he’d come apart, losing an arm or even his head, leaving it up to me to put him back together again once more.
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