There she was in the library. About four. Wearing a red tutu with little shoes that had lace socks frothing over the top. Her brown hair hanging straight down from her center part. She says to her mother, “I want a real movie.” I think, “what does that mean? No more Toy Story? No more Shrek?”
How do we lose our innocence? And what does that even mean? Is it when we are exposed to sex and violence? When good does not always win out over evil? I was about seven when I walked in on my parents having sex. I thought my father was killing my mother based on the fact of my mother’s moans. I ran away across the house, hiding in my closet. When the closet is not hiding monsters, it always seems like the safest place to be. I can’t remember if either of them came to find me. I am certain I emerged for dinner and was pleasantly surprised to see mother tossing a salad with tomatoes and avocado.
Still around seven-years-old, my parents took me and my younger sisters to a drive in theater to watch Death Wish. Death Wish has a violent rape scene within the first fifteen minutes of the movie. I remember feeling shame for my father for making such a bad choice in movies. Shame–maybe that’s what stole my innocence like that first paper cut…paper no longer just something to write on.
I don’t know if the little girl got her “real movie.” I do know how real Pinnochio is. Hopefully, the little girl will learn that things are not always as they seem. Good is not always good, and bad is not always bad and hopefully any confusion works itself out like a tortoise with its head out, waddling its way on a muddy sidewalk. Smell the mud. The mud is real. What better to enliven the senses than earth? Earth always has a way of being innocent and not innocent in the same breath. Allow the sun to harden the mud, the mud to crack, and then be washed away by a hose, leaving the sidewalk friendly. It really does all come out in the wash. I remember the froth of the lace socks. That is innocence.