Writersbootcampza #1 – Even if you know me well, you don’t know this

by Roxana Bouwer

I Don’t Know Why I’m Telling You This

Young and creepy

I’ve always been mature for my age. My first love/crush/infatuation was in nursery school. I was three. He was eight. I don’t remember his name but he was my teacher’s son and I loved him. I was going to marry him.

I never said one word to him (I get anxious thinking what would three-year old me would have said). He didn’t know that I existed. He never will.

The thief, the hippy

Tiny parts of my childhood were very Hollywood. I was ten. The neighbourhood gang and I would cycle, walk, rollerblade (shout-out to the 90s!) through Stepford-esque suburb streets. One day, on the farthest end of our suburb, in the last cul-de-sac, I picked a flower.

It was a face-brick house (boo, the 70s!) with no gate. You could just walk into the yard. Bubblegum pink geraniums congregated in clay pots on either side of a dehydrated wooden front door. I wanted one for my hair or to give to my mom. I can’t remember which.

After a transitory gang dialogue I decided to go for it. I marched down the not-yellow brick driveway, right up to the front door. I plucked a flower with the same vigour and resolve one does a rogue grey hair. Then things got kak.

As I was walking back to my cronies the front door opened and a wrinkled man came to castigate me. I was petrified and the more he spoke, the more I disassociated from the situation. I returned to the undesirable moment in time to give him my parent’s telephone number. 794-1482. I changed the last digit. It should have been a 1. And then I ran. I still feel guilty about lying.


I’ll keep this one short because I’m not keen on reliving the embarrassment for a prolonged amount of time.

I was obsessed with the Hanson brothers and Leonardo DiCaprio. At the same time.

I cut large, rotund letters out of newspaper and stuck them to my bedroom door at an angle. They read: Leo + Hanson = love. My door was always open unless I was in my bedroom alone, so no one else ever saw my formula.

Maybe there is a God.