It was the second school and third house, that year we spent in Calgary. I’m not really sure why we moved there in the first place. Another new start? A return to what had been a better life, in someone’s mind? I don’t know, I was only ten, what did I know. I did know that once again I was changing schools in the middle of the school year.
Cliff Bungalow was the name of the school. It was much smaller than Connaught School. More like a country school, but in the city. I guess it was like a bungalow and it was at the bottom of a tall hill, that I guess you could call a cliff. My new teacher’s name was Mrs. Green. She was also the school principal. I guess she had to do two jobs because it was such a small school and there was no room for a real principal. This is what the school looked like.
My class was the one on the left. There was a small field behind the school but it was not like a real school yard. At the base of the hill at the side of the soccer field there was a large cave-like hole that we would dare each other to go in to. I never went in to the hole, because of the wasps that lived in there. We used to dare other things as well.
There was a small open lot near Cliff Bungalow School where a bunch of us would go after school. We would sit in a circle, ten or twelve of us and play truth or dare. I had never heard of this game but being a fifth grader, when I was still gregarious, I was keen to be part of the group. We sat in a circle and had to either tell something about our self that was weird or ridiculous or we had to have the person next to us give us a dare, like ‘I dare you to smell Billy’s feet’. If you said a truth and the group didn’t believe you then you had to do the dare anyway. The only dare I remember was having to kiss a girl named Trudy, on the mouth. She had curly bouffant hair and was bigger than me, but she was nice and kind of pretty, so I did, even though I would have rather kissed Marilyn Wren, who lived in an apartment down the street from our place. She was pretty too and wasn’t bigger than me. And we went to the movies together, once, with my Evil Sister and some of her friends. I got to sit beside Marilyn, so it was like a date, except we didn’t talk to each other.
The other thing that was cool about the truth or dare circle is that one of the kids always brought a large bag of odd tasting cookies for us to share. They were small, about the size of a quarter and looked like a tiny pillow. They were different colors: pink, brown, grey, yellow. They weren’t sweet tasting, like real cookies, but they were crunchy, like crackers. I learned later that they were dog biscuits.
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