Doreen and I discovered a lot about boys and a lot about girls – more than you need to know. Also about men and about women – more than you need to know. I will tell you about one woman.
Miss Sedgwick took us for history, geography and needlework. Miss Sedgwick was big. Miss Sedgwick was large. Doreen and I are big, perhaps full-grown, but Miss Sedgwick was huge. That was not her name, she was married to a Mr Sedgwick who repaired cars in his workshop in the village. However we called all the teachers Miss.
She's watching you! All the time! Don't you see that?
Doreen is cleverer than me, she had seen Miss Sedgwick looking at me, looking at me all the time. Everywhere I went there was Miss Sedgwick.
I think she likes you. She could put her arms around you and you would disappear. You're not that big really.
Oh! Shut yer mouth Doreen! She's too big, way too big. Oh, I'm sorry, darling! There's only one who is big enough for me and you know who that is, don't you?
It was true and it remained true that Miss Sedgwick was following me – problem!
One morning Miss Sedgwick caught me alone in the corridor.
Chardonnay! How would you like to go for natural history walk in the woods tomorrow morning? It's Saturday, you know.
Fast! Think fast! Either say no and have an argument. Or say yes and be prepared for the worst.
It was a walk without natural history – just talking about this and that. Like why did we learn needlework – no one mends clothes these days or makes them, clothes are so cheap.
Oh, she said, that's right. No, needlework is good for the eye and hand, you learn a lot, also about planning a project and finishing it. That's what it's all about. Learning to change tyres and tuning car engines would be just as good.
Oh, can you do that, Miss Sedgwick?
Oh, yes, my husband taught me.
BULLSEYE – her husband.
She told me all about her husband, everything, nothing that I wanted to know and some that I really did not want to know.
How he wanted her to wear funny clothing, how he wanted to do funny things with her, how he wanted children...
Oh, I said, it sounds like he's a child, he has never grown up. But before you say anything you've gotta know that most men never grow up. It's just the way men are. You've gotta accept it.
Yeah, most men remain little boys inside. Most of them do not know this. They don't like it when you tell them the truth, they can't accept it. So don't do it. It does not bring anything. The few men who realise that they are children are very, very happy or very, very sad. But women are different.
Yeah, most women know that most men remain boys inside. However most women do not take advantage of this. I don't know why.
Chardonnay, you are not half my age, but you are worldly wise. I am not as clever as you.
SECOND BULLSEYE – me.
Miss Sedgwick explained in great detail how she wanted me. How she had followed me for months, how she stolen some of my clothing, how she wanted to be close to me, what she wanted to do with me. She sounded like a lovesick boy.
She said that she wanted me real bad and NOW.
She pushed me against a big tree and sandwiched me between her and the big tree trunk.
Miss Sedgwick! You can do anything you like with me. I might even like it.
But promise me that you will be kind to your husband, that you will wear the funny clothes, that you will do funny things with him, that you will have children with him. Make him happy and he will make you happy.