I am probably seven or eight and my cousin, a couple of years older, has a Madonna calendar.
He effuses to me about her green eyes and "heart-shaped face" – an odd, adult phrase that he must have overheard somewhere. This moment sticks in my head because it is the first time I have heard a peer of mine express active desire for a grown-up, post-pubescent person. This represents a major step on from my current understanding of human sexual behaviour, which consists of the expectation that intermittently in life, if I am fortunate, a person I don't know will send an emissary across the playground to propose a liaison between us, which will then endure without the complication of direct contact, until one of us sees fit to call it off, by proxy of course.
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