My first…

How did your first time feel? Were you anxious, unable to control your desire? Were you nervous and eager to get the whole thing over with? Did you tell anyone, show off to all your family and friends? Or did you keep the knowledge a secret, as if sharing the experience would take away from the special moment?

Well, for me, it happened at school. I remember restlessly waiting for the bus to pull into campus. As soon as it did I rushed off the bus, apologizing as I hurriedly brushed past people. I made it to the student centre, picked up my university’s newspaper, Excalibur, and flipped through the pages until I found it… my FIRST Publication! I was so giddy, I even thought of redistributing the papers amongst the students that whizzed by. I used any conversation I had that day to unabashedly promote my article.

I know it’s nothing big, but here’s the beginning of the piece. It’s on Black History Month and some of my experiences growing up in Toronto. Feedback is welcome, and don’t hesitate to share your firsts with links to your own publications. We”ll save other firsts for another time.

So, without further adieu or misleading sexual references, here’s my article:

The curly, the coily and the kinky

I dug my fingers into a tangle of thick wires that coiled around and bounced off my hand. This time felt different. My fingers weren’t running through straight, thin strands. I realized for the first time, at the age of 16, that my hair was growing.

For years, I had chemically processed my hair. It had become a regular part of my routine. Every two months, as often as someone may cut their hair, I bought a box covered in smiling black girls with smooth, shiny straight hair, and relaxed mine.

The chemical burns were a naturalized exercise of my youth.

Stiff neck, sore scalp, silky hair: I went through the process without hesitation. I’d shiver when the first glob of white creamy crack tickled my scalp; my mother’s hands were always smooth and precise.

It seemed to be a rite of passage for every black girl to shed her kinks and coils as she entered into adolescence. 

I only knew that something undesirable and unacceptable came out of my scalp and needed to be kempt and suppressed.

The rest of the article can be read here.

15 thoughts on “My first…

  1. Reading your first paragraph I was about to explain you my first… well you know. Thanks god I continued reading … Regarding hair … some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts 🙂
    Nice post.

  2. Pingback: Out of mind, out of sight | The Backwords

  3. Witty, and then moving. Nice, that.

    My first, and only, was an utter embarrassment. I was wise enough to submit it anonymously only to a literary magazine of which I was an editor. I then had to suffer through hearing the piece thoroughly lambasted by the other editors–deservedly so. The mag did ultimately decide to publish my piece only because we were so short of material for our next issue, but I can still recall the pain of the laughter, and my fear of being “outed”. The funny thing is, the piece is just awful, and I still like quite a bit of it. Go figure.

    • That is brutal. It sounds almost too painful and awful to be real. I don’t think I could have done that, endure the criticism and dish some out myself.

      The only consolation I guess is that your first time is over! Every publication afterward will be easier, at least that is the hope. You’re a first time vet (like me), and you’ve experienced the worst so it necessarily has to get better. the writing gods will have forsaken us if it didn’t.

      When I published my article I was so scared and mostly excited, I never really considered that people I knew would be reading it. Which is stupid since it’s a university publication.

      Thanks for reading it and I appreciate the feedback!

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