Oakland, California. Sitting at a table by a window between my brother and his new best friend. I think it was summer: the summer before first grade. We lived with my grandparents, down the hill from this family: an Italian father, Swedish mother, a handsome blonde kid, and his surly older brother. And this kid–his smooth good looks and knowing grown-up swagger; he was a crash course in America. I sat between the two slightly older boys, a large glossy pornographic magazine open in front of us: Hustler. It wasn’t wrong. It was a secret club. For a few minutes of an afternoon. Our friend flipped to the back of the magazine, to the classifieds. He dialed an old rotary phone and handed me the receiver: “It’s for you.” The boys smirked. A woman came on the line, breathy. She said she liked to go jogging. And she had been jogging, just now, and gotten really, really hot. So she jogged her way into the frozen foods section of a supermarket to cool off. And she would like someone (me?) to stick their icy-cold popsicle stick up her hot, soupy love tunnel. It was a recording; we passed it around a few times. I pictured a melting, collapsing popsicle turning to liquid inside a steaming, brothy cavity between a woman’s legs, under the harsh fluorescent lights of a supermarket and perhaps the aghast stares of passers-by. I can still see it: this brown, bubbling orifice that may well require a shot of penicillin. And I’ve forgotten so much of my childhood, but I memorized her words like my date of birth. Like my social security number. Like they’ll come in handy one day.