No one remembers her beginnings. Mothers and aunts tell us about infancy and early childhood, hoping we won't forget the past when they had total control over our lives and secretly praying that because of it, we'll include them in our future. I didn't know anything about my own beginnings until I was seven years old, living in Coffee Hollow, a rural dot outside of York, Pennsylvania. A dirt road connected tarpapered houses filled with smear-faced kids and the air was always thick with the smell of coffee beans freshly ground in the small shop that gave the place its name. One of those smear-faced kids was Brockhurst Detwiler, Broccoli for short. It was through him that I learned I was a bastard. Broccoli didn't know I was a bastard but he and I struck a bargain that cost me my ignorance. One crisp September day Broccoli and I were on our way home from Violet Hill Elementary School. "Hey, Molly, I gotta take a leak, wanna see me'. "Sure, Broc." He stepped behind the bushes and pulled down his zipper with a flourish. "Broccoli, what's all that skin hanging around your dick?" "My mom says I haven't had it cut up yet." "Whaddaya mean, cut up?" "She says that some people get this operation and the skin comes off and it has somethin' to do with Jesus." "Well, I'm glad no one's gonna cut up on me." "That's what you think. My Aunt Louise got her tit cut off." "I ain't got tits." "You will. You'll get big floppy ones just like my mom. They hang down below her waist and wobble when she walks." "Not me, I ain't gonna look like that." "Oh yes you are. All girls look like that." "You shut up or I'll knock your lips down your throat, Broccoli Detwiler." "I'll shut up if you don't tel1 anyone I showed you my thing." "What's there to tell? All you got is a wad of pink wrinkles hangin' around it. It's ugly." "It is not ugly." "Ha. It looks awful. You think it's not ugly because it's yours. No one else has a dick like that. My cousin Leroy, Ted, no one. I bet you got the only one in the world. We oughta make some money off it." "Money? How we gonna make money off my dick?" "After school we can take the kids back here and show you off, and we charge a nickel a piece." "No. I ain't showing people my thing if they're gonna laugh at it." "Look, Broc, money is money. What do you care if they laugh? You'll have money then you can laugh at them. And we split it fifty-fifty." The next day during recess I spread the news. Broccoli was keeping his mouth shut. I was afraid he'd chicken out but he came through. After school about eleven of us hurried out to the woods between school and the coffee shop and there Broc revealed himself. He was a big hit. Most of the girls had never even seen a regular dick and Broccoli's was so disgusting they shrieked with pleasure. Broc looked a little green around the edges, but he bravely kept it hanging out until everyone had a good look. We were fifty-five cents richer. Word spread through the other grades, and for about a week after that, Broccoli and I had a thriving business. I bought red licorice and handed it out to all my friends. Money was power. The more red licorice you had, the more friends you had. Leroy, my cousin, tried to horn in on the business by showing himself off, but he flopped because he didn't have skin on him. To make him feel better, I gave him fifteen cents out of every day's earnings. Nancy Cahill came every day after school to look at Broccoli, billed as the "strangest dick in the world." Once she waited until everyone else had left. Nancy was all freckles and rosary beads. She giggled every tiBrown, Rita Mae is the author of 'Rubyfruit Jungle', published 1983 under ISBN 9780553278866 and ISBN 055327886X.