Shedding My Skin

Six years old.

I glance around me to see that no one is looking as I turn the bright orange cap of the Elmer’s glue bottle. Slowly tipping the bottle, nozzle pointed into my palm, I squeeze, then close it quickly and set the bottle back into my art box.

The cold white liquid oozes across my palm and I use a finger on my other hand to smear it around, creating a smooth, thin layer of glue across my skin.

Blowing on it helps it dry faster. I hold my hand just inches from my face as I try to dry the glue faster with my breath. I watch as it turns from an astonishing bright white into a pale semi-transparent sheath, etched with the detailed lines of the small hand encased within.

When the glue is finally dry, I flex my hand as wide as I can, the glue peeling up at the edges. It looks like the aftermath of a severe sunburn as my second skin begins releasing itself. My other hand darts to the crinkled edges, pulling at them slowly.

The goal is always to see if I can get it off in one piece. No rips. No tearing.

My tongue is pressed between my lips in concentration. Peeling gently, squinting my eyes as though that will keep me free from error. Finally, it releases.


I smile at my conquest, then set it carefully in the center of my desk: a tiny, white, perfectly preserved imprint of my palm… non-toxic, of course.

This post was written in response to a prompt by The Red Dress Club.

For this week’s RemembeRED prompt, we’re asking you to remember kindergarten. If, after thinking about it for a while, you can’t recall anything, move on to first grade.

Mine your memories and write about the earliest grade you can recall.


About Caitlin's Concepts

Mom to 4 boys and drowning in a sea of testosterone!
This entry was posted in General, Red Writing Hood, The Red Dress Club. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Shedding My Skin

  1. Love!
    I forgot about white school glue.
    Your descriptions were perfect.
    I can remember the smell!
    Wonderfully written.

  2. Shell says:

    Oh, I loved playing with glue when I was a kid!

  3. Galit Breen says:

    Tak about honing in on a moment- perfection!

    Your words are so poignant- glance, nozzle, oozes, flex.

    but this part is my favorite: “I watch as it turns from an astonishing bright white into a pale semi-transparent sheath, etched with the detailed lines of the small hand encased within.” because that’s just plain poetry!

  4. MamaRobinJ says:

    I used to love playing with glue. Totally forgot about that! Love your descriptions.

  5. Matty says:

    You were a bit of scientist at that age. I don’t think I would have even thought of trying that way back then. And I sense of bit of daring in you, glancing around to see if anyone is watching.

    I love your descriptive words to paint the story.

  6. Mel says:

    This is so great. I really can exactly go back to the memory of having a glue fingerprint and peeling it off. You did a great job describing the excitement and anticipation of this small thing for a child.

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