Explain Like I’m Five: First Love by Zebulon Huset

You play marbles with aluminum marbles. Don’t ask me where your parents found those awesome marbles, just roll with it. So you play with your sibling all the time. Marbles day and night. You have perfected the flick and know about topspin and how far the aluminum marbles will bounce when shot at another— you’re a pro. Then the neighbor girl comes over and she has lead marbles. Let’s say this was in the 1950s when exposure to chemicals like lead and mercury and asbestos were chill. So she comes over and you’re expecting a regular game of marbles but instead, one thunk of her marble shoots yours across the room as it plunks into place. And your puny aluminum marbles just bounce off it. You can’t win, but you’re so enthralled by the idea of this newness, this power of unexpected roiling within yourself that you can’t stop flicking your marbles against hers. She knows she can win at any time, but just misses every time, smiling.


Zebulon Huset is a San Diego-based teacher, writer & photographer. His writing has appeared previously in Unbroken and in Southern Review, Fence, Rosebud, Meridian, Texas Review and Fjords Review & he publishes the writing blog NotebookingDaily.com.

Photo by Sharon Pittaway

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