When Dezzie was eight she fell in love.
The hazy late summer day had given way to a chill night, Mama still at the shop not due home for a few hours yet. Papa'd had the day off though and he'd called to her from the dust bowl with an accent of scrub that was their backyard.
"Dizzy Dez. Come out here, child, I want to show you something."
She'd scampered down from her room and flung herself out the screen door, almost tripping over warped porch slats. Papa had been crouched down toward the back of the lot, facing away from the house. At her loud arrival he'd straightened up a bit, turned his head, lips wide in a grin as he beckoned her forward. Dezzie bounded towards him until she could peer over his shoulder, not sure what to expect, never knowing what to expect when Papa "got up to getting up to mischief" as Mama said.
"Whatcha got to show me?"
Without a word he'd held up tube the length of her forearm, one end sealed, the other mostly open with a stiff green twisted cord sticking out.
Dezzie took it with both hands, revered it like a lost idol. Gently, she ran two fingers up its side, displacing grey dirt from the brown cardboard splendor. As the grit fell away she saw a hint of sparkle go with it.
"What is it?" she asked, voice filled with wonder.
"There are some things, baby girl, that speaking don't do justice."
Dez frowned deeply for a moment, mind spinning. "So you'll show me," she finally said.
"Thatta' girl," Papa chuckled and took that new wonderful surely magical thing back and wedged it between two bricks on the ground. With a flick-flick of his lighter, flame jumped from starter to wick, and then he was in motion. Springing up he caught Dezzie by the waist with one of his solid arms, lifted her up, and raced them back to the porch.
When he set her down, Dezzie started counting. She didn't know why she was counting, but she was sure it was what she should be doing. At fifteen henny pennys a soft hiss began and built and built until it was a harsh crackle and white puffs of smoke coughed and bloomed. Then blue sparks erupted into the air, three meters high, took her breath and stole her heart leaving her wide eyed and slack jawed with awe.
It was love at first sight.