I used to be the neighborhood rigger. You wanted someone tied up, you came to me. I was the go-to guy for all your bondage needs.
I was seven at the time. Six, seven. My career lasted several years starting in kindergarten or first grade.
How many tender pale wrists did I tie together with jumpropes in kinniegarden? Not all that many. Sherry I remember, and Tracy and a couple more in school I guess; and a few more in the neighborhood, mostly visiting cousins of friends and stuff like that.
Usually I tied them to the apple trees at recess, or to the climbing bars. A couple times kids tied Sherry and me together to the apple tree, but they weren’t very good at tieing knots and I got loose fast and knocked their heads together. It was part of the game. I was a hero of great power at that point in my life.
I was a one-trick pony when it came to knots. I was not really a knot expert, I just tied a single knot – granny knot, I guess, over and over. That was my secret: patience and persistance. No one got loose because I tied so many knots. Also, I got repeat customers because I didn’t tie you up so tight that the circulation was cut off or anything.
Times tables, I’m thinking, are what put an end to my career as a rigger. Around the third grade I started concentrating on memorizing the times tables, and then suddenly a few years had gone by and it was awkward to say to a girl, Let’s go tie you up. Plus, I did not go into Boy Scouts and after a certain age no one is impressed by granny knots anymore, no matter how many you tie.
I might buy a knot book and try to figure out a few new ones now, but I find the diagrams really hard to figure out on my own. It’s hard enough to learn a new way to tie my necktie.
Sometimes when things get boring at the office I find myself thinking about Sherry and Tracy, wondering who’s tieing them up now.