Chubby Hands and Little Secrets.

A life uncrushed.

Carel Kolchinski
The Shortform
1 min readFeb 15, 2024


An old man walks down a winding road.
Image credit — Carel Kolchinski

When you’re a baby everything can be fun, an adventure. Here’s my earliest recollection of being.

I grew up in a slum.

I remember sitting on the linoleum floor of the small, kitchen/living room. I was no more than a year old. My mother was washing dishes at the sink.

Soap-suds caressed and lingered on her pale, thin arms.

I was giggling excitedly, my chubby hands cupped around my secret.

“What have you got there?

My mother asked looking down at me, smiling.

I hesitated for a moment, sensing that my enjoyment was somehow illicit, forbidden.

Finally, I proudly lifted my stubby, pink arms and revealed my wriggling, tickling playmate.

The cockroach, now on its back, twisted in my palm struggling to regain its equilibrium.

It didn’t survive long after its revelation. I have now reached my seventy-third year on this planet.

I haven’t been crushed. Not yet.



Carel Kolchinski
The Shortform

Past lives as a journalist, PR poseur and commercial slave. Now an aged teetotaller, cyclist, enthusiastic musician and painter. Certified writing addict.