Sunday, January 10, 2010


The farm was thirty acres. The mailbox was at the main road and the Auntie was building a concrete block house on the left hand side of the gravel drive between the main road and Grandma's house which was on the right hand side just past some woods and then a cornfield. You could not see anyone else's house through the thickets and trees, but a path through the woods was created from the well-house to the Auntie's house.

Mom and the Auntie had made up since the refrigerator incident. It was early spring and I could climb the trees on the path and read books from the library. I could climb fairly high and be very quiet. I watched as my sister and cousin played on the path. The house had concrete floors and running water. There was no hot water though and they also heated by a wood-burning stove. There was only three ways to make my mother like me, be sick, be smart, and clean.

I hated math(as most social workers do) and had begun long division in school. One day I asked my cousin if he would do my math because I hated it, but I knew better than to leave it undone or to get a bad grade. He agreed if I would do something for him. I said sure and we went into the woods together. I would kiss his dong and he would do my math. I shook as I knelt down and quickly weighed the pros and cons of what I was going to do. What would God say? I thought about how small his was compared to the asshole and thought about how badly I didn't want to do my math homework. What did it matter? I did it for the asshole, why couldn't I do it to get my math done? I began and did it for a few minutes and changed my mind. God was going to smite me. What if my Grandma found out?

Grandma didn't like the other kids the way she liked me. I saw her lock my cousin in the closet the week before because he was getting on her nerves. The closet was in her room and went into the attic. The boards were made of barn wood and it was dark and dusty inside. I knew he had to be scared in the closet, but I made no attempts to let him out or talk to him about it. I'd been through a lot of things, but had never been locked in the closet. I didn't want to go in the closet either. I told him I'd do my own math and pretended to be insulted that he was bartering what he knew I could do.

I had become a fairly mean to the other children over the past several months and would throw walnuts at my cousin as he walked by. I hoped I could crack his head. He could climb trees, but not as well as me and could never catch me. His chores were harder than mine and his mother's bark was even worse than my own mother's bark. Even though I was a quiet child, I had hate growing in my heart. I hated whoever was easiest to hate. Some days it was my sister, and some days it was my cousin. But mostly I hated myself.

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