Sunday, July 26, 2015

Deep Thoughts... by Veronica Handey

Peter was blonde and my age and had an older brother who was a bruiser.  We rode our bikes through sun showers and stomped through pine needles at sunset and played with Transformer action figures in his room when it was too hot outside.  We never had the audacity to kiss, but it didn't matter as we were 10.

One time, I remember his mother called him in from outside.  He did not come back out.  She'd punished him with a belt. He had to lean himself over the living room couch with his brother next to him, and they both took the beatings.  That time it was especially brutal and also he was grounded for a week.  He could not come to the door, he could not go outside.

I needed to know exactly what happened and why...   The ritual of it was what I wanted to extract. How was this time different than the others?  How was it more harsh? How painful was it, exactly?  I played with the idea of asking to see his bruises but didn't dare.  The complete and utter cruelty! How could it happen?  I obsessed over it, thinking at the time it was because he was my friend and I was concerned.

I now know of course that I was titillated.

I don't know what he did to warrant such a beating and don't remember his last name.  I know she was a single mother and a nurse, with two unruly boys on the brink of serious teenage-hood.  It was one summer and I never saw him again because they moved away.