Tuesday, March 17, 2009

this tornado loves you part 1

i was running hard & fast, just as furiously & desperately as my legs would allow. jumping fences, ducking through shrubbery, i had to get away, to escape the fate that had been decreed by my elders. what they'd threatened if i was captured was unimaginable. my mind recoiled at the mere suggestion of that kind of torture. i had to flee. deep down, tho, i think i knew i was a goner. my pursuers were older, stronger; they were better suited to the hunt than me.

i was 7yo. my brother chip, the bell brothers & bill thorton were hot on my trail, just steps behind. they caught me out back of the bell's old garage, just over their white farm planked fences. i'd stumbled going over & fell hard. they were on me like jackals, pinning me to the dank earth beneath the huge old flowering dogwood tree. i was powerless to stop what was about to happen. "c'mon, judy," they chortled like in-breds, "c'mon!" they began to chant, "do it, do it, do it." i felt like a mayan sacrifice, waiting for my heart to be cut out w/a stone knife & lifted up still beating, dripping blood for all to see.

judy bell, age 6, stepped forward, amidst the chanting & clamor. she took her time. perhaps her hesitancy came from her own reticence, an ignorance of consequence that gave pause. it seemed however to stem from her wanting to savor the moment of my utter defeat. she bent down quickly, like some small, furtive animal, & kissed me longer, as my memory serves, than what you would expect from a girl this young. if she'd put a burning coal to my lips i don't think the memory would be any clearer or profound. just as quickly, she reared up over my prostrate body, her haughty & regal disdain palpable. i remember her eyes shining, gleefully triumphant. she kicked me sharply & savagely in the stomach.

my initiation was over. it was my first kiss.

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