#6 I Hope They Smell the PeePosted: February 15, 2012
We lived in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. And when I was seven I went to a friend’s big birthday party. After the party her parents drove me home and as their station wagon pulled in front of our house my father appeared from nowhere. He must have been waiting, ready to pounce off the porch. The car door flew open and I was pulled from the back seat by my hand and suddenly dangled by my shoulder, as my father kept spanking me all the way up our walk. Twisting in the air, my father’s blows sometimes missed, further frustrating him. It was the Saturday before Mother’s Day. We were late leaving for dinner. I was a selfish child.
There was no warning about his temper. My brother was beaten once when we lived in New York, also about age seven. It too had something to do with my mother, a sort of, “If you love me you’ll beat the kids.” With that incident, as the little sister I cried and tried to throw myself between them to deflect the blows. My father was 6’3″, strong with big hands. Geez I was stupid. There’s a photo of the three of us posing on my brother’s bicycle right after the explosion. My father and brother are all smiley. I am not. I had also once seen our beautiful black Cocker Spaniel Bonnie, punted through the air. She was blind by then and had gotten in his way. You don’t forget the kick or the yelp.
But back to the dangling twisting spanking and the shock that caused me to pee. I peed my pants all the way up the walk and the front steps. When he deposited me inside the door my father ordered me in his deep and angry voice to run immediately upstairs to change my dress. I didn’t cry, I didn’t speak. I did what he said. While I frantically grabbed at a nice dress to wear I noticed the yellow floral wall paper. I don’t know why.
Off to dinner we went. However, terrified and trying to rush, I had neglected to change my thoroughly soaked underpants, the ones with a high cotton absorption value. I sat in the restaurant, angry, sulky, feeling unfairly treated, and pretty damn damp. I may have been quiet but felt righteously stubborn, thinking only to myself, “I hope they smell the pee, that’ll show them.”
I was never hit by my father again, but tragically lived in fear of that wonderful man for the rest of his all too brief life.