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Two Blocks from Slab Town
by Saturna Brown

Posted: 14:00 June 9, 2008

Pure and complete sorrow is as impossible as pure and complete joy. (War and Peace, Book XV. Chapter I)

Two Blocks from Slab Town
          The following Saturday I woke up early just when the sun came up. I could hardly wait to ride my bike! Since the grass had not been mowed, there were yellow flowers everywhere. Usually, I would pick some to put in a glass jar filled with water and set it on the kitchen table. But, today all I thought about was riding my bike. When I stepped off the back porch, I ran towards it.

          A neighbor, Mrs. Curry, had given me a used 26 inch Schwinn bicycle. Dianne, her daughter, several years older than me did not want it. She had received a new bicycle for her birthday. The bike was painted gray. At one time, it had been red, because that was the color under the chipped paint. The bike was too big for me, but it did not matter. I found a way to ride it. Standing on the back porch, I adjusted the pedal so the back wheel would move. Keeping my balance, I pressed down on the pedals. I plowed through the tall grass onto the dirt road. Stopping the bike required pushing back on the pedals, lean against the seat and hop off before it fell on top of me. It took two weeks of bruises to learn how to do this.

          I did not know how long I had been riding my bike on the road, before I heard two grown-ups arguing.

          OH! NO! It was Mother and Father. Sometimes, they argued, but never this early in the morning.

          I jumped off my bike. I let it fall on the grass. I ran into the kitchen. Mother was furious about Father wanting to go fishing, instead of looking for a job. Father walked out slamming the screen door.

          Mother stomped her feet before grabbing one of the kitchen chairs. Pushing the screen door opened, she ran to the far end of the back porch and threw it at him.

          I ran to the window. It hit him square in the back. Wow! It must have hurt, because his face was really red.

          I heard Joey’s voice behind me.

          “What’s wrong?” he asked still sleepy.

          I knew before it would happen. Instantly, I grabbed Joey’s hand. I had him get under the table with me and wait.

          Mother rushed back in! She tried to shut the door on Father. He pushed. Mother landed face down on the floor. Father stormed in like a raging bull. Mother tried to get on her feet. Father held her down with one hand. With the other, he spanked her on the bottom. I could not believe it! Mother was getting a spanking, like a little kid. Afterwards, Father left in his car.

          Mother could not stop crying. She went into her bedroom and closed the door. Joey, shaking like a leaf, needed a hug and so I gave him one. It made me feel better, too.

          Since we were both hungry, I found some biscuits in the refrigerator. I took two cereal bowls and a tall glass setting them on the table. I poured powder milk into the glass and added cold water from a jug in the refrigerator. Next, I crumbled the biscuits into the bowls and poured in the milk.

          We sat on the porch after eating and talked Father getting hit by the high chair and how he came back inside the house. When we got to the part about Mother getting a spanking, we let loose. We laughed until we were gasping for air. Then, we started to cry, because Father had left us. Would he come back?

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