Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm Sorry, Jane

steve and jane c1963
Originally uploaded by Fnarf
I would like to publicly apologize for torturing my sweet younger sister Jane when we were children. You can see by the hangdog look on her face that I'm about to inflict some kind of unnecessary roughness on her, compounding the torture that our parents have already put her through with the cowgirl outfit. I don't think she liked it much -- the outfit, or the abuse.

I liked it very much indeed. I can still remember the feel of that tin star between my fingers, and mentally checking just how cheap and inauthentic it was -- cheapness and inauthenticity having no bearing on play value, of course. As for the chaps, well, let's just say it's a good thing it was a safe neighborhood, with no older boy bullies around. Because I would have been dead meat.

That's a phrase I remember hearing a lot as a child -- "you're dead meat", following by the pounding of feet and my heart. I was a dweeb. A dork. A geek.

This is about the time I had to be removed from my second-grade class for having pooed in my pants, out of a pathological sense of embarrassment that prevented me from raising my hand. Despite my best efforts I was unable to prevent a few pellets of shame from falling down my pants leg onto the floor. A teacher -- a woman! -- took me to the bathroom and gave me the most horrible thing in the world: a pair of school pants, with an elastic waist. I wanted to die.

I peed my pants all the time too.

Sweet Jane didn't think I was a dweeb, though; she worshiped me. I repaid this devotion by telling her, right about this time, that there was no Santa Claus. That may explain the face in this picture.

I used to do naughty things, like scatter my dad's tools around, or damage them, or damage furniture with them. My dad would attempt to teach us both a lesson about honesty and forthrightness, and ask us each in turn, "did you do this?" I would solemnly shake my head "no", and Jane would just as solemnly nod her head "yes". Our dad was not a fool, and would punish me, not her -- twice, in fact.

This photograph was taken by dad with a Kodak Retina IIa in 1963 or 64 in Magnolia, Seattle, Washington. I recently found it in a tray of my grandfather's slides.


Mr. Poe said...

I once chased my sister through the house with a knife, stabbing the shit out of her door while she called Dad.

Not joking.

Fnarf said...

That's nice.

I don't recall going after her with the knife, but I have put my hand through a door or two.

Mr. Poe said...

We are the same.