Steve Meador is the author of Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, a poetry book that was an entrant for a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He is widely published in online and print journals. He has been a real estate broker since the early 1980s and currently lives and practices in the Tampa, FL, area.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It was funny, at the time, not just gut-busting funny, but veins-popping-on-your- blood-red-face hysterical, and I don’t know why. They were just a few slivers of chewed-up paper, hard enough to roll into a little ball and throw,  yet mushy enough to stick to something--spitwads. And the last one I heaved stuck to the inside of Wade’s ear. 

Mrs. Alexander, who wasn’t a day under 100, didn’t see, or hear, any of the action, but things unraveled when she asked Wade why he was digging into his ear with a pencil. Someone burst out laughing, she looked at me, saw my nearly purple face, then asked me what was so funny. Ultimately, the spitwad fight was discovered, a lecture given on how second graders should behave, and those involved were given the choice of taking a note home to have signed, and returned, or a phone call to the parents. I chose the note, thinking forgery a possibility.

My uncle Kenny, who was sixteen at the time, could certainly help me with a signature, if he would sign, maybe I would not tell about him drinking beer, with his friends, behind the garage. I showed him the note, he called me some name, involving dirty words, then took the note to my mom, who told me to wait,until my dad came home. Uncle Kenny met my dad at the car, told him the news. He came directly to my bedroom, asked what happened, and took his belt off. Suddenly, my mom called for him, he left, but did not come back to the room.
I waited.

An hour. 


I heard the family eating supper, saw my dad go to the garage and get the lawnmower,and begin mowing the yard. I ducked underneath the window, everytime his head went by.

Three hours. 

I heard them in the family room, watching television. I had to pee, really bad, but knew the danger of going to the bathroom.  I took the empty root beer bottle, that I got at the school
carnival, and filled it up. Felt better,  but now had a bottle of pee,  which I emptied from the window, after popping the screen loose.

Four hours.

I rested on the bed, listening for my name to be mentioned, listening for footsteps.

Five hours.

Next thing I knew, my mom was waking me for breakfast. I didn’t take the signed note to Mrs. Alexander, and she never asked for it.

No one ever called my parents.

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