Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
Drunk With Togetherness
by Lisa Libowitz
I remember playing baseball with my dad. I don't remember the feel of the bat in my hands, the swing, the sometimes smack.but the brown of his hands. The light in his eyes when he said, Yes. Yes. Let's play.
I remember dancing with him. On Christmas Eve, one hand on my back, the other holding mine, gently guiding. No heavy touch, no danger in those hands. Not then. My head resting on his chest, his lips brushing my cheek, my hair. I remember his voice, singing about the love of a girl, singing about me.
I don't remember what anyone else was doing, then. They must have been there, my mother in the kitchen, baking.cookies? Ham? I don't remember my sister and brother there. He never danced with them. They must have been there.
I remember cracking coconuts with him, the sharp pointed end of the screwdriver that he drove deep, the drip of the milk into my cup. The sweet watery taste. I remember wanting to like it, because he did. I don't remember if my sister liked it, if she even drank it. I don't remember her at all.
I remember the nights he took us all out for root beer, the cold frosted mugs that weighed down the tray clamped to our car window. The thick sweet drink. I do remember my sister then. We pretended we could get drunk on root beer, and sometimes on those July nights, I think we were. Drunk with happiness. Drunk with togetherness. For once.
I remember the crack of his belt. I remember the switches, thin so thin. Taken from the trees I loved, they left tiny bloody tracks on my tan legs. He used them because he thought they didn't hurt as much. They were worse than the belt for me. I don't remember him whipping my sister, but I know he did. Did he use the belt or the switch? I don't remember.
I remember what he used on my brother, though. The belt. Always the belt. The heaviness, the slowness in taking it off. Being forced to watch, to watch in silence. Never allowed to cry out. Until I did. I remember the blood, coming from my brother's ear. I remember wondering if this would be the end.
Lisa Libowitz lives and writes in Granite, Maryland. She is a member of the Feckless WOE writer's group.
Back to Flashes