19 June 2010

Janey votes No!

“Sorry ain’t nothin’ if it don’t bring change.” Aunt Sue’s words echoed through her head like an India rubber ball. Janey’s temples throbbed. Looking in the mirror last night, she actually gasped. She looked like a light bulb—both temples bulged out, bruised. Now, a quarter bottle of Aunt Sue’s foundation covered the bruising, not the sideshow freak shape. It almost made Janey laugh, but almost doesn’t really count.

He hit her before, but last night’s rage was different. Randy vanished from his own eyes. *poof!* Something else was in him, hitting on her. It wasn’t Randy. A beast invaded him and pummeled Janey into that crumpled sobbing mass. She felt bad for him later, when he held her, apologizing. His fingers traced her face. “I’m sorry, baby,” he whispered hot in her ear, “I promise this is the last time, I promise. I’m sorry, baby. I love you.” He nuzzled his face in Janey’s hair, and she promised herself this would be the last time, too.

Janey sat down with a pencil and wrote:

Randy’s soul is a cold hard stone
in kindergarten he stabbed Rachel Lyn with a pencil
in first grade he poured sour milk down Sammy Sanderson’s throat
in second grade he punched the janitor in the stomach
in third grade he nuked grasshoppers in Mrs. Nelson’s microwave at recess
in fourth grade he threw a table across the room
in fifth grade he gave antifreeze to the class ferret
in sixth grade he set fire to his Aunt Lou’s cat
in seventh grade he stabbed 3 peers with straight pins in the school cafeteria
in eighth grade he beat his pregnant girlfriend nearly dead
Randy’s heart is a cold hard stone

Will he ever really change?

Janey titled her poem.

The prompt for Writer's Island this morning was change.

A shout out to Stan Ski at Elephant Small who posed the questions... "Do we really need to change…? Or just find out who we really are…?" While I like the idea of there being a pond of reflection and kindness at the core of human beings, the sociopath sprung to mind. This piece is a rather dark response to Stan's questions, but it rose from my school year. (These kids are too young to be dealing with this kind of garbage, darn it.)


00dozo said...

WOW! An excellent and powerful read! "Know thine enemy".

flaubert said...

Brenda this gave me chills!
One of my best friends in the states had an abusive husband and I remember the calls in the night asking for my help and she was always too terrified to press charges and it really upset me. I just didnt understand her fear but finally divorced thank god! Good post!

Systematic Weasel said...

The was a most powerful read! I enjoyed it much! Thanks for sharing! And thanks for commenting on my blog! Who knows, maybe the symbol will mean something in the future (one can always hope).


vivienne blake said...

A chilling sense of reality invaded me. If it's fiction, you are a very clever girl. If it's true, then may God help you.

brenda w said...

Greetings all, and thanks for the comments.
Viv, This is not my story, though I did have a relationship with someone like Randy once upon a time. This particular young man shows no remorse at all for his actions. While the girl in the above story is continuing her life, I fear for the girls "Randy" charms in the future.

Mary said...

Brenda, well unfortunately some people don't change. One would like to hope that they will, but after all those years...yes, Randy's soul IS a cold stone. My question always is how people GET that way.


ELizabeth said...

Brenda, I could write a book in response to this one. I walked away from just such a marriage almost 25 years ago. The point of Janey's list is so that she herself can see what has been right in front of her all along. I finally saw it when a complete stranger, a police officer, said to me, "Do you know that no one, no one has a right to do this to you?"

Thank you for this one,


keiths ramblings said...

Goodness me! Strong stuff indeed and a great read. Love it!

Stan Ski said...

Powerful piece, and really hitting home the need for change in this particular case.
thanks for the mention, and this response.

Diane T said...

Brenda, this is such an insightful piece of writing. People need to realize that some people do not change and that they should steer clear! Janey definitely was WISE to vote NO.


brenda w said...

Mary, Good question, how do people get that way? I have students with great parents who consistently make poor choices, and students with little parenting and resilience that shines.

Elizabeth, Glad you got out. I left a bad one, too. It was the looks on other people's faces when I told stories that really got to me.

Stan, thanks for stopping by, and for the questions that got me thinking.

Diane, I agree. Some people won't change. Kids like Randy though, are few in number. (I hope!)

Changnoi said...

I don't think he will change.

brenda w said...

You know something, Changnoi? I think you are right. It makes me sad, but I like to think better things about people. Most people have good hearts, they just need to listen to them. I do believe that.

Mr. Walker said...

Janey's list chilled my heart. As a teacher, that catalog of hurt was hard to read. Powerful writing - thanks for sharing.