EPISODE 13 Removal of a Body Part (1 week later)
September 23, 2009 Comments Off
“Come on you guys. Let’s play jump rope,” It’s recess time at school.
“Okay, Beatie you be in the middle.”
I assume the position. Lorena and Rosie twirl the rope. I jump.
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, my mother told me to shut the gate.”
The rope whips my legs. I fall.
“Oops, sorry,” Rosie says.
“Hey! Help me up,” I say.
Lorena puts her hand out. I take it. Lorena drops me. My back falls to the
“Hey you guys! That wasn’t very nice!” I stand. Rosie shoves Lorena into me. My body drops.
“Hey,that hurt.” I stand.
Rosie shoves Lorena at me again. This time I push back.
“Knock it off,” I say. Lorena looks back to Rosie.
Rosie smiles. “Come on, Beatie. What’s the matter? You scared or something?”
“What are you talking about? Why should I be scared?”
“Because you’re a creep,” Rosie says. The kids on the playground notice and
form a crowd around the three of us.
“Yeah, you and your family are sickos,” someone in the crowd yells.
“How about her dad? He looks like a pervert,” someone else says.
Rosie rams Lorena at me again. Lorena’s mouth lands in my ear.
“I really don’t want to fight with you, Beatie,” Lorena whispers.
I think for a moment. I grab both Lorena’s arms and hold them. My nails are long, thank God. My hands move up and come back down fast on her shoulders. Lorena’s eyes do not meet mine. I dig and scoop her skin. Lorena looks at her muscle. Her lips do not move. Lorena’s eyes understand. The crowd is large now. Someone drives Lorena into me again. I thrust my nails. This time at Lorena’s neck. Her eyes to the sky. I puncture her throat.
Oh, look. Lorena’s bleeding. I will win. No one can stop me. I will win, I will win.
“Here comes Mrs. Scudmeiser,” someone says.
I am about to win. I come at Lorena with my teeth. I bite her nose. Lorena screams.
“Oh my God. Look what she did!” Someone gasps.
“Stop! Stop that right now!” Mrs. Scudmeiser grabs me.
I am ecstatic. I won. I don’t have a scratch on me. Everyone is scared of me.
I am proud to be me.
“Beatie, what have you’ve done?” Mrs. Scudmeiser asks. Lorena puts her hands on her face and keeps them there.
“Tilt your head back, Lorena. You’re okay. Honey, don’t you worry,” My teacher says. Mrs. Scudmeiser walks fast. Her hand has a firm grip on my arm. She guides Lorena at the waist with her other hand. Blood drips on the black tar.
“Move out the way,” Lorena and I are led out of the school yard. Mrs. Scudmeiser looks straight ahead. We walk fast to the school office. We meet Mrs. Reid, the school nurse, inside the First Aid room.
“Oh my God, that’s horrible!” Mrs. Reid says. I stand near the doorway.
Mrs. Reid’s eyes trace my eyes for clues. “Beatie, why?”
“I don’t know,” I say.
Lorena sits in a chair. Her hands cover her face with a tissue. Lorena’s eyes stare at the wall. Mrs. Scudmeiser caresses Lorena’s nose with an ice pack and towel.
“It’s going to be okay, honey. Don’t you worry. Someone get me another towel, she’s bleeding all over the place, the tip of her nose is chewed off. Someone please call an ambulance.”
Lorena is comforted by all who notice. I stand at the doorway and watch Beatie in disgust.
Father and me sit at the skinny bar table It’s dinner time. My head moves to the left. I watch Father slurp noodle soup. His throat gurgles. I wish he would laugh or look at me. Dad why do you ignore me? Why don’t you speak to me? Please just talk to me… I feel water in my eyes. Father stares at
“Come on Dad, please talk to me.”
Father looks up from his spoon. He stares at me yet, Father is far away. He is somehow lost in a desert. He walks fast toward a red sand hill wearing green army fatigues and a beret. Somehow I’m in the hot sun walking behind him. I wear my pink knitted parka and a green Eskimo cap made out of dog fur. The wind blows hot dirt inside me and Father’s mouth.
“Wait Dad, wait for me” Father moves fast ahead. I can’t seem to keep up with him. He carries an empty metal baby carrier on his back. Father runs.
“Wait for me Dad” He keeps a fast pace ahead. I breath hard and run behind him, climbing a sand mountain. I trip and fall. Father stops and turns. He looks at me quick and continues the pace. I get up and adjust the scarf around my throat. Running hard, fatigue sets in. I fall on a rock. My neck sweats. My mouth dry like cotton. Time to let Father go. I watch him move fast. My eyes squint. Away he goes till father becomes invisible.
Reality is real. Father drops his spoon hard in his soup bowl. He looks at me and points at me with his salute finger.
“Beatie, you have a criminal mind.”
“Petey, are you asleep?”
“Yes, I’m right here, Beatie. What is it?”
“Petey I just don’t know what to do. You know my dad won’t talk to me except when I do my homework and then he just yells and gorilla-swipes me in the head.”
“Have you tried talking to him in a nice pleasant way?”
“I try every day but he looks the other way and ignores me. I can’t stand it. Ever since I brought home my report card and got in that fight at school with
“Tell me… Beatie what happened?”
“That stupid teacher, Mrs. Scudmeiser, gave me an F in writing and I got in a
fight at school with Lorena.”
“Yes, I watched the fight. You should never bite someone’s nose off.”
“I know, I feel awful about it.” “Tell me what’s going on with your school
“Well, Petey, my teacher Mrs. Scudmeiser told Father I daydream in class.”
“Do you daydream in class?”
“Sometimes, but I can’t help it.”
“Why can’t you help it?”
“I try to pay attention to what my teacher says but somehow I just can’t
hear all the words.”
“What do you hear?”
“I guess for one thing it’s all a jumble. The words get mixed up and I’m watching everyone else taking all the sounds in and then I hear flutes playing in my brain. Ya know, Petey?”
“Flutes playing in your brain?”
“Yeah, flutes. I think it’s because I wish I had a flute”
“Why a flute”
“Cause Dad and me saw a girl once on television playing a flute. Dad said she
was gifted and that her parents must be proud of her. I bet if I got the chance, I could be as good as that girl. Don’t you think?”
“Yes, now I think I know what you’re talking about, Beatie. For now just try to pay attention and try not to talk too much in class and especially try not to fight. Maybe that would help.”
“So, you think I should try to be more quiet in class and maybe try not to hurt others?”
“You could try that, Beatie. You’re good at reading, right?”
“Oh, yeah Petey, no one can touch my reading skills. I really do just think Mrs.Scudmeiser just has me confused with my sweatshirt.”
“Yeah, I have this sweatshirt. I got it from my Aunt Rhoda
last Christmas. Anyway, its a picture of an angel staring at the sky it says
‘daydreamer’ on it. I believe Mrs. Scudmeiser thinks I’m a daydreamer cause
of my shirt.”
“Hmm… could be. Your shirt may not help your situation much.”
“I know, Petey. If I could just get Father to speak to me everything would be
fine. I beg him every day to speak to me. He doesn’t say a word. He glares at me and is silent.”
“There, there girl.” Petey cuddles close to me. I hug Petey hard.
“Why don’t we pray about it?”
“Yeah, that’s a great idea, Petey.”
I fold my hands and squeeze my eyes.
“Dear God: Please, please make Father speak to me. I hate when he just walks away from me and ignores me. I’m gonna work extra hard to do good in school. Please God, help me not to get into any fights or arguments with anyone. Please God… Please.” I say the Our Father prayer twice.
REPORT CARD TIME
It’s a miracle! Beatie is a wonderful asset to our class. Your daughter is gifted and has artistic hands and teeth. Beatie is assigned to grade six.
I run home and hand my end of school year report card to Father. He reads the report with his salute finger pressed on his lips. Father removes his finger. His mouth moves. Father speaks. “I’m gonna buy you a flute.”
“You mean your gonna buy me a real silver flute?”
Wow! Imagine… me, Beatie Scareli at Dodger stadium right before the World Series of Baseball is bout to begin. Me, the solo famous flutist in front of a large audience of classical music and baseball fans. Only my flute plays. No one sings. The crowd is silent. They imagine the words:
Oh say can you see/by the stars early light/for so proudly we hale. I see Father. He sits somewhere in the stadium wearing a blue Dodger baseball hat. Father smiles. A finger to his lips. Father watches the audience. All eyes upon me. His daughter a gifted wonder for all to see.
“Look at dat,” Father points to me.
“Dats my daughter Beatie”