762 Odors 4-24-18

Some mutt left a deposit
in the dirt lot
across the street
from my house,
right on the spot
where Johnny and I
wrestled the summer afternoons away.
So, of course,
I rolled right into it.

“Oh! Shit!” Johnny groaned.
“Now you’re dead!”

“Find something to get it off!” I said.

It’s not easy to scrape
all of it
off your pant leg.
I mean,
SOME of it is
gonna stick.
But I figured to sneak past
Mother,
into the bathroom closet
where the hamper was,
strip my jeans off ,
scrub them in the tub
and mix ’em in with
the rest of the dirty clothes,
for her to wash!

Simple!

I didn’t get three steps past her.
I hadn’t figured on the efficiency of her nose.

“Kenneth,” She said.

I froze.

“What is that smell?”

“What smell?

Oh…
(hell.)

Nothin’.”

Dad glanced up from his book.
He stifled a chuckle.

Mother stared at him.

“Dear.
Please…”

She turned back to me.

“Kenneth,”
she growled.
“Get down to the cellar.
Take off those jeans,
put them in the washer,
Use soap!
Turn it on
and sit there
until they’re washed.
Then put them in the dryer.
Don’t come back up here until
you can show me
they are clean and dry.”

“But I don…!”

“Yes, you DO know how!

You’ve watched me do it
ALL BY MYSELF,
often enough.”

“Aw! Mom!”

(In those days, laundry could take forever.
I would miss Mickey Mouse and Maverick.)

“Just do it, Ken,” Father sighed.
You have to be slicker than that
to sneak one over on your Mother.”

He smiled.

Mother did not.

I missed my TV shows that night.

And I would learn,
years after,
how my Father
got caught
trying to sneak past Mother with,
a scent,
lingering in his pants,
that was,
to Her,
a lot worse than
dog shit.

And one evening,
eleven years later,
I came home from football practice
to find Mother
sitting in the kitchen,
a wooden spatula
clutched in her hand,
smacking it on her forehead
and the formica table.

She whispered to me
through clenched teeth
as the bloody, blue bruise
rose,

“Dear.”

Bang!

“Your father -”

Thunk!

“won’t be home”-

Bang!

“tonight.”

Thunk!

“or ever…”

Bang!
Bang!

Bang!

About Ken Greenman

Married and Happy. Retired and busy. Living in NC. 71 and counting. December 12, 2020 and it's 72! ... I would love some written comments, critiques, adulation or kind suggestions.... If you have the time and or inclination, please feel free! Not in fear but by faith. We will see. See you later! If you ever want to talk for real, email me and I will send you my cell number.... I am enjoying this!
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