[I wrote this 5 years ago. Read or don’t read. Exercise your right! Wooo!]
“Please don’t butter my bread.”
Jimmy was going to play baseball that day. He liked playing baseball because his parents weren’t there with him on the field, arguing about taxes and Mother’s affair with the milkmaid and his sister Janie who got knocked up by the Hispanic pool boy at the Y. When the girls were watching from the fence, he would make sure to run real fast, heels clipping the backs of his thighs as he manuevered between the bases. If the girls weren’t there, and it was just Orvil and Petey, the two retarded kids who wore back braces and were not allowed on the field, he would jog lazily around the outfield, pretending like the low-hanging sun was blinding him if he tried to catch fly balls.
Sometimes he would write cuss words like fuck and cooze in the dust, coating the toe of his shoe with a camel-colored powder. If Alastair came too close, Jimmy could erase the evidence with one swift movement.
Alastair was a snitch. He told school bully Sam that Jake stole a piece of bubblegum from Sam’s cubby during recess, and Sam punished Jake with a black eye and made him choke on his own tongue as a final piece of retribution.
Jake had a problem with swallowing his tongue.
“Please don’t butter my bread!”
Jimmy hoped it didn’t rain today, like the weatherman said it would. He wanted to go down to the creek after everyone tired of baseball (usually after two innings) and fish for guppies. That’s what he would tell Mother, anyhow, but once he got down to the woods, he would climb into a tree and pull out Father’s dirty magazines from his satchel.
That’s how he got the best vocabulary in his class.
“Mother, please don’t butter my bread!” Jimmy begged one last time, watching her collect the freshly browned slices of bread from the toaster.
Jimmy liked playing baseball, and he liked sneakily etching swear words on the field and he liked the excitement of watching Jake swallow his tongue. He liked clandestinely pouring over his Father’s dirty magazines and learning words like “pulsating” and “cocktease” and “titty fucking.” Jimmy wanted to continue doing all of these things, but he wouldn’t be able to if his bread was buttered.
“Jimmy, what’s gotten in to you?” Mother yelled, as he wrestled the tub of butter from her hands.
“I watched Father sprinkle rat poison in the butter last night,” Jimmy said, grabbing his dry toast and running off for the baseball field.
Mother silently dropped the tub into the garbage can.