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All the Ghetto Boys Hang Out at My House

Watercolor on Paper


My House is the Spot


My old sister B had an older boyfriend. Every night he and his gang would escape the hot summer air and seek refuge in my air-conditioned house. Dad couldn’t sleep when it was hot so he kept the house at a cool 60 degrees. With brown-bagged bottles, they turned my living room into a liquor storefront congregation. At fifteen far and from wide-eyed, I wanted no part in their activities but when my sister retreated to play in her room I knew where my post was. I was in charge of crowd control. My duty was to keep my mother's precious objects from breaking, drinks from spilling, food from staining, and noise from creeping underneath my parent’s bedroom door. I was the house guardian, the protector. As space to liquid ratios began to shift within bottles hands began to wander.


On one particularly hot night B’s boyfriend brought over three of his friends, all we in their early twenties, all were high. Malt liquor and Cognac were the elixirs of the night but the boys craved something sweet as well. I had just finished a crayon shaped Popsicle; it was yellow with a green and blue trim. One of the boys asked if he could have one and I told him to grab one from the freezer. After retrieving the treat he sat back down on an adjacent sofa. Pop cultural nothings on the TV distracted the silence as the ceiling fan churned the odor of booze in the atmosphere. Somewhere between unwrapping the Popsicle and before it made it to his lips, he formulated a better plan for it. Popsicle in hand, he sat next to me and another boy on the couch. The hair on arms stood at attention. I tried to suppress them rubbing them vigorously with the palm of my hand. The friction burned my skin. Feeling increasingly uncomfortable I stood up but my motion was thwarted by a yank on my right wrist putting me back into place. Unwanted hand on thigh, the words


“I want to see what yellow tastes like”


squirmed their way into my ear and the lips that spoke them planted themselves on my cheek and made their way down my neck leaving a slimy trail of lechery. I shrugged my shoulder and he jolted sideways from being bumped in the chin. My defiance did not sit well with him. In a quick motion, he seized my neck and pressed his lips against mine. The taste and smell of Cognac seeped through staining the inside of my mouth and nostrils. I pressed my hands to his chest as his body compounded on top of mine, but my feeble wrists could not withhold his weight. To my surprise, he slid back onto the couch. I took a deep breath and tried to collect myself. Before I could gain full composure I was startled by a cold streak of sticky liquid being smeared on the side of my face. The three boys laughed but I remained silent transferring the muck from face to hand. The boy with the frozen stick plunged it back into my face, aiming for my mouth. I batted it away. My hands were becoming an issue for the progression of activity so the first boy held my wrists above my head. My restive gestures to loosen his grip made him chuckle. The other boy began to hit me in the face with the Popsicle not hard enough to break it but hard enough. Starting at my lips he drew a viscous line over my chin, down my neck, and in between my teenaged breasts. When my tank top blocked his line from continuing, he put the Popsicle back into his mouth. With free hands and mine bound, he kneeled between my legs. His heavy mass prevented them from closing like a doorstopper. Immediately, I kicked and flailed my long limbs powerfully and aimlessly, kicking him in the chest. The tenacious gesticulation was too much to handle so he recruited the third boy to keep my right leg in place. Red saliva dripped from his mouth and he hiked up my paint-stained basketball shorts. I violently flung my body in an attempt to break free from my fleshy shackles but I was no rival for the three. I threw my head back in a ferocious frenzy, knocking tears from my eyes. My struggle amused them. The boy between my legs popped what was left of the Popsicle out of his mouth and inserted it in a mouth that could not taste. A few octaves of muffled shrieks escaped through fingertips but could not survive past the couch. Numbness overtook my body and I fell limp, lifeless. Spiritless. After some time the boy returned what was left of the Popsicle to his lips and finished it off, tossing the stick on the coffee table. The three boys got up, grabbed their bottles, and went outside to pass a joint around. I went to the bathroom, cleaned myself up then scrubbed red Popsicle stains off my mother’s Persian rug.

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