From the age of 10 our summer job was digging worms. To do that, you go to a “bait bed” which is a live worm farm.
Acres of peatmoss covered with peanut shells. They must be in the shade. You must keep them watered very closely. Thought you’d like that description. At a rate of $5 per 1,000 it was basically volunteer work.
This dark, damp, place is where I spent every summer vacation until I realized it was meaningless. Five years? Six? I don’t want to think about it.
My Brother, Brody worked alongside of me and generally much harder.
Brody struggled with our social standing and fought it by acting like he was too important to be bothered and wearing bougie clothes to school. I have never given a damn about peoples nonsense like that. I enjoy looking nice, but I couldn’t care less about clothes.
He and I would work all day, from 7-4.
It got extra hot on those extra-humid baitbeds.
(It’s one of the ways I started loving storms.)
He would demand his portion of what we earned from our Father. I let our Father keep my money for two summers. Brody didn’t do it once. He did the work, now. He could dig 7,000 worms on an easy day. I only got about 2,500. (12,000 was the most I ever got.) That’s $35 vs. $10 so we can understand. Also, the first year my money wasn’t there when tax free weekend came up, and that was painful, but I understood.
Brody and I had a very close early childhood that became contentious when we were in second and third grade respectively. I don’t want to think about it, but other people’s opinions on my appearance and attitude became a problem for him, when it never had been before. I never really acknowledged him distancing himself from me and it hurts to this day but what can you do? People are people. That Man couldn’t stop loving me if he tried, but whatever.
We are into our fifth(?) summer on the baitbeds and Brody starts with me. I was not successful in making any real friends since changing schools and he had become popular.
He was telling me again that, basically, it was all my fault. Him and my Father. Ask them whose fault it is🙄.
Normally, I would let it go. There was no winning with those two.
He said something that was over the line.
I looked at Him.
He said, “What?”
I said, “Leave me alone.”
He started criticizing me louder. I repeated myself again and again.
Eventually, I was ready to kill him. Family can do that. He was right there, screaming nasty shit at me because he assumed I’d let him get away with it.
I usually did. I don’t know what happened.
When I reached my limit, my hand found the handle of the worm-digger.
(a sawed-off version of THIS beauty-)
Brody knew exactly were we and what we were doing. He knew who I was, and he knew better than to act that way. He knew he was wrong.
It was a break. I guess I could’ve tried harder.
So, what happened was I wanted to throw it at him. I did. I wanted to shut that ass up.
When I grabbed it I knew I couldn’t kill him but I couldn’t stop my motion either so when I roared and hurled it, it was 🎶over to the left🎶.
I threw it so hard it spun forward and sank into the wood of a tree.
At that moment, I realized I didn’t need superpowers.
I knew that I was scared all the time for nothing.
Probably the most butch ish I’ve ever done.
I mean he didn’t make a sound for a second, and if he had, I don’t know what I would’ve done. I almost immediately calmed down, and smiled, because it was freaking hot. I wished the Boys in my Class would speak to me the way He did. None of the Boys saw me irritated but Preston.
While I was sitting there feeling vindicated, he was “not having this”.
He got mad. OF COURSE. “You threw that at me!”
“I most certainly did not.” And I hadn’t. I wanted to there’s a difference. (“Because of” is not “At”)
It wasn’t what would have been considered his direction.
I felt it and knew I couldn’t hurt him and got the venom out as hard and “not him” as possible. Which is more than they did.
He still went and told our Father because I “scared” him.
The truth is I’d freaked him out.
He was Determined to crush me for rebelling, until
Papa asked Chan Chan what happened.
“Did you warn him?”
Of Course. Those Were The Rules.
Meanwhile, I just wanted him to leave me alone.
I did not say that, it would’ve made it worse for him. I was horrified by then that I had done it, and I do love my brother. Even so, He got in SO MUCH TROUBLE.
I love Him –And– DAMN it was so fabulous.
I don’t give a damn.
And I did warn you.
HE STARTED IT