Gut Rumbles

December 09, 2007

Getting stoned

Originally published September 16, 2004

The hot summer day made everybody sweat, but the humidity was so high that the sweat didn't evaporate. It just dripped, running off your forehead and into your eyes where it stung like soap. Everybody was in a bad mood.

My brother and I got into an argument about something. I don't remember what triggered the event, but as usual when I had an argument with my brother, I decided to settle it by whipping his ass. I grabbed for him, but he knew all the Early Warning Signals by then (having HAD his ass whipped by me on numerous occasions) and he took off running.

I followed in hot pursuit.

Lemme set the stage here. I was about 10 years old. My brother was eight. My brother ran through a hole in the fence that we always used to short-cut our way to the Salter's house, where we liked to play. The Salter's had actual GRASS in their yard instead of the packed hardpan dirt we had in OUR yard. I knew what my brother was thinking. If he could beat me back to our house, Mama wouldn't let me kill him.

I could outrun my brother and I was closing fast. I believe that he realized that he wasn't going to make it to Mama, so he reached down without ever slowing his stride, picked up the ONLY GODDAM ROCK within 50 miles and threw it at me. He hit me right in the head.

All that did was make me even more pissed off, and I tackled him before he even made our property line. I pounded him on the back of the head a couple of times, then rolled him over to really put his lights out. That's when I saw BLOOD ALL OVER HIS FACE!!! He started screaming and I hadn't even hit him yet.

I paused with my fist over his face for a second before I realized that the blood was COMING FROM ME!!! I rubbed my hand across my forehead and it came away coated in blood. I sat back and let my little brother up. I was bleeding like a stuck hog.

My brother jumped up running for the house again. "Mama! Mama! You better come quick!! I think I just killed Rob!!!"

I thought he HAD killed me. My blood was EVERYWHERE. I remained sitting right where I was until Mama came. I'll give her credit for one thing: my Mama does NOT get the vapors and hyperventilate in such a situation. She grew up with three rowdy brothers and she raised two sons of her own. A bloody scalp does not frighten her.

"Get up and let me wash that blood offa you," she ordered, and I dutifully followed her into the yard, where she took a garden hose and washed me clean. She examined the wound. "That's not bad, Robbie. I don't think you'll even need a stitch in that." She bandaged me and I was fine.

That rock grazed me and opened up a razor-cut right at my hairline and the blood mixed with the sweat to make it appear to be a lot worse than it was. I believe that my brother was more frightened by the blood than I was. He apologized profusely later for almost killing me, but that still didn't stop me from whipping his ass the first chance I got. I still owed him that one.

And that's the first time I ever got stoned.

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