Okie from Muskogee

Dad had been driving us around town in the brown Chevy van one summer day.  We had been stopped at a red light when Dad begins to laugh, and he’s pointing a finger towards a thin blonde girl just as she begins to enter the crosswalk.  He’s yelling out to us kids but I think he wanted everyone on earth to hear him: “Holy shit!  Check her out!  That’s an Okie!  And I wonder if she’s from Muskogee?!”  Just then she slowed her walk and she turned her head up slightly but she only saw me.  Dad now has the other kids chanting and singing to her “♪♫ Okie From Muskogee, Okie From Muskogee..♪♫”  The look she gave me really frightened me, but it also broke my heart a little.  Dad thought he was so damn funny but I was pissed at him.  Why did he do that?  She was a stranger, and why does he always have to get us kids involved in all of his hatred and bigotry?  I hate because I wonder if he’s ever had a clue that I get made fun of just like this every day at school.  It was the first time that I ever saw that tall blonde girl, but she would never forget my face!

It was a year later when I saw her again, only this time I was all alone.  I had forgotten what Mom told me about riding my bike near those canals.  Now both new tires on my bike are covered in goat head thorns and flat as a pancake.  Mom is going to kill me when she sees this so I decide to take the long way home and walk through the alley.  I need an alibi and I needed more time to think, only I had no idea that SHE lived here!  As soon as she saw me she smiled big and waved.  I then wondered if she had been sitting on this wall waiting for me to pass in front of her house since that day I first saw her in the brown Chevy van.  She has recognized me and I watch her then nudge her friend Jeanette, and without hesitation they both came running right at me.  From the moment I recognized her I had stood there completely frozen in fear, clenching on to the handlebars of my bike.  Jeanette first snatching my bike out of my grip, and the next thing I know I am on my back on the ground, and I can’t breathe.

clouds-2

When time stood still I looked up at the clouds in the sky above me and I wondered if I might be dying, but this was the result of a perfectly placed, and well timed punch to my stomach. I was lying on top a large pile of fresh cut grass in the alley clawing at my belly and trying to get air into my lungs.  Now both girls are taking turns picking up my bike and throwing it on top of my body, but I never felt any pain.  The fear and adrenaline were taking over all of my senses and I can finally breathe again.  The girls each grabbed a hold of one of my legs and they pulled me further into the alley where they finished beating me up by landing kicks to my ribs, back and stomach.  When they were satisfied they both towered over me blocking the sun and the clouds and they are cussing at me and spitting in my hair and on my face.  I was frozen, and I took all of it never showing either of them any of my fear or emotion.  I never cried, and I had just completely shut down.  I retreated so far inside of myself that I had been watching all of this happen to someone else.

The tall blonde’s friend, Jeanette had been cussing at me in Spanish, and I remember the last thing she said to me was: “Pinche Puta!  Your’e not even a REAL woman!  THIS is what a REAL woman looks like,” and Jeanette lifts up her shirt and she flashes and wiggles her fat tan breasts at me.  I was shocked, and confused.  That was when the tall blonde finished me off by kicking a large pile of dirt into my face and mouth.  Both girls finally leave and as they are walking away from the alley I can hear them laughing, and I feel so relieved when I can no longer see them.

I know Jeanette’s family and I know both girls are my brother’s age; both girls are in high school and I had just turned 10.  I never told a soul about this until now.  I laid in the alley for what felt like an hour, just trying to find the strength to pick myself up, pick up my bike and walk back home.  During that time I could still hear those girls still taunting me from the road.  I think they were waiting for me to come out of the alley.  I finally stand, pick up my bike, and now I can feel my body aching everywhere I was hit.  I finally cry when I realize that all of this is my Dad’s fault.  I walk back home the same way I came to avoid passing the girls again.  When I make it home I tell Mom a lie and say I was almost hit by a car while I was riding my bike home, and I fell from the street into the canal.  She believed me but she was still pissed about my flat bike tires.

A few months later I was in the front seat of the brown Chevy van with Dad when I saw the tall blonde again.  Dad didn’t notice her this time and he was distracted by singing along to the radio.  While we are stopped at a light she tries to get my attention by smiling and waving at me and when I look up she gives me the finger and laughs.  So I smiled and waved back at her.

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