Meet the Lites – Charlotte II
Good morning, y’all. Well, I got the spy cameras put in place without drawing attention to myself by anything other than a possum. After a quick tightening of my scrotal area, I grinned at him and the possum grinned back. Hopefully, we’ll gather evidence of another nocturnal predator and use the evidence to give him the old heave ho.
When last we left the continuing saga of Charlotte, I was five and recovering from a near amputation by means of Charlotte’s bicycle. The story will bump along until I’m nine or so and Charlotte is fifteen or sixteen. There used to be a phrase, “boy crazy” and I’ve heard it applied many times to Charlotte. Two events stand out vividly in my mind that speak to the “boy crazy” moniker.
The first involves a wading pool we used to frequent during the summer to cool off and to “get out of the house”. Charlotte was charged with taking me and my little brother to the pool, and she used this particular opportunity to meet up with her current boyfriend. During the course of this outing, I awakened the demons stirring deep with in Charlotte’s soul. Possibly the one hundredth rendition of “Charlotte and Bubba kissing in a tree”, or some other misdeed pushed Charlotte over the edge. She followed me into the pool, fully clothed, to administer my first, and guaranteed to be my last, baptism.
Now, I don’t recall if my “life passed in front of me” or not, it couldn’t have been much at that point, but when I awoke I was up on the bank with Bubba pushing on my back and me throwing up water. On the way back to the house Charlotte regained her senses and concocted the story we would tell Mom. In return for my confirmation of the story, I was getting a temporary stay in my execution and some other considerations. Bubba was given a glimpse into the future and never returned. Bonne chance Bubba, and thanks.
My next clear memory was an escapade that ties in with my current problem with the park peeper. Now, before there was an internet and cell phones, there was still human behavior. One of those human behaviors is a curiosity about the human body, specifically how someone else looks naked. Kids handle it today with sexting and webcams, we didn’t have those.
This incident revolves around an evening when we were sitting in the living room, watching TV, and Daddy heard some suspicious noises on the side of the house. To avoid detection, Daddy went out the back door and circled around the house where he remained in the dark. The suspicious activity could be observed by the house lights and street light at the corner of the yard. Long story short, Charlotte is ahead of her time, she’s sexting some of the neighborhood boys without benefit of a cell phone. Daddy recognized some of the boys and was able to follow up and determine this was not just the case of some Venetian blinds being left open accidentally. Show time was known by the appropriate group, and only shared with the best of friends. Rather than being sent to a nunnery, my suggestion, Charlotte was grounded for what I believe was supposed to be the rest of high school.
At this juncture let me point out that sometimes punishing one child results in the punishment of the other children in the family as well. Such was the case in Charlotte’s penance. During this time I experienced the second near death at the hands of my sister.
The rough details are; Charlotte is washing dishes in the kitchen while I am passing through the kitchen being me, repeatedly. I probably don’t respond to threats to stop my actions until Charlotte takes the cast iron skillet she is washing and raises it above her head. A quick look confirms that the “lights are out” and I run hastily for the exit. I am too slow. When I awake, I find I have been tomahawked between the shoulder blades with a cast iron skillet thrown with all of the strength of a mad woman.
I awake in the hall next to the phone with Charlotte crying hysterically, “don’t die, don’t die”. Charlotte’s friend from the neighborhood is wiping my brow with a wet wash cloth. I have a lump the size of a baseball on my head and I can’t really raise my arms good due to the pain between my shoulders. The ensuing cover up establishes a sort of detente between Charlotte and I that stays in place until Jackson and I move in with Daddy. In truth, I probably seriously modified my behavior around my sister after the skillet incident. Having conjured up the beast twice now, I wasn’t going to be a statistic for “third times the charm”.
Like they say on those shopping channels, “but wait there’s more”, and we’ll get to it tomorrow. It is late and I have miles to go before I’m done.