Page 59 - GRANADA
P. 59

He lined us up side-by-side against the table. Hands perched on his hips and chest puffed out, he appraised us. The oldest then the youngest. Both of us together. Each step back and forth laid the track for our subjugation. Trinkets rattled in the curio cabinet. Their chimes a faint death knell to our innocence. We were his recruits. His maggots. We were in his world now.
Stand up straight!
There was much to prove in the space where we ate. The dinner table served as medium for celebration and condemnation. Fried chicken and smoked ham. The sins of each other’s pasts. These lessons were a delicacy.
Try something and see what happens.
When the news ended, every lesson began the same. A wolfish grin curled Daddy’s lips. We were his red-hooded prey. We were seen and not heard. Something was wrong with us. Depression, anxiety, yes. We hid these ugly truths under the covers with us. Twisted our bodies around them at night and wished them away. But he didn’t know this. No. There was something worse.
You are nothing.
My sister and I rolled our eyes. This was all a joke to us. We first met this drill sergeant when rainbow knockers and plastic barrettes hanged from our pigtails. Our bones matured on a diet of intimidation and scare tactics. We knew this routine.

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