Nano - Day Eleven....
.It had always been a fear of mine to do anything in front of people because it always ended in tears, one way or the other.
I remember when I was young, Jonnie, they called me. Yeah, my mum and dad called me John and it wasn’t long before the kids in my class called me “little Jonnie”. The brunt of teasing from all the other kids; the in-joke.
I was short skinny kid the bigger kids picked on. I was the one the other kids took pleasure in teasing and laughing as they held my head in the toilet bowl while flushing. Their screams of delight echoed from the toilet block but no teachers ever stopped them.
As far as I could tell all this kept happening because my mum and dad couldn’t afford to give me decent clothes like the other kids and because I was smelly after spending the nights hiding from Dad’s belt. I never took baths and I was always hiding under the house so I guess I was the smelly kid too.
One night I heard Uncle Tom saying as he swung back on his recliner and sucked on his humphteenth stubby,
“When life gets unbearable that’s when you need a good book”.
I sat there thinking about his words and imagining a huge white bear leaning down over me and picking me up and taking me over to her cubs then ripping off each of my limbs one at a time and feeding me to her hungry cubs. I imagined that I was an experiment that some aliens took pleasure in sending down to earth to see how much I could endure.
“How could a book help that?” I said out loud without realizing then sat red-faced and too afraid to move.
“Well son”. Uncle Tom always called me son even though I wasn’t his son.
“If you read books you’ll never be lonely”.
Dad didn't punish me that night 'cause Uncle Tom was there but the next night I got the belt'n cause Dad now new my hiding spot.
And from that night on I read books. I devoured books. I still took beating after beating after school but at school I'd hang out at the library and bad kids wern't allowed to make noise in the library so I was safer. At least I had some way to escape when I was reading books. In books I had freedom and adventures. I was a hero!
I met Mr King once, you know, Stephen King the Author and he was as tall as one of those big buildings in the city. Mum says I shouldn’t exaggerate but ‘far out’ he was so tall. He gave me his autograph and was real impressed when I told him I’d read every one of his books and short stories. That day the kids gave me a wedgy and rubbed dog shit all up the back of my new Op Shop pants. They weren’t brand new but Mum got so angry she locked me in the back gardening shed all that night.
It wasn’t too bad though cause there was lots of stuff in there to look at and I found a torch that worked and dad had those books that mum never wanted him to read in the house so I got my education about girls and stuff.
But actually I preferred to read Stephen King cause after meeting him and all he seemed so much more interesting and stuff.
Can’t really tell you much more about Mr King though because he had to leave real quick, said he had an appointment with the eye doctor so that was my big moment with a famous person.
I’ve met other famous people too but I’ll have to tell you about them tomorrow...