There were some mornings when the idea of sitting in class just wasn’t doable. Sam showed up at my back door with a black eye, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and a bottle of Boone’s Farm in hand. He didn’t need to say a word, I grabbed my jacket, and off to the tracks we went. There’s not a whole lot to do in a small southern town, especially when you have no money, no car, and your ditching class for the day. So for us that meant heading through the woods to hang out by the tracks.
I would always be a little nervous about cutting class. Getting caught was always the perfect excuse for my father to dole out a justifiable beating, but then I would always come to the rationalization that if I didn’t provide him with a reason he would just come up with one on his own. Sam was staring at the road as we made our way to the woods. I reached into my pocket pulling out the banana bread I had wrapped up in a paper towel. My home was always like walking on a mine field of anger, and violence.You could only move so far in one direction before there would be some kind of explosion.
The strange thing about our home was that there was always, food, electricity, our father was a good provider. In Sam’s home these things were a luxury that didn’t often occur. His mother’s drug habit used up any small amount of money that actually came into the house. I always found this ironic since her occupation was selling drugs. Whenever she would over indulge in her own profitable part of her stash (which was more often than not) it would result in a higher amount of male traffic within the household.
Some of the men she would service herself, and some of the men preferred Sam. Most of Sam’s beatings were a result of being objectionable to their sexual demands. A good fight back would deter most of them, but then there were those who thought of Sam’s struggle as foreplay. I may have dealt with constant physical violence, and emotional abuse, but Sam dealt with abuses that were far worse. Sam was five foot three, and maybe a hundred & ten pounds. He was very effeminate in is mannerism, and as I pointed out before those with the most horrible agendas always seem to possess googles that see the broken.
There is a kind of profiling that goes on amongst abusers of which children to go after. In Sam’s case it was pretty easy since his mother couldn’t have given a shit less. When we finally made it to the tracks we stepped into our own little world. A place where we could be ourselves. We would bury our reality with a joint or two, a bottle of Boone’s Farm and the comforting sound of the trains passing by on the tracks.