Chapter 17

For Sale

I watched TV after everyone left. For the thousandth time, Brutus grabbed Popeye by the top of his head. Popeye fists flailed like a windmill, but they never touched Brutus.

That was me, but I couldn’t rely on a can of spinach to win my battles with Biggy. If I stayed in Oklahoma, he would always be my focus. He would goad me into fights until I screamed to be left alone. Then he would provoke me again, and then I would scream again. And Mother would not–or could not–stop him from baiting me. 

Then I would finally get tired of the insults, the put-downs, and the slaps, and I would bow up to him again, and we would clash again. But the only way I would ever beat Biggy would be to walk up behind him and cave in his skull with a two-by-four.

Mother kept a Kerr jar with pencils and pens in her bedroom secretary. I folded down the writing leaf and wrote a for-sale ad: “1967 Honda Super 90. Needs repairs. $175.”

I rode to the newspaper office, paid $1.95 with my last two dollar bills, then past O’Murphy’s house on my way home. She sat on her porch with MBe. Both waved and O’Murphy smiled, and her smile didn’t say, “Oh, hi, I know you from my class and I see you drive by occasionally.” Her smile said, “I like you.”

Published by garybob309yahoocom

Gary Robert Pinnell is a career journalist who retired in 2017. He has written a novel, To Daddy, Who I Never Loved, about 1967, when he ran away from Duncan, Oklahoma, hitchhiked to California, and lived in a communal restaurant in Palo Alto until he found his father. He is now working on The Women of Oklahoma!, a true story of the behind-the-stage women who helped make the history with the 1943 musical.

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