The Statue: Excerpts from Chapter 6

…I was four when Daddy bought a statue of a lady and put it on the sideboard in the dining room of our house in Houston. He said it was made of marble, and I was not to touch it. I had no interest in the statue. I loved my toys, which were in the bottom of the sideboard. I kept my Tiny Tears doll there. Her eyes were perfect and both of them opened the same amount. I also had a top. I could put the top on the floor and spin it, but then when it spun away, I couldn’t find it.

One day Daddy said I could hold the statue and feel it.  He said, “Here she is, Peep-eye.” My dad had called me Peep-eye since before I was blind.  He would hold his newspaper in front of his face and then lower it and exclaim, “Peep-eye.” The statue felt hard and smooth.  “Those are her breasts,” Daddy said.  I felt two round bumps on the front of the statue.  “Momma has breasts,” I said. “Nice ones,” Daddy said. Then I felt the statue’s hair which was hard. Her arms and legs were long.  I reached up and felt her eyes. They opened the same amount. “What color is our statue, Daddy?” “White,” he said.

The next day Momma said it was Thanksgiving Day. Billy and I were sitting at the dining room table playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. I felt the sun streaming in on my arms and face. Momma said she would be serving dinner soon on her beautiful plates with a different bird on each one. She said I would have the Scissor-tail Flycatcher and Billy would have the Canadian Jay. “I smelled that funny smell on Daddy again today,” Billy said. “You did?” I asked. “Somebody said it’s from drinking whiskey,” Billy said.

I wondered what whiskey was.  It smelled strange.  Sometimes Daddy smelled like cigars. Suddenly I heard Daddy’s footsteps running through the dining room and then the loud shattering of glass….



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