#62

When I was young I wanted to be Liberace. I wanted his rings, his costume, his hairstyle and panache. I wanted to be cheered and applauded and celebrated just like him. While other kids collected and drooled over football stickers and shiny team badges, I took a fancy to a bizarre American pianist in lipstick and tight sequined suits. For a while he was my major preoccupation.

I started a 'Liberace Scrapbook', collecting pictures of him from magazines and pasting them into a book. From his mouth I'd draw speech bubbles with words like “Hi Tristram!” or “Can I be your friend?”

It got to the point where I couldn't wait to be alone. To close my bedroom door, hop up onto my bed and get out my Liberace collection. Surrounded by pictures, drawings and cuttings, I'd lay in the middle leafing through and smelling them. It was all very innocent stuff, except for some reason I always found myself wriggling out my pants – ending the evening completely naked.

One day, as I was playing, Dad entered the room. Before I knew what was happening, I was being pulled off the bed and dragged down the hall to the bathroom. He pushed me violently under the shower and flipped the cold water on full blast. As the freezing cold liquid hit me I screamed out in terror and pain and confusion. I knew I had done something wrong but I didn't know what. I had only been looking at pictures.

After a few minutes Dad turned the water off, chucked a towel at me, then left. I heard him raging about in my room gathering and tearing up paper. I ran in to see what he was doing. All my precious scrapbooks, cuttings and drawings were going into a black binbag. It was indiscriminate and furious. If Dad saw the edge of a newspaper or magazine clipping, poking out a book, it went into the trash. At one point I made a lunge at dad to try to make him stop, but he pushed me away and sent me tumbling to the ground. I couldn't believe it, ten minutes earlier I had been lost in a peaceful world of childhood bliss and now my prize Liberace collection was being torn up and binned. There was no explanation, no words, just my father's heavy breathing and the sound of paper being torn. When he was finished, all he said was, “Get to bed, and put some fucking pants on! The next time I see you naked I'll stand you out in the street for all to see!” I done as I was told and then crept into bed sobbing and wailing over my loss.

Later that night I heard Mum and Dad talking with raised voices. I thought they were arguing and so stood at the door listening.

“He was excited” Dad said “ 'it' was hard!”
“No Dear, it couldn't be,” said mum “he's only 7. He doesn't even know what 'it' is yet, let alone what 'it's' for! Maybe he needed a pee and his 'thing' distended? That sometimes happens with boys.”
“This was nothing to do with piss!” Screamed Dad “He had an erection! If he needed a pee why would he be on the bed with his nose in Liberace's arse and his cock striking 12 o'clock?! No! What we've got is a little faggot in the house... he'll be wearing your fucking knickers, bras and dresses soon, you mark my words!”

That was the first time I heard the word 'erection', and even then I didn't know what it meant. All I knew was that it was wrong to lay there naked looking at pictures of Liberace and pretending he was talking to you, that he gave you the time of day. He never did again. Liberace and all mention of him was banned from the house and soon after that my fascination turned to Albie, a boy two doors down who liked to piss in eggcups and throw it at me. Soon he got banned as well and I spent the next five years absolutely miserable and alone.

3 comments:

  1. i was smiling through the first few paragraphs of this post, but the rest of it left me feeling so sad.

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  3. Congratulations Mr. Spencer Senior! Zero tolerance! When in doubt - violence! Clearly the mother's weak will has driven away a good man and failed to smash the queerness out of a weak child.

    Why are there so few strong moral women around these days? There's what - me, Edna E, Sarah P, Margaret T (only just). We are surrounded by breeders of perverts, like my poor deluded sister.

    Who's offspring, my nephew, I have pledged to God to steer away from Satan no matter what the cost.

    Thus yet again I have been forced to clear more debris from his path to Heaven. Of course he is inconsolable after that snake Seven's unfortunate accident.

    However Time will heal that.

    But when will the next lapse occur?

    Sometimes I worry that he is not disabled ENOUGH.

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