Falcon Punch

December 11, 2011
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The first time I can remember breaking Commandment six occurred in the summer of 1998. Before you Sunday school’ers jump to rash conclusion, no, I did no slay anyone as a child. I was five; I followed a re-imagined ten commandments, ‘thou shalt not kill’ to me was ‘thou shalt not hit.’

Light filtered its way through the parsonage’s family room window, bathing the carpet in a warm orange, highlighting the dust particles crowding the air. It was a hot lethargic Sunday afternoon in the preacher’s house, national nap time for adults, leaving my two siblings and me to wreak havoc on the house and one another. I was the middle child, brother three years older, sister two years younger, and had long ago sided with the tormentor rather than the tormented. Two versus one, my sister never stood a chance. Today, however, was a rare exception. My brother had left for a friend’s house, meaning I had been promoted to tormentor. Torment never involved elaborate pranks, traps, or ambushes, merely the mastered art of verbal bullying, with the occasional thrashings of course. My sister hardly needed a reason to cry, making her an ideal target for physical and verbal attacks.


I returned to my family room throne, the gargantuan Lazy Boy chair (if my five-year-old memory is accurate, I’d say the chair was about 350 feet tall), and peered down at my subjects below, namely my sister and a plethora of stuffed animals. My subjects were all patiently awaiting the next proclamation of the Supreme Emperor Ruler of the World, me, all subjects except one. My sister, proving to have the attention span of a newt, was preoccupied with observing the grooves of her minuscule ankle. I would have none of this treason! I leapt from my obelisk, plummeting to the ground directly beside my unsuspecting sibling, banshee screaming the whole way down. I crashed to the floor with a resounding THUD and released one final demonic shriek in the ear cavity of my sister, scaring the heebie-jeebies out of her. She answered with a screech that rivaled mine and, with a look of pure terror on her delicate three-year-old face, sprinted into my mother’s arms in the adjacent den.


Game over; or was it? Suddenly a middle-child overwhelmed with separation anxiety followed the little girl and attempted to pry her from his mother’s grasp. When my mother began to accuse me of misdeed, I claimed that she was faking; Mother Dearest did not buy it. She rocked back-and-forth in the chair with my sister, who was only sniffling now. Displeased with this turn of events, I looked for a way to inflict actual pain on my sister; oh I’d give her something to cry about. My mother’s body and pull-out desk on the right blocked my access points on either side. I could only see my sister’s face over the shoulder of my mother; I had spied my choke point. Unfortunately, I was just too short to reach over the shoulder above; I would have to jump. So I did; I launched up and hit my sister square in the face. It wasn’t the superman or cobra punch of Muay Thai, nor what the geeks call a “Falcon Punch”, I just jumped up, with arm locked, outstretched and my fist became more facially acquainted. For some reason, my sister was crying even harder now, and my mother’s voice had reached a deafening volume. Now it was my turn to be terrified, realizing the pain I can cause and the punishment that was soon to follow, I galloped out of the den screaming Bloody Mary.

Escape in vain, mother followed the sounds of my girlish squeals and captured me. My mother expressed her disappointment at my unusually violent behavior, and forced me to apologize profusely to my sister. She warned me that if a similar event ever reoccurred I would never see the light of day. I’ve been clean ever since.





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