Mr Broccoli come walkin up the sidewalk. He don’t look hisself. His green, bushy eyebrows is down and I don’t see no eyes. He look drained out and he start slidin a bit ta the side.
What wrong wid you? I asks.
He don’t say nothin. Just walk right up ta my porch, pull out his pecker and piss on my steps.
What you doin? I asks.
He look at me then, leanin back so I sees him full up now. What you mean, what’m I doin? I’m pissin on yur steps, he say, widout blinkin an eye, smiling while he zip his pants up.
Then I hears my Mama comin and I knows Mr Broccoli won’t be hangin round to make this straight. He always make his getaway fore anybody else can see im.
My Mama shoes come tap, tap, tap across linoleum floor she help put in black and white squares with new Daddy.
Didn’t you hear me callin you? she asks, door slam, her high heels shine black next ta my dress.
No ma’am, I says, lookin at the wet spot on steps, knowing Mr Broccoli did a very strange and bad thing fore he ran out the yard, laughin ta hisself.
What’s this? Mama say, leanin closer, her nose sniffin the air round.
Now I’s been through talk bout Mr Broccoli when he not round and believe you me, I wants no more trouble on his count agin. Last mention Mr Broccoli my Mama shine my butt good, an when I tries to tell her better, she go runnin out the house cryin and carryin on, her hands over ears, then blowin her nose hard in apron when storm’s over. I wants no more athat, so I says nothin.
You wet your pants Mama say, right there on the step. Her long eye lashes hangin low, her long nails pointing, her long legs so close ta me now I hears nylon rub together.
No Ma’am, I says careful. Couldn’t, I admits proud. I talk mighty plain just like Speesh Teesher say at school. My step here’s dry, I says. I don’t say but I’s sittin up one from Mr Broccoli’s pee. I knows, I says, because my dress dry too, I says, standin up, pointin ta my step.
Fore I make out nother thing, she yank me up to porch necks ta her, turn me up and over, my dress ta my head, butt half ta the sky, her hands slippin across my pants tween my legs so fass no time ta close im. All this Mr Broccoli see from his big eye view in the bushes. And I hears im laughin now, at a far way, but not sa close Mama hear.
Oh, she breathin hard now. I could blister you good, she spit out, pull me up straight. And she could blister me, I knows. But we don’t have that kinda time now, she say, her eyes close squeezin tight. You wet as a baby’s bottom, you are, she say, un I feels the lightin up a little.
She push me toward th door. Whatever came over you anyhow? You’re too old. You’ve not done this in months. I swear!
Yes ma’am, I says lookin down. No use tellin her other, won’t do nothin.
She standin, her hands on hip. Hightail it ta the bathroom and get everthing off, she say. Save this dress, though. And take care where you put it. It’s the only thing that missed the shower. She gazin at Mr Broccoli’s puddle drippin down one step ta the other.
I’ll be along in a minute. Cavin Gene pour sand on this, you hear? She motion ta my brother Is sees outta th corner uf my eye, as my legs takin me ta the bathroom, follern her directions. Down the hall I hears her voice fore I close the door. Then sweep it off wid a broom. Sweep it good. Get it all, Calvin Gene. We don’t want no slippin on any left behind, Mama say.
You trash, I says to Mr Broccoli’s risin knob over the winda sill. His eyes’re fire, almost shimmery, like my cat Julia when she mad or just caught herself a feel mouse.
You mad? He say, liftin hisself quick up over th winda sill and jumpin quiet inta the bathroom. Mr Brocooli beautiful slick, with his dancer legs and body suit. He change, he duz. Sometime he come dressed like a scarecrow, overhalls an flannel shirt, lumberin long. Minnit ago he dressed like that but now he come ta tease and ta cajole. He not mad or scary now.
I’s in trouble, I says, lookin down, my mind on my bizness. I’s in trouble plenty but you do it.
Me? He lie, he duz.
I has little time ta argue. So I wants ta make up an him gone fore more happens. Could be worse, I says, soft-like.
Mama yank open the door and I stands there naked, in my shoes, not lookin Mr Broccoli way. She could sees him now, she really could.
This’s uncalled for, you hear this? We’re late ta church and it’s your doin, Missy, nobody else’s. She call me that when she mad. I not Missy really. You pull this agin, I don’t care what the damn doctor says, I let go on you plenty, you hear me? I nods real fass. Doctor. What she mean, doctor? She think I got bladder infectin again? She think I pee bed agin? I stop that, she know. What she telling me, Mr Broccoli?
Yes’m, I says, stepping then inta my clean pants, she hold out for me, my shoes through each hole careful. Clean slip down over my head, dress ta follow.
You change your socks? She ask, pullin two times socks from the line in the bathroom, so that line look like guitar string twangin, like when New Daddy hit hard and sing loud. Probably not! Get em off, she say loud nuf for neighbors ta hear. You still have your shoes on! I undo fass and scoot ta side.
My dress scratch my arms and I sit on bathtub rim tug wet sock off then other one and slosh foot each with washrag she pushes ta me.
Mama wipe my shoes and throw my soggy socks an pants in wad inta bathtub with splat. I know my bizness after church, no questions askt.
At the door, I looks round ta see Mr Broccoli watchin this lass show, but he no where in sight, cover hisself with branches, leaves. I starts ta run ta leave but falls instead inta Mama’s skirt, her standin there wid expression on her face, strange. I starts to say what else. She put her hand on my back, stand lookin out the winda toward the bushes an sky. She sigh, whisper soft at outside. She look at me, hold my chin up in her hand. I’d like to see all you’re hiding in that pretty little head of yours, she say. She fix my hair while she stare outta the winda into the bushes some more. I holds my breath now.
Then sudden she kneel down an take me in her arms, hug me tight. I’s surprised, like something impossible. Crazy day, I says ta myself. She act stranger than Mr Broccoli when you think ta tell bout it. After she stand, she say magic, beyond belief, for sure. She start walkin down the hall fass toward car where New Daddy revving engine but I hears her say ta me on way out the door, Say good-bye ta Mr Broccoli, honey, else we be later than even now.
At first I just stares and wonders bout how things happen in a sudden, so fass. But I want no more missif so I close the bathroom door and run down the hall to catch up with Mama fore the screen door almost slap my face.