Two For a Nickel
Faster than a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a locomotive.
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Look! Up in the sky!
It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman!.
I’m rocking, rocking, rocking in Ma’s big wooden rocking chair next to our bunkbeds and across from the big black and white TV, watching my favorite tv show.
“Come on, play with me,” Frankie says. “NO, I wanna watch Superman,” I say, still in the chair.
“You always want to play with me, why not now? I’m letting you play with me,”
Frankie says as he stands in front of Lois and Jimmy.
“STOPPPPP!!!, I wanna watch Superman! Get out of the way Frankie,” I plead as he turns the TV off.
“CUT IT OUT FRANKIE, or I’ll tell Mommy.”
I’ll tell mommy you’re not minding me. I’m supposed to be watching you and you know how mad she gets if I call her at work and tell her you’re being bad.”
“I’m not being bad,” I scream. “I just wanna watch Superman.”
“I’ll turn Superman back on if you play with me. You can watch while we play. I’ll show you.
I’ll even give you a dime from my dime bank for cupcakes.”
“TURN SUPERMAN BACK ON FRANKIE!”
Frankie turns tv back on. “Get on the floor Suzy and lay on your tummy. All you have to do is that, honest.”
I think about being able to watch Superman and keep Frankie quiet and what I will do with the dime from his bank.
I get off the rocking chair, lay on the cold linoleum floor, rest my head in my hands, and I lean on my elbows.
“What are you doing Frankie? Are we wrestling?”
Frankie is laying on top of me rubbing, rubbing, rubbing against me up and down up and down. Frankie stops to pull my pants down.
“Don’t take my pants off, it’s cold.” “You won’t be cold,” Frankie says, “I’ll cover you like a blanket would so you won’t be cold.” Frankie gets on top of me again.
Something hurts, like something stuck inside me. My elbows hurt from the floor rubbing against them. My hiney hurts from the stick inside. I tell Frankie. He stops, goes into Mommy’s room and gives me a pillow to lay on. “Here, lay on this and I’ll go nice and easy instead, I promise.”
It still hurts, but I watch Superman and pretend I know Superman and he knows me. People try to hurt him and they don’t know he can’t be hurt, but he pretends to be hurt so they don’t find out he’s really Superman. Superman never ever gets hurt.
I get up from the floor and pull up my pants.
“I don’t like that game. It hurts too much. Where’s my dime”?
Frankie goes to his bureau drawer and pulls out his dime bank with the letters "CSB" in big gold letters and goes into the kitchen.
He’s back with a butter knife and tips the CSB dime bank up and eases out a dime through the thin slot using the butter knife to guide it through.
“I’ll give you this dime on one condition- you don’t tell Mommy, and if you do I’ll tell her you stole it from me. She knows you don’t have money.”
I take the dime and walk to Sherman’s variety store.
My hostess cupcakes are waiting for me. Two for a nickel. Four cupcakes, all mine. I can buy two packages. I pick out the two biggest packs of cupcakes I see and pay Sherman the dime my brother gave me.
I sit on the steps of Sherman’s, open the cupcake package wrapping carefully not to squish the cupcakes. I take a big bite out of one of them. The cake part with some of the cream filling is the first I taste. It melts in my mouth and I swallow the pieces with a longing for more.
With each cupcake I follow the same rules, my rules:
Bottoms first, the cake part
Tops last, because the frosting with the squiggle is the best part.
I eat the bottom first with a little bit if the cream filling and save the chocolate frosting with the white squiggle for last with the rest of the cream inside.
The more I eat the cupcakes, all four of them, the hurt that my hiney was feeling from the game begins to go away.
I begin to feel better and not so empty.
Frankie can be nice when he wants.