The earliest I can remember feeling broken was in that time between pulling my pants down, and waiting for Mom to come in. I was probably around 6.

I’d put my arms up on the bed and stare at the wall as a way of trying to not make any gesture she might find undesirable.

Don’t look at me while I do this, she used to say, and I get it, many people hit their kids, or “spank” their kids if you want to be less overstating, and that’s fine. It was an institution for long time, and it will probably stay one.

It’s weird though, I don’t remember ever hearing her come into the bedroom and stand behind me. She was light on her feet.

What are we going to use today, she would say. She’d hold up a couple of toys, and I’d get to pick which one was pretty near on the way out anyway. Then she’d spank me with it until it broke. Like I said, like me, it was pretty much broken by that point.

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