‘Hard Candy’ (Geoff)

GEOFF: I – I stayed the summer with my Aunt Denise when I was a kid – her own kids like were four and five, I was seven, I didn’t want anything to do with them – the little girl, Lynnie, loved me – (a slow breath) – her favorite game was to jump out of her bathtub – all soaking and her fingers all pruney – and jump on me – tickling and shouting, “Prune attack! Prune Attack!” I couldn’t fight back because I’d break her arm if I really got mad – (a beat) – Aunt Denise walked in from gardening in the middle of a tickle attack – she saw her little girl all over me – without any clothes – my clothes all wet – she yelled LYNNIE GET BACK IN THAT TUB AND STAY THERE – NOW – then she looked at me – (a beat) — “Get your clothes off” – she grabbed my wrist and dragged me to the kitchen – she switched on the front burner of the stove – she picked me up – the burner redhot under me. Dirt from her garden on my skin. “I could throw your ass down on that burner. Would that be fun?” She held me nearly a minute – I could feel her arms getting tired – I cried and cried – the tears sizzled when they hit the burner – (a beat) She put me down. “If I catch you with Lynnie like that ever again.” (a beat) My mom came and got me the next day to pick me up. I never talked to Aunt Denise again.

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