- CRITTER TALK
by Jeffrey Zaiser:
His old truck was just about on its last legs but I don’t much care for the new mechanic on duty; a tattooed ex-con, all pumped up from being in prison they say. Heard he violated some women over in Walner County so bad they were afraid to testify against him. He did some time for lesser charges, but not for the brutal rapes, they say he’d done. But he got a way with old trucks past their prime, and you could say, he got a way with old towns past their prime, especially, when folks care more about good truck service, than most anything else.
First time daddy and me pulled in, with him newly suited in “Mac’s service” overalls, he been giving me the evil eye. Staring at me like I was naked; doing the most disgusting things with his tongue, while daddy be looking for automotive redemption, down in all that smoke and steam coming out from under the hood. No way, could I keep aspirin down there, if he came up on me; no matter how much I screamed; fought off his groping, greasy blackened hands; the weight of his sweaty body forcing itself upon me.
Told daddy ’bout him once; how so not right he made me feel. Daddy said “he’s the only guy for fifty miles have any idea how to keep my piece a shit running. I ain’t got no money, honey and he ain’t been charging me, except for parts. Now best you shut your mouth little Missy; you ain’t no Jezebel and he ain’t brought none of that trouble from Walner County, since he been out of prison.”
There was another man, I recall, hearing on daddy’s radio back then: Todd Akin. He said, if a man had done such a thing; beating a girl half senseless to do it; her blessed body would know it was being “legitimately” raped; not regular ole’ rape. But, oh God; now I’m all turned around, because if Mr. Akin’s right, and I were to be “legitimately” raped, my body would abort my own child. Daddy’s radio alway’s preaching how life begins, right when a man and a woman lie down together; and it don’t matter, if she don’t wanna be down there, doing such a thing. Getting in the way of populating the earth is the ultimate sin, not the conditions of conception.
So I pray to god, everyday; should that mechanic do what he done, back in Walner County, that I be blessed with regular ole’ rape; not the kind Mr. Akin’s talkin’ ’bout. When I recover, if I recover, I’ll have my rapist’s bastard baby, and know I’m fulfilling god’s plan for man’s dominion over the earth. Oh, daddy’s gonna’ knock me around…call me a slut and a whore…fly into a rage and trash my room, when I never tell him who the baby daddy is. The only guy for fifty miles have any idea how to keep his piece a shit running.…