Sometimes it gets into my dreams. English/Italian words, one language turning into see jack fuck you geloso cagna asshole và a farti fottere! run. Someone’s hammering nails, soda bottles are falling, marbles are rolling on the floor.
Then I wake and I know just what it is. They’re fighting again. Mommy and Daddy screaming around the house, doors slamming, Daddy argues better because he knows more languages. Mommy knows some Yiddish, but not enough to say what she really wants to say.
If I’m in my room, I stay there. I never want to be in the middle, but sometimes it happens. Mommy grabs me so Daddy won’t hit her. Daddy promises me that he’ll take me away and Mommy will never see me again. (I wish that one were true).
The next day I make sure I have slippers or shoes on. There might be glass on the floor, maybe a broken plate or two. Once the door to the bathroom had a hole in it. I haven’t ever seen Daddy do much more than slap Mommy once or twice. Mommy pushed Daddy across the room with her feet once, and once she threw that pretty glass ashtray at Daddy’s elbow. I picked that up once, it was heavy. I wish I had it now, the ashtrays we have now are too small to really light the papers on fire. The flames are beautiful but I stopped when a piece of flame fell out of the ashtray and hit the rug. I had to stamp it out with my foot. Mommy and Daddy never noticed the black spot, it was too little. My brother lights fires too. I know ’cause I saw ashes once and they weren’t mine. He also kicked the cat once. I hated him when he did that, but I didn’t say ’cause he’s a lot bigger than me.
Now it’s quiet. I wonder if they’re doing the thing again. Sometimes they do that after they fight. It’s alright most times because they talk happier and then they go back to sleep. I think it’s like exercise like they make us do in gym class, ’cause it sounds like they’re jumping on the bed. I like jumping on the bed, I pretend I’m in the circus, so they must be having fun.
But not all the time. One time I heard Mommy scream at Daddy that she wasn’t going to put it in her mouth. She called him “pervert.” I asked my brother what that meant, and he said it meant “dirty sex.” But he wouldn’t tell me what kind. I knew about sex, though. I saw my dog stuck to another dog and my sister said they were having sex. She said it meant making puppies. I guess so ’cause our dog did have puppies. They were so cute and they let me hug them, but Mommy said we couldn’t keep them and gave them away.
It’s been awhile and Mommy and Daddy aren’t jumping anymore. There’s no noise. I guess I can go back to sleep. G’night.