There were occasions, which my aunt would run out of certain items in the kitchen such as: salt, pepper, flour, you know the basics. In the neighborhood that she lived in, there was a neighborhood IGA aka Handi Pantry, which we would go on occasions to buy her anything that was missing in her kitchen that was needed. We thought we had hit the jackpot when we got a chance to go to the store because we knew any trip to the store automatically meant that we would be on the receiving end of some kind of treat. Whether it was a box of Lemon Heads, Red Hot’s, Now & Laters, Corn Nuts, it did matter, we were leaving IGA with something in our pockets in addition to what we were sent to get. This was how we sent many of our summers until we had reached the age that our mother trusted us enough to stay at home by ourselves.
I will never forget “that day” when we had to make a detour to go and check on someone that my aunt had asked us to as it was on our way back to her house. My brother and I, after going on one of our “excursions” to IGA, took an alternate, but same way back to our aunt’s house and made a quick stop at a nearby mobile home park to drop some items off to someone she had instructed us to. I remember we knocked on the door to hand the bag to the person, and because of their state of mind, they began to try and solicit me to come into the mobile home, but there was something that didn’t seem right, and as I look back now, I can see that there were angels with me on that occasion. This person at one point was one that a lot of us younger boys had looked up to. They were a sharp dresser, had money, had the latest automobile, I mean as a young boy, this was someone that you could see yourself patterning yourself after….until!!! A drastic turn of events in this person’s life which we are still unsure of to this day, caused them to turn to a life of extreme drug use, and they literally changed before our eyes. No longer were we impressed by their lifestyle and example, but hoping to become something different based on what we witnessed happen to them. I can vividly remember him saying to me, “I bet you won’t come in here and go in my bedroom”, and even at a young age, I knew that something wasn’t right about him even asking me to do that. We gave him the sack and heading back to our aunt’s house. I didn’t think anything about the situation anymore that day until this person showed up at our aunt’s home. One thing I didn’t mention about my aunt earlier was that she had Multiple Sclerosis, and though she was agile and able to move on her own, she wasn’t as fast of course as a normal person with full function of their limbs. When this person came over, there was an eerie feeling that I had when I saw him, and I will never forget it. He was there for about 30 min and some kind of way was able to manipulate my brother and aunt preoccupied with something that I have no idea to this day what they were doing. I was in the back room watching TV. I remember so well, it was close to 2:30 and I Dream of Jeannie was coming on and for whatever reason I had, at the time, it was one of my favorite shows. He came in and sat right next to me and just started watching TV. Everything happened so fast! Everything happened so fast! He got up as if he was going out because a commercial came on, I remember it being an Oscar Mayer commercial, I can still hear the jingle at times in my head. He got up and locked the door and grabbed me and flipped me over so that my stomach and face where on the couch. I was trying my best to scream but his huge hand covered not only my mouth but my nose as well. I was trying to fight as much as I could, but I was no match for him, and before I knew anything, his pant were unzipped and he was trying to penetrate me from behind. I could feel him and I couldn’t feel him. I was numb at that point. Confused, scared, disoriented, so many emotions going in my head and body and all of a sudden, it was over. He zipped his pants and pulled my shorts up and told me to go to the bathroom. I went to the bathroom and there he gave me a towel and made me wash up. I’m confused of course, but in the madness of everything, I had my first experience with Coast Soap! Out of everything that I chose to remember, I remember Coast Soap. We didn’t have the luxury at our house to venture and buy the name brand soaps, or at least the ones that we thought smelled good. We tended to stick with Ivory, which to me had no scent at all. Through the horror of the ordeal, I do remember the Coast. As I washed up, I wanted to run in and tell my aunt what had happened to me, but I can remember him saying that if I said anything to anyone that he was going to kill me or beat me up real good. I remembered those words for years, and they were a factor in keeping me silent for years!