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P. 1
The Positive

The Positive

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Published by Madam_Librarian
"Even when Momo was cross, she never cursed and she hardly raised her voice. She had to be the positive to Pau Paul’s negative.
Pau Paul was a mean- stern man with a look in his eye that could steal the innocence right out of you. I liked it better when he drank too much; when he passed out, because I was safe then."
"Even when Momo was cross, she never cursed and she hardly raised her voice. She had to be the positive to Pau Paul’s negative.
Pau Paul was a mean- stern man with a look in his eye that could steal the innocence right out of you. I liked it better when he drank too much; when he passed out, because I was safe then."

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Published by: Madam_Librarian on Dec 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/04/2012

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Wodz 1
 The PositiveMy mother was fifteen when she had my brother; I came ten monthsafterwards. Irish twins, with red hair and freckles to boot. She loved us, buttwo sons and three marriages by the age of eighteen is more than mostwomen can bear. It was the seventies and she wanted to be out smoking anddancing with all her friends. My brother and I would get left with my mother’sgrandparents, Momo and Pau Paul, during the long summer days while shewent out and enjoyed being young. Momo wasn’t that old herself, even beinga great-grandmother: especially since my mother, her mother and hermother’s mother were married and pregnant at 15 as well. My grandmotherwasn’t that old, but I was never fond of her much. She was a drinker andtreated my mother badly; Momo was more of a mother to my mother andmore of a mother to me.*****I remember the smell of cigarettes and bacon grease, a time before airconditioning and when beating your children was the only way to teach themwrong from right. Momo owned a hardware store in town; I loved looking atall the tools. Everyone knew which store was ours, it was just two roundrooms with dome roofs. I wanted to work there someday but when Pau Pauldied Momo sold it to an investor who turned it into “The Boom Boom Room”and painted the domes to look like a set of purple and turquoise breasts. Mybrother Timmy liked it better as “The Boom-Boom Room”.
 
Wodz 2
*****When I was five, I remember the blonde widowed woman from downthe street. She wore her long hair up tight in a pinned bun with vibrant reddresses: Red floral, red striped, solid red. The red dressed lady always had asmile on her face when she waved. I liked the way she smiled.Momo knew that the red dressed lady had a reputation for being toofriendly with other women’s husbands.She would preach to my mother. “It’s not right. Her inviting marriedmen over for lemonade when they ought to be home with their wives.”I saw the way the blonde woman would wave at Pau Paul. She didn’twave that way when Momo was around.***** Timmy and I would spend the long warm summers down by the dockswimming and bring in all the fish we could catch. There was nothing likethat proud look when I would show Momo that I reeled in dinner. I oncecaught a baby bass and threw it back. It was only a little bigger than mysmall hand and I wanted him to grow so I could catch him once he wasbigger, but Pau Paul gave me over twelve whips with a switch he made
me
pull from the tree. He said, “If he’s big enough to eat my bait, he’s bigenough to eat.”Momo was a strong woman. It takes a strong woman to take a punchfrom a six foot two, 275 pound, man. With her hair pinned in curlers, she
 
Wodz 3
would often drive her new pink Pontiac down to the local bar to pick up PauPaul. She won it at a raffle when the new dealership opened. Momo wouldmarch right inside, moo-moo, flipper slippers and all. With me in tow, Momoyelled at Pau Paul, seeming to not give a care who heard her. She neverbrought Timmy to the bars, even though he was older than me; he was timidand always afraid.“You pulled me and this young’n out of bed to bring you home. Youshould be ashamed of yourself. Get on! Let’s go, don’t make me make ascene now.”Even when Momo was cross, she never cursed and she hardly raisedher voice. She had to be the positive to Pau Paul’s negative.Pau Paul was a mean- stern man with a look in his eye that could stealthe innocence right out of you. I liked it better when he drank too much;when he passed out, because I was safe then. It was when he was still soberenough to stand that I got my beatings. A switch from a tree, his old leatherbelt, sometimes he’d just use his fist for the fun of it. Momo used to provokePau Paul when he got mad. She would throw just about anything at him tokeep him from hurting me. Back then, violence was overlooked. My mothersaw my bruises when she picked me up at the end of the weekend, sheassumed I deserved them and gave me more for giving my greatgrandparents trouble.*****

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