Standing in the Corner

STANDING IN THE CORNER – A three-part story of confession

If I wasn’t sick (I was a sickly sort), or dancing around the yard for Uncle’s movie camera, then I was standing in the corner. I had a propensity for trouble. Thought it made me cool. Maybe. I really can’t recall the why’s or wherefores of the trouble I got into. I was a kid. Kids test the ropes, say things like “penis” just to get a rise out of adults. I am witness. Bob’s daughter has three boys ages 3, 7, and 10. The last time they visited, Ezzie, the 3-year-old said, “cheese penis,” because what’s funnier, right?

Anywho, I was no different. Although I don’t believe cheese penis was in my repertoire.

No, I did bad things. And I confess three sins here:

My Sister Needs My Attention

Tormenting Lizz was more fun than you might imagine although once it nearly led to my death. In fact, bugging my sister was such a natural occurrence that remembering specifics has vaporized from my memory card. Except, of course the time I nearly died. That’ll stay with you. I mean. She was a teenager by then. I a mere adolescent, gangly freak. You know the type–all legs and arms, flat-chested, a wannabe teenager. Anyway, Lizz showed up as she would seeing as how she lived with our family. I flew out, cat-style, attacking from behind a corner. Zip forward to now where I witness Timmy, our cat attack his dog-brother, Teddy much the same way. I am Timmy in the past-life scenario. But this time, Lizz was having none of it. She spirited away to her bedroom reappearing down the hall like a spector with a weapon, a wire hanger, rage filling her pimply teenager face. No words were necessary. I understood the shriek and charge. She intended to beat the living crap out of me. I, being a dancer (remember) was quick. Plus, Mom was there and sibs can’t kill each other while a parent is present. Her timing sucked. Was way off. I on the other hand was fleet of foot, running in circles from the den, through the kitchen, into the living room, into the foyer, back into the den, and around I ran. Did I mention rage filled her face? I can still hear the primal screams gutteral then pitching up into a shriek. A Banshee call, a high-pitched caterwaul (I got this word from She scared the living cheese penis out of me. Please forgive me, Lizz.

The Barking Dog in the Alley

Then there was the barking dog in the alley trouble. A gang of kids, me included, were searching for treasure down the alley behind our home where everyone on the block kept their garbage cans. The alley was rife with hidey-holes and treasure. One day, while we were actively searching for gold, a neighbor’s dog began barking and it wasn’t simply a yip-yip cutesy bark either. No, it was a persistent, yak-yak-yak-yak-yak-yak-yak-way. So, being in the garbage pick-up zone of the hood, I spotted a glass jar and tossed it over the wooden fence upon which everyone heard it shatter. Holy cannoli. I didn’t want to launch a rock at the dog. Didn’t intend to kill it but I didn’t mean to slice the poor thing into shreds either. So, what did I do? I screamed, “Run!” to the others and we tore off out of the alley ran counter-clockwise to the street behind ours and re-emerged the other side of our street where we hid for days so that we wouldn’t get in trouble. The memory, my sin still haunts to this day. In fact, I was recounting it to Bob the other night and after I said, “I think I was a bad little girl.” He said, “You’re a bad old girl.” Which proves the saying, “A leopard’s spots never change.” Or, is it a tiger’s stripes. Please forgive me doggy and owner of doggy, whoever you were, I was only six and a terrible child.

Judd Smith was Bugging Me

Judd Smith was a kid who loved me. He would show up unannounced at our house and ask my mom if I was there. I would come to the door and summarily shut it in his face. Mom said, “Susi, he’s cute. He likes you. Be nice.” Please. He was cute but even at seven, I knew he really wasn’t my type. But Judd persisted, much the way Elizabeth Warren did. Wouldn’t stop. So, I thought, “What can I do to make him stop.” Well, Judd rode a bike to school. He’d ride by me and my sister on the way to school, haranguing me by saying, “Hi.” The scurrilous little freckle-faced bum. So, after Lizz split off to her class, I lingered for a girlfriend who I had spotted, a viable accessory, an unwitting participant in the furtherance of my crime. “Hey, Margie (Whoever. I can’t remember her name. Wiped it from my memory card.). “Hey Margie,” I said, “will you hold my books? I need to do something.” She agreed. Stood next to me, me standing next to Judd’s bike, whereupon I took one of my pencils and with the lead, depressed the air stem and flattened little Judd’s back tire. This little Margie character rolled on me. Turned me in. During second period, I was called into the Principal’s office. He sat me down across from him, he behind his desk, and asked, “Why?” I told him, “Because he won’t stop bugging me. I don’t like him and he likes me and he won’t stop bugging me.” It was a justification defense, if ever. And I delivered my defense with the acumen of F. Lee Bailey because it worked. The Principal seemed to have a visceral reaction and covered his mouth to stop from laughing. He let me off scott-free with a warning, “Don’t do it again.”

My sins are many, I’m sure. Many of which I will confess here. Thank you for your forgiveness. I forgive you too.

Standing in the corner


  1. Gena on January 30, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Somehow, I managed to read about your antics and think about Jim, Scout and Dill, even Boo Radley at the same time. In today’s world, your crime/sin would be called Susan Deflate GateπŸ˜†

    • Susan Wingate on January 31, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      Hahahaa. Deflate Gate. That’s hysterical, Gena! πŸ˜€

  2. Elizabeth Ajamie-Boyer on January 30, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    1st off, I remember Susan, so angry at me, and running toward me flailing her arms like windmills, but since I was larger, I put my hand on her forehead, halting her forward motion and laughed until Mom told her to stop. THAT. WAS. FUNNY.
    2nd, Susan was a sickly little mess. I don’t remember her ever really getting into trouble. I think she makes this stuff up.
    3rd, ditto. ROFLMBO

    • Susan Wingate on January 31, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      We fiction writers NEVER make stuff up. All the “stuff” does exist… if only in our minds. πŸ˜€ My sister lies like a dog. Don’t believe her. She’s trying to out me. This shall not happen. EVER! πŸ˜€

    • Gena on April 4, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      Elizabeth, when did you notice Susan’s interest in writing? Was it like Capote at age 2 (g). I mean seriously, has she always had a story in her from birth, she can write some fascinating stories, what sort of mind can do that…

      • Susan Wingate on April 4, 2019 at 10:33 pm

        Aw. Thank you Gena. I landed on my face at five and I think it altered my brain, somewhat. πŸ˜‰ You’re too kind. xoxo

  3. Terry Persun on January 31, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Oh, the sins of children. I have many, many myself, but choose not to repent (just yet). I think my brothers would understand. They were often my companions. My sister on the other hand, poor girl.

    • Susan Wingate on January 31, 2019 at 2:26 pm

      Uh oh. The “poor girl” part concerns… πŸ˜€

  4. Jo on January 31, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    ROFL you guys crack me up … along with bringing up a few “stellar” moments of my own with my brothers (3) and sisters (2) and since I was a middle child, I got it … and into trouble … from both ends. Oh the memories! FUN TIMES!! Thanks for sharing some of yours! I won’t share mine ‘cuz they’d probably instigate a few more NOW! πŸ˜‰ Love you both! Jo

    • Susan Wingate on January 31, 2019 at 2:26 pm

      We all have these stories, don’t we? πŸ˜€ xoxo

  5. Kathryn Arnold on April 2, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    isn’t it strange how our stories expand to a reality that was only real in our own heads. i did that same slamming the door in the face of an admirer at age nine. He, however, arrived with a box of chocolates – it was Valentines and wind and rain and snow up to his ass – see? and he walked in all about three miles. what shame i had.

    my other tormentee (was our minister) i didn’t LIKE him. shame, shame – that one never went away.
    i got boys my age and older to do the evil deads i haven’t magnified, i’ve made them disappear.
    He was a very proper clergyman. i got the boys to rig up a stink bomb when he turned on the key.
    Scared him so bad he probably messed his drawers. There was a car oil story too, and something that made a very large explosion noise. and more, lots more. He never finked to my terrible mother.
    If he had i would have stopped immediately. i made “adoption”‘ a bad word. The minister resigned and i never got to apologize. “Forgive us our trespasses…”

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