Sunday, September 11, 2016
Angelo was thrust, with surprising force coming from his tiny 5' 2", one-hundred-pound mother, into his bedroom. He staggered forward after she let go of him, turning quickly to get his vulnerable nether region out of reach of the nastiest, in his opinion, of his mother's spoons. The smaller, thinner ones stung, but this monster covered nearly as much area as his father's Sasquatch sized hands, stung like the devil, and his mother was an expert in wielding it.
Unlike his father's hands, which would frequently leave hand shaped imprints that would last a day or two, the spoon, besides stinging like the dickens, left imprints that lasted several days and had been known to leave bruises if it landed the wrong way. He knew his mother never deliberately hurt him or his brothers, and that that spoon was a last resort; they had to really mess up before she pulled that thing out of the crockery pot for anything more than stirring sauce. He was now very, very sorry that he'd pushed her to this action, but he was also grateful that he was now facing Spoonzilla and not his father's belt.
"Per favore, mama! Mi dispiace! I'm sorry mama, please! I'll do better, I promise!" he begged, opening his large brown eyes even wider and pouting out his full lower lip 'just enough'.
Julia Di Marco took her son by the arm and began swatting away, pulling back on his arm sharply when she realized that he was arching away and they were going around in circles. She sat on his bed, and using her lack of height, pulled him off balance and over her lap.
"Oh! No! Mama! Please! Not like this! I'm too old for this! Mamma, please!"
His words fell on deaf ears as the spoon landed on his buttocks, thighs, hips and everywhere else she could reach with him wriggling and twisting in an attempt to get his rump out of reach only to expose other parts he was equally as keen not to have swatted. He could feel it as the rim of the bowl landed wrong and he hissed and jumped, trying to use his hands and feet, which actually touched the floor, to lever himself up and off of her relatively tiny lap.
Mrs. Di Marco took a hand full of the waistband of her son's jeans and held it taut, keeping him in place and making it feel as though she were smacking skin and not two, unfortunately thin, layers of material. She spanked for about two minutes before she began to ask her son questions.
"Questo è ciò che ci si sente ad essere trattati come se fossi di otto anni, Angelo, ti ricordi adesso?" she asked.
(This is what it feels like to be treated like you're eight years old, Angelo, do you remember now?)
"Ow! Ow! Ow! Yes! Mama please! Basta!" he cried, throwing back a hand and wincing as she gave his knuckles a mild crack with the handle. He immediately moved his hand. He crossed his ankles in an attempt to alleviate some of the sting.
"È questo ciò che il signor Adams ha fatto a te?"
(Is this what Mr. Adams did to you?)
"No, mama! OWWWWW!" he cried as the rim caught him again.
"Quindi lui non ti trattano come un bambino di otto anni allora, vero?"
(So he didn't treat you like an eight-year-old then, did he?)
"OW! No, mama! OW! No! OW! Ow! OW!"
"Hai ottenuto fuori ad un inizio molto male a scuola, Angelo. Siamo molto delusi. Papà e ho pensato che si sarebbe maturato durante l'estate ma credo che abbiamo sbagliato." she demanded.
(You've gotten off to a very bad start at school, Angelo. We're very disappointed. Dad and I thought you'd matured over the summer but I guess we were wrong.)
"No mama! I did grow up, honest! Let me prove it! Mi dispiace! Si prega di non sculacciarmi mamma, sarò buono! Mi dispiace! Owwwwwwwww! Maammmmmmaaaa!" he cried, tears running down his cheeks as he tried to convince his mother that she'd made her point.
(Please don't spank me mom, I'll be good!)
It was approximately eight thirty before Angelo was able to sit long enough to work on his written apology. His mother placed the blank notepad, the pen and the spoon on the table, then sat calmly across from her son as he worked on it, occasionally stopping to blow his nose or wipe his eyes or shift a little to find a less tender spot to sit on.
"I'm done mama." Angelo said.
Mrs. Di Marco reached over to take the paper from her son's hand. Angelo sat quietly, nervously wiping his hands on the thighs of his jeans as she read. When her eyes were trained on the paper he took the opportunity to rub the seat of his jeans.
'Dear Mr. Adams,
I apologize for my bad behavior and take full responsibility for disrupting the class with my childish antics. I know that no one else would have thought of doing it. The thought of being able to get away with something I knew was wrong made it seem like such a good idea.
I understand now that it was not a good idea. It was not funny. It was not mature. You did not deserve to be treated like that. You are an adult and a teacher and you deserve respect, and I didn't show you that respect, for which I'm sincerely sorry.
I hope, sir, that eventually you will be able to forgive me, and accept my apology.
Angelo Di Marco'
Angelo looked anxiously at his mother and licked his lips, unconsciously holding his breath. She held out her hand wordlessly and at first Angelo was afraid he was in for another dose of the spoon, but she pointed to the pen. He handed it to her. She signed it at the bottom and handed it back to him.
"You can get washed and dressed for bed now," was all she said before heading quietly into the living room to turn on the television.
Angelo let out the pent up breath and felt the tension he hadn't realized he'd built up leaving his shoulders and back. He got up gingerly, backside still stinging from the vigorous application of the spoon, put the approved apology into his satchel, washed his face and hands and brushed his teeth, then headed toward his bedroom to put on his pajamas and go to bed. He meekly wished his mother a good night as he passed her, not daring to complain about the early bed time.
"Angelo." she said firmly, as she stood and pointed to the floor in front of her.
He took a tentative step toward her. She reached for him and pulled him close, wrapping her arms around him. Even though he was now about five inches taller than her he bent down and laid his cheek against her temple, wrapping his arms around her awkwardly. "I'm sorry, mamma." he said quietly.
"I'm sorry too, il mio angelo. I hate to punish you." she said softly, stroking his hair.
"I know, mama. I deserved it. I was acting like a little kid. It was all my own fault." he admitted.
"Ti amo, mio. Good night."
(I love you, my own.)
"Ti amo. Good night, mama." he said, gently disengaging and walking into his room. He flopped down on his stomach on his bed and fell asleep without changing. His mother checked on him before she went to bed and found him sprawled across his bed. Smiling, she shut the door and went to see to her husband.
Angelo didn't see or speak to Amadeo until the following day at school, and he was nearly late for homeroom, arriving only about a minute before the first bell rang.
"Where were you?" Amadeo asked quietly.
"Went to talk to Mr. Adams. Couldn't wait till Thursday, it was driving me crazy."
"What'd he say?"
"Tell ya later." Angelo said, as the bell rang.
It was obvious to all of his friends during home room that he wasn't sitting comfortably. They all seemed to accept the story he told about slipping and sliding down the flight of twenty, pine cellar stairs on his back. All but Amadeo, who suspected differently but wouldn't have said anything to the contrary even if he'd known for sure.
On their way to Mr. Webb's science class, Amadeo gave his boy a look. "Those stairs are pine but they're soft as butter and so worn it's like walking on a mattress. So what really happened?" he whispered, knowingly.
"Shut up." Angelo grumbled. "We're gonna be late for class."
"Come on, Ange. What happened?"
"I'll tell you the whole story at lunch." he growled, “Now let's go. There's a frog with my name on it in Mr. Webb's class. Mmmm mmmm," he said sarcastically, "I do love the smell of formaldehyde, and cutting open squishy things first thing in the morning right after breakfast."
"You're in a mood." Amadeo joked gently.
Angelo scowled and stuck his tongue out at his man before stalking into Mr. Webb's class.
The rest of the day went off without a hitch, although with all of his new found friends wanting to sit with him during lunch he wasn't able to tell 'Deo what had happened the night before. The main topic of conversation was the accident at the stone works which, had been the headlines in that morning's paper.
"Your dad works there, doesn't he?" asked Charlie.
"Yeah, he's actually an engineer but he does electronics too."
"Like, putting in light switches and stuff?" asked Felix. "Not that I mind, but they made you guys come all the way here from New York for that? Why couldn't they get someone from around here to do that?"
"If he runs trains what's he doing working in a building like that?" Dennis asked, confused.
"He's not that kind of engineer." Angelo laughed. "He designs and invents things, usually electronic devices, which is what his company does. He works on inventing new things and improving on the designs of things that have already been invented."
"Really?" said Aiden, excitedly, “What's he working on now?"
"Well, right now all he's doing is making sure that the building..." he stopped and sighed. "Well, he was making sure that the building was set up for maximum production, making sure that offices had an adequate number of outlets... the stoneworks used electricity for lighting but they apparently did most of their work by hand. They used power tools for certain things but the plugs and wiring are messed up from rot and rats so one of the things he was working on was updating the wiring. That's not technically his job at his company but he's a talented guy, which is why when he told them we were moving to Georgia they kept him on and gave him the job of searching out sites here for the company to expand, and overseeing renovations."
"So..." Jim said, “Did he say what happened to the guys? I mean, I know they died but... what'd they look like? Was there much left of them?"
"Jimmy that's disgusting." said Dennis angrily.
"Hey! You can't say you weren't wondering." Jim defended himself.
"No, actually, I was wondering more about what the building looked like, and if it could be fixed. As far as those guys go, all I could think about was their families." Dennis said testily.
"Yeah, well,” Jim replied uncomfortably, "I guess I'm just morbid. I've always been interested in cause and effect. Sorry if I grossed you guys out."
Dennis sighed. "No, Jimmy, I'm sorry. I guess I'm a little more freaked out about what happened than I thought and your comment just... took me off guard."
"Look guys," offered Felix, “Lets talk about something else. That was a pretty horrible thing to happen. I mean, my dad works for the Tribune, and he told me a long time ago that if the paper doesn't give more information on something like that then it was because it was even worse than they were admitting. If they didn't give more detail, then it was because the details were too gory for print."
Conversation quickly changed to the subject of their next classes. Unfortunately, they weren't in all classes together, so they spent the rest of their lunch period comparing teachers and class mates, laughing as Jim did superb impressions of some of the teachers. They all agreed that he had a talent for imitation.
"I have to hit the lav, I'll be right back, don't talk about anything til I get back," Jim said with a grin, before taking off as though his tail were on fire.
"We walk in this school, Mr. Barkis!" came the familiar voice of Mr. Cobrane. "We do not run."
"Yes sir. Sorry sir." Jim said, immediately moderating his stride and walking toward the hallway and the boy's lavatory.
The others continued to talk and laugh for the next several minutes until they heard Cobrane's voice. "I'll see you in detention at three, Mr. Jablonski."
Milo turned around and began to protest that he hadn't done anything until he realized it was only Jim, who was nearly doubled up laughing.
"You creep! I nearly had a heart attack!" he shouted.
"Yeah, maybe, but the look on your face when you croaked woulda been hilarious." Jim laughed.
"I'll see you in detention at three, Mr. Barkis." came the silky voice from behind Jim, whose transition from highly amused to stunned was even funnier than Milo's had been. The boys put their hands to their mouths to keep from laughing, worried that Mr. Cobrane would send them to detention if they laughed at their friend. "Good day, boys." he said as he turned away.
The corner of Cobrane's mouth quirked up slightly as he looked at Amadeo. The boy was startled and nearly laughed as the man's eyes twinkled and he gave Amadeo an otherwise solemn wink before departing.
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics, and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost.
Teachers and Subjects for Angelo and Amadeo's Class/Year -
Brandon Miles Price: British Lit T - Th
Anna Celeste Wright: Composition T - Th
Christine Mastroiano: Music T - Th - F
Dolores Christoff: Art T - Th - F
Charles Franklin Adams: English/American Lit T - Th
Clifton James Webb: Science M - W - F
James Harris Young: Gym W - F
Caroline Dana Higgins: Gym (girls) T - Th
Edward Nelson Robinson: History/ Social Studies M - W - F
Carter Gregory Mason: Geography M - W - F
Hector Garcia: Spanish M - W- F
(Honors Students Only)
Penelope Cooper: French M - W- F
(Honors Students Only)
Vosam 'Blossom' Ward: Latin M - F
(Honors Students only)
Hugh Kyle Barnes: Principal
Oversees study halls and will occasionally cover classes, including Spanish, if a teacher is sick or otherwise unable to conduct their class.
Shandon Liam Cobrane: Vice Principal
Oversees detentions and study halls, and will occasionally cover classes (except languages) if a teacher is sick or otherwise unable to conduct their class.