My parents told my younger brother and I that we were ‘wild’ kids. Our ‘wildness’ was running around the house yelling and screaming and fighting with each other and once and a while breaking something by accident.
So my Dad used to point up to a storage closet where he kept a leather belt. Dad screamed at us and threatened us that he would use it.
Dad never hit either of us with the belt on a single occasion.
The back of the NY Times had ads for military schools where he threatened to send us if we weren’t good.
Dad never sent us to military school.
My friend Vinny used to get beaten for real not only by his father, but by the nuns at his Catholic School.
I imagined feeling the sharp wack of the belt against my back. I believed that real pain would have been better than threatened pain.
I remember I wanted deeply to, finally, get hit by Dad’s belt.
Vinny told me I was spoiled for never getting hit.
Vinny envied me for not getting hit.
I envied Vinny for getting hit.
I envied Vinny really getting hit, instead of being threatened all the time.