Vi went out and left Bonnie in charge of Victor and me. I would not have left Bonnie in charge of a pet rock. If my mother had said to me, “Chicken, I’m going out. Do you think Bonnie would make a good babysitter?”, I would have replied, “Hell no, woman, are you mad?” but she never asked me. She just ordered us a pizza and left.
I wanted to play Monopoly but Bonnie and Victor wanted to watch the 8:00 p.m. movie. Did you ever see the “Boston Strangler”? I did. I don’t remember it, of course, because I’ve suppressed it. Occasionally one of the other personalities I developed that evening will bring it up.
About three quarters of the way through the movie, when victims were still piling up, the papers were having a field day, and the police chief was looking foolish (or so I imagine) Bonnie and Victor got hungry. They asked me if I wanted ice cream. I allowed as how I could probably choke down some ice cream.
“Wouldn’t you know it”, Victor said, “We’re all out. One of us will have to walk to the store.”
I was too young to be out on the streets alone so late at night, and Bonnie was the babysitter, me being the baby in question, so it only seemed logical that Victor, a bona fide teenager, should go.
Logic not being the available muse that evening, we drew straws. I drew the shortest one. I waited a couple of seconds for someone to come to her bloody senses, but Bonnie handed me a fiver and turned back to the movie. “Get me a Pepsi, too, k?”
The closest store was at the end of our block. It was where the bad boys hung out at night, smoking cigarettes, selling joints and harassing women. I walked fast down the sidewalk, sticking to the shadows. When I got to the store I put my head down and scurried past the hooligans, trying not to draw attention. Inside I gathered our ice cream, the Pepsi and a bag of barbecue chips for my trouble. I paid and headed back home, my heart pounding. I was almost there. Just five houses to go. Now four. Sweet Jesus, I was going to make it.
I sensed movement to my left. I looked over and caught a glimpse of shadow moving fast between the last two houses. I started to run but before I could get into full stride, the Portland Strangler jumped out of the shadows. He ran at me, screaming, “Where’s my ice cream!!!!!”
And that’s when Mary Catherine was born. Mary Catherine is a young girl who talks with a cute lisp and carries her stuffed donkey everywhere she goes. No one would ever hurt Mary Catherine or send her to a store alone at night. If they tried she would make them burst into flames with her eyes.
Bonnie sat on the back steps of our house laughing her ass off. “Poor Bonnie”, thought Mary Catherine. “Her lookth cold.”