It was just a room, any room.
He walked over and stood next to me. We said nothing. My brother reached deep into his pocket and pulled out some loose change. Searching through the pile in his hand, he settled on four silver quarters. One by one he fed them into the coin slot on the machine; first one quarter, then a second, a third, and then the fourth. The machine knew when it had enough. Two buttons were pushed, C-5, and a treat dropped. Bending to lift the tray at the bottom, he reached in and removed his goodie. My brother smiled at me. The treat was nice. It hit the spot. He fished back in his pocket again. Four more coins came out. Again he fed the machine, and pushed two more buttons. D-6. Another treat dropped. He smiled. I watched intently. Again and again he followed this routine, always with the same result, his desired treat. The machine always dropped its goodies after having its buttons pushed. It never failed.
After quite some time he once again fed the vending machine and pushed the buttons. This time there was no treat. The machine was empty. He pushed the buttons again. Nothing. He pushed harder, different combinations. B-4, H-8, F-9. Each time he looked down for the treat. It was not there. He was angry. I saw it in his eyes. His hand shot out and wrenched the coin return. Nothing. No treat and no quarters back. The blow that slammed into the glass shook the room. Still no treat. He grabbed the corners of the machine and shook, slamming its back into the wall over and over again with a deafening force. No treat. The machine stood firm.
Then came the verbal assault.
First quarter: "You're stupid."
Second quarter: "I'll always be better than you."
Third quarter: "Go cry like a baby."
Fourth quarter: "You're nothing."
Then my buttons. His hand flew out and wrenched my head down. The first blow I never saw. F-2. The second was the worst. That was the one that hurt. D-9.
Then the treat: "Stop it! I'm telling!". Then I would scream. Sometimes I would swing back. Occasionally I would hit something, and then get pummeled for it, but the treat would always drop.
My parents would break us up, and then we would start all over again. Back then we would always start all over again. Not now. No more. The machine knew when it had enough.
I counted each coin as it was fed into me. The buttons were pushed. He knew just where they were, and when to push them. He knew how to get the treat that he wanted, but no more. I have removed the treats.
The blow that slammed into the glass shook the room with a deafening force. He grabbed my shoulders and shook, slamming my back into the wall over and over again. No treat. The machine had had enough.
He stood back and stared. He reached into his pocket. No more quarters. His hand came out empty. He turned his palm over and looked at his swollen and bloody knuckles. His hand hurt. The pain was evident on his face. He made a fist as though to strike one final death blow, then lowered both his head and his hand. Silently he turned and walked away.
The machine stood firm.
I have had enough.
Have this blog delivered right to your Kindle!
Tweet me @LorettaLea
Re-Inventing the Impossible
Jesus is my Life Coach!
The Impossibilities Blog