While the old man gave up whacking me with coat hangers and broom handles when I was in Junior High, he did not entirely give up all forms of physical harassment and/or intimidation. He developed what I call the bull rush; he would lower his head like a bull and rush me. No hands were involved, just his shoulder. He would lower it and slam into my chest knocking me backwards, sometimes into the wall.
On one occasion, I must have said something—it was always a matter of my saying something, not doing something like burning down the house—and as he rushed me my mother, in a rather calm voice actually, said clearly so my father was sure to hear, “Look out, Bill. He has a pair of scissors.”
The old man drew up abruptly because, sure enough, I had a pair of scissors in my hand. I clicked the scissors together a couple of times, looked him in the eye, and headed on down the corridor. I felt sort of cold inside.
What had my mother been getting at with her warning? I thought a great deal at that time about killing both of my parents, so perhaps, I reasoned, she was alerting Bill to the fact that I was holding a potential weapon that under the duress of the moment I might wield in an intentional manner. Or perhaps she was just warning Bill that some accident might occur because I had a pair of scissors in my hand.
I have wondered about this incident and still feel a bit cold when I think of it because, I believe, of its Oedipal Implications. She, the mother whom the male child wishes to possess as his own, had not warned me, her suitor, as it were, but him, Bill, her husband. I had apparently failed to conquer the father in her affections in spite of all the efforts I had made to win her over to my side. I had tried hard in this direction because of her apparently universal misery and also because she was the stick that stirred the drink. She was the one who usually incited my father against me; she was, as it were, his co-conspirator in my increasingly paranoid universe.
Penis equals scissors.
Scissors cut off penis.
I can’t figure it out; it’s too complicated. I know years later, when I asked a young woman had she really ever felt the urge to murder someone and she said yes, I thought I had found my soul mate.