31 Dec 05
The Final Visit: Parents and Mothers Against Arpaio
“What’s the strip-search like here?” Mum asked.
“Same as usual, but they search the foreskin,” I said.
“Bloody hell! That’s a bit rum isn’t it? What are they looking for in there?” Dad said.
“Does it hurt?” Mum asked.
“No,” I laughed. “I just pull it back. It’s sensitive down there, but I have to agree with those who claim that the sensitivity causes you to enjoy sex more.”
“Perhaps we should get you circumcised then, to calm you down,” Mum said.
“Mum!” I said.
“Perhaps I should get a false one then,” Dad said with a hint of resentment towards Nan who’d had him snipped in infancy.
“You were almost circumcised once,” Mum said.
“But Dr. O’Hara – an Irish doctor from the old school - saved you,” Dad said.
“You had an infection, and your nan, an ex-nurse, was pushing to get you circumcised, but we took you to Dr. O’ Hara who turned your penis inside out, while you screamed blue murder,” Mum said matter-of–factly, whilst demonstrating with her hands what Dr. O’Hara had done.
“Ouch!” I said, “How old was I?”
“Ten months. The doctor said that what he did was better than circumcision.”
“We don’t know how it worked, but it did the trick.” Dad said.
This conversation came to a halt with the arrival of Pearl Wilson, one of the founders of Mothers Against Arpaio, and Linda Bentley, a reporter for the Sonoran News. It was an honour to meet these two humanitarians.
Pearl mentioned how she and fellow MAA founder, Linda Saville, had attended an Arpaio speaking function. Arpaio was boasting about his abilty to solve murders when Linda Saville asked him about his inability to solve murders at his jails. Arpaio responded that there were no murders at his jails, so Pearl stood up and pointed out that her son had been murdered in Arpaio’s Tent City. Unable to dispute this, Arpaio slandered Pearl, and continued his spiel. Pearl Wilson is one of the strongest women I have ever met, and it is truly hard to imagine the burden of pain she has bravely shouldered since losing her son Philip.
The pleasant company prevented Mum from getting too upset when the visit ended. Tears welled but didn’t stream down her face. What, I thought, have my mistakes put my parents through? Long hugs and short kisses filled the final moments with those whom I love the most.
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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
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