Bernadette, the witch doctor


knox8Bernadette hated my guts growing up.  I suppose I can see why.  I did break up with her just before our Fall Seventh Grade Activity Night/dance.  In my defense, I was only 12 – and besides, I was really, really high on acid at the time and she just wouldn’t stop talking.  Everything in me said that I was in no place to cater to someone else’s emotional needs because, after all, I was way too fucked up – in the moment and otherwise.  I had to take action, and it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

3525736181_a56e70c254I’m not sure what a “normal” reaction to breakup is when you’re a 12-year-old girl, but I do know hers was pretty fucking weird.  She and a few friends got on the Internet and researched voodoo rituals, particularly voodoo dolls, and they created a little Knox doll that, I heard, was abused in untold ways.
I don’t think much of Santeria when practiced by adolescent white girls in a small, American city north of, say, Jackson, MI.  Still. . . there’s something unnerving about a gaggle of one’s peers trying to castrate him through supernatural means.  Just thinking about it made me uneasy.  I had a couple of terrible dreams, too – somewhat of an adolescent reverse-wet dream.

Walking past them in the hallways, they’d snicker among themselves and I’d feel creeped out.  Even hurt.  But most of all, I was annoyed.  I mean, c’mon—we only “went out” for a few weeks.  We kissed in the back of a YMCA van.  She was a terrible kisser, which made me mostly uninterested in whatever else she was bad at, and besides, her mom looked like Michael Jackson, from the cover of Thriller.   I don’t deserve this shit, damnit.

Much to their—and I suspect many others’—chagrin, the voodoo rituals didn’t work on my man parts.  It sure would have made adolescence easier if they had.  And I often get to wondering what my life would have been like if I lacked the ability to please a woman.  Certainly, you wouldn’t be reading this now.
But I digress.  Years later I saw Bernadette at a bar in Los Baños, CA, wasted drunk and groping at an uninterested sailor.  After she realized it wasn’t going to happen, she turned to me.

“Hey, do I know you?” she slurred.

“Can’t say you do,” I said.  “The name’s McCoy.  Just passing through the area and thought I’d check out this fine little town.”

“Heh.  You’re a funny guy, Mr. McCoy.  I’ve been trying to leave this dump for years.”

I guess I can’t blame her for not recognizing me.  It had been 20 years or so and I had accumulated a few scars along the way.  I humored her for a few minutes, until she went to the bathroom.  I drew a picture of a voodoo doll on a bar napkin, wrote, “So long, Bernie,” and then I left that smear of a town.

3 Responses to “Bernadette, the witch doctor”

  1. 1 Lindsay

    OMG, Activity Night! Haha.

  2. 2 Terence

    Ah, look out Knox, maybe drawing that voodoo doll was enough information for her to go out and make another one of you, but more effective!

  3. I smiled my way through this one. Very funny.

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