I referenced the fact in a previous story that my grandparents on one side of my family were farmers. My older sister and I would spend our whole summers with them, two city girls learning rural ways, until we were teenagers (when my grandpa died and my grandma moved to Florida).
Cindy and I slept in the same bedroom, the guest bedroom on the first floor. Every night, we’d talk to each other and decompress on all the foreign, thrilling things we’d done that day. I collected eggs from underneath the hens, we both helped milk the four cows in the evening. (Our grandpa handled the morning milking chores at dawn. It WAS our vacation; we couldn’t be expected to wake up at five A.M.!) The biggest thrill was learning to ride horseback on a Shetland pony borrowed from the next-door neighbor miles down the road.
It was nine P.M. We’d each had a bath, I remember my braided hair was still wet on the pillow. It was time for lights out, but, as usual, we were talking softly but animatedly in the dark room about the day. I had a thought that I didn’t know how to express to Cindy. We’d ridden Prince the Pony both bareback and with a Western saddle most of that day. I found riding bareback especially thrilling, but couldn’t put into words exactly what it was that I found extraordinary. What it was, of course, was that riding horseback was stimulating and I’d had that stomach-turning-but-strangely-addictive sensation in my awakening female body for the first time. I remember feeling guilt about this sickeningly sweet feeling. I remember reaching beneath the covers and wanting to touch my saddle-sore crotch surreptitiously, wondering how to put into words what I knew must be forbidden. It was all so highly-charged, even though not a real thing had happened! I had mild twinges that almost-every girl experiences on horseback, I had not touched myself and didn’t even know how to do so, but I felt somehow sinful, sodden, “heavy down there” and heavy-hearted with this burden.
At that exact second, my hard-bitten son of a bitch of a gruff grandfather slammed the bedroom door open and announced, “Quiet down in here and go to sleep or I’ll get the razor strap!” Then the door closed as suddenly as it had opened.
In the bathroom, next to the medicine cabinet mirror hung a thick razor strap. Grandpa used it to sharpen his straight razor before shaving. Rumor had it that he’d used this same strap on my uncle and mother when in need of discipline.
I burst into tears.
“Sshhh!” Cindy insisted in a stage-whisper, “he didn’t strap us, but he might if you don’t pipe-down!”
For years already, I’d entertained fantasies about getting spanked on my bare bottom. Now it seemed immanent and all too real for being bad on the back of an innocent farm animal. God knew all this, and I was certain to soon be punished for it! Not struck down by lightening, I was destined to be bared and beaten by my sadist of a really-stern-relative in front of my tattletale of a sister, who was sure to spread the news both to my parents and to the whole school upon our return home! I was inconsolable and cried myself to sleep into my pillow.
But, here’s the thing; part of me wanted to experience that razor strap. Not by my grandfather, not for real punishment, rather by an indistinct, tall, dark, shadowy figure of undetermined gender in my dreams. Someone who wouldn’t burst through the door, but come in quietly, assuredly, in complete control.
“You know that you have this coming…” their hoarse whisper would tickle my ear, and I’d dutifully nod and push down the bedclothes and roll over. I’d feel strong hands raise my nightshirt and then devest me of my drawers. I’d feel that thick-yet-pliant strap rest across both chubby cheeks. I’d hear my labored breathing. I feel the strap disappear from its spot, know that it was being raised, knowing that I’d feel its fearsome lash any second. The anticipation, the tingle all over my already-round and womanly, but virginal-in-every-way bottom was indescribable!
I didn’t do anything to myself that night, and my grandpa did not come back in and leather me punitively. I can clearly recall having vague fantasies since about the age of four, fantasies about being restrained to a wooden Celtic cross (though I’d never even seen a real one, or knew that they existed in reality), and whipped. Amazingly everything about this dream was joyous, and left me feeling warm all over. That night was the first time I can recall those shadowy fantasies morphing into The Dream, a dream that would itch at my subconscious from then on. When I negotiated the white-water and frothy rapids of puberty, I discovered how to scratch that itch. The stranger in The Dream became my steady suitor until supplanted by a real man-child in college.
(I wrote this autobiographical story months ago, but hesitated to publish it until now. I’m very leery of going into my feelings as a child publicly, especially when they concern my sexuality. You might react by correctly thinking that nothing actually happened in this story. But so much happened in my subconscious mind, “innate, unchosen” things, things that affected me my whole life long. And this foundation is necessary to understand what will follow tomorrow here.)