Orphan Survival Stories
BATHE THE LITTLE BASTARD
I was a very scared little boy when transferred from the Rose Keller Home in Lakeland to another orphanage in Jacksonville. There were many buildings, lots of trees and bushes, and many chain-link fences - great big high metal fences with white gates.
This mean looking old woman came over to me and told a larger boy to “take the little bastard over to the boy's dormitory building and give the little bastard a bath.” The older boy grabbed me by the hand and led me over to a large, white building. Located in the back of the building was a room that had a large cement sink with two sides. He placed me in the sink and ran some hot water. He washed me for several minutes with a large brush. As he was washing me, the mean looking old woman came in the room and he began to tell her that he could not get my elbows clean. She left the room and came back with two gallons of bleach, which they poured onto my head. I remember starting to cry as the bleach burned my eyes and I could not see anything at all. After several minutes, my whole body was burning. It was stinging and turning red. I was screaming and yelling at the top of my voice and there was slobber flung all over the place.
"I can't breathe! No breath! I can't breathe!" I kept yelling at them.
The old lady laughed, grabbed me by the top of the head and tried to push me down beneath the water and bleach. I do not remember much after that, except waking up in the hospital.
Twenty-five years later, I located the older boy who did this to me. He is now a school teacher/principal at a local high school in Jacksonville - a teacher with a bad attitude, I might add. I told him the story, but he acted as though it was no big deal. In fact, he told me "it would be appreciated if I would never mention it again."
Needless to say, that was the last time I ever took him and his wife out to the Red Lobster for dinner.
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