Coral Hull: Dale Smashes Trucks

Dale had no qualms about destruction and its place in the word. Later he got guns, but before that he was smashing all his toys around the side trellis with a hammer. He even smashed the tow trucks so that they couldn't tow the broken cars away. He smashed the petrol station bowsers so the cars couldn't get a refill. He smashed the tugboats before they could arrive at the quay to tow away the wreckage, and he smashed all the lighthouses so we were all lost at sea. Dale wanted complete annihilation. He was with that hammer and his skinny legs taking everything within his own small power to the point of no return. The family would give Dale everything but love for Christmas and tell him not to smash it. They hid the hammers but Dale would always find them again. He could smell out a hammer behind rock or wood. We were beginning to think he buried them in the backyard like the dog would bury a bone, and that we were all living in a house built on a landscape of hammers. We were all as angry as bag of hammers. Dale was particularly agitated around toys and stones. He liked the toys for awhile then something would just snap or maybe click inside him. Then he would be out there creating hell with the hammer, smashing it all to buggery and back. I knew that it was all at once a great and terrible sensation for him, as the hammer was lifted and struck again and again. After the smashing, little pieces of toys, plastic debris, matchbox cars and twisted rubber littered the concrete. It became his own small apocalypse that he calmly walked away from. It was silence from then on for the rest of the day. The job done, Dale just went off to lie beneath a tree further down the end of the backyard. Once on his side in the grass the flush would fade from his cheeks. He broke off a tiny twig from the tree as he would always do and started twiddling it. Either that or just sucking his thumb and twiddling his hair. What else was there for any human being to do at the end of the long destruction, but to go back to the basics? That is, "I want love" therefore "I need to love myself". But how? We said it amongst the toys in tact and we would be saying it amongst and to the complex rubble, our small battlefields now utilised. The whole tragedy was that from the very beginning of time or of Dale's brief life, that it was all so unnecessary. It was all so simple, and now looking back on it, all so terribly predictable and inevitable. I know that I am partially treacherous and that treachery is weak. I remember hiding around the back trellis as a child with one of my mother's good ornaments. It was thin sphere of fragile glass, and I held it there and just wanted to squeeze that little bit harder to see if it did break, the glass ball left in the balance. In fear I stopped suddenly and put it back onto her sacred dressing table, with the dusty glass covering that no one attended. But it always felt like some big dream unaccomplished or some job left incomplete. Later on I accidentally killed a baby budgerigar using the same methods. I was chasing it around with my hand on the carpet pretending I was a big cat and that the bird was a 'poor defenceless little peewee.' It was a "runner" from the aviary who would never grow wings, a mutant with a tiny flustered tail bound for life to the aviary floor. Soon the peewee stopped running and lay down with its heartbeat now as large as itself. I was suddenly fearful and worried for the bird. But it was too late when I stopped in order to return it to its cage. Initially it felt like play. I was six. But no matter how hard I tried to revive it, the terrified peewee died on my bedroom floor. When animals turn into toys and trucks into tiny terrified birds, all children shake hands with their own treachery, confused inside. It now becomes a harder world to live in.