Father Pinkman and the Cold Showers
I used to wet the bed when I was at the college. I had ust turned 11 years old.
I tried to cover it up in the first few days when I was there but nothing gets covered up there. Within days Fr. Pinkman approached me and said he knew about it and that I should take the sheets down to the nuns whenever I did it.
There were two of us but I’ll spare the other guy by not naming him.
I never ever did see a doctor about it but Pinkie used to feed me advice about what the doctor was advising. I have no idea whether there was ever a doctor involved but I believed him implicitly.
Why wouldn’t I? Why would he lie? He was there to look after us. All the time that I was there I never even questioned for a minute whether he was telling the truth or not.
As I’ve said before in other parts of the book, it is strange re-inputting the data that was previously only put through your 11- and 12-year old mind again and processing the information with an adult brain.
My conclusions are obviously very different now.
His first theory was that I should sleep with extra blankets and to keep adding blankets until it stopped. The warmer I was, presumably, the less likely I was to do it. I remember, at one point, that while the other boys were sleeping with just two blankets, that I was actually sleeping with twelve blankets on me.
Supposedly the ‘doctor’ had said that this was what I should do to cure it. It is possible that he did. However, it seems more like something a layman would advise rather than a doctor.
Cold Showers Best
However, when the warmth didn’t work the ‘doctor’ gave completely the opposite advice.
Indeed Pinkie said that what the doctor was now recommending was that I should have a completely cold shower as soon as I got up at 6:35 in the morning. We were now well into the winter and it was bloody freezing to be frank.
Not only that, I shouldn’t have the shower where the other boys were washing but I had to have it in the basement, in the single shower that was down there. There was never anybody about at that time of the morning down there.
Except, of course, Pinkie.
Pulled Back the Shower Curtains
I remember on the first morning of the cold showers Pinkie suddenly pulling back the shower curtains. Why he needed to watch the ‘treatment’ I don’t know but I never questioned it at the time.
I didn’t even know about sex at all at the time, didn’t know heterosexuality existed never mind homosexuality. I had definitely never heard of the term paedophile.
However, I sensed something was not right as he stood there rubbing his hands over and over again. He seemed just too intense.
He told me I had to use soap as well. Why soap was part of the ‘treatment’ I don’t know – especially as it was only the normal carbolic. What curative values did it have?
Offer of Help
“I’ll do it for you” he said.
Even though I was eleven years old and we were completely captive to those in charge of us and especially to Pinkie, I said “no”.
I had been very, what they used to call ‘modest’ in those days. I really instinctively didn’t like being seen without my clothes on. Even more so, I wouldn’t have liked to be touched without my clothes on.
Just before I came to the college I had had to have a medical where I had to lie on a table and the nurse checked my testicles, presumably to see if my balls had dropped. That was excruciatingly embarrassing and was still fairly fresh on my mind.
I wasn’t having it.
Not Streetwise At All
I think that this actually saved me from Pinkie. I think he took it to mean that I was extremely streetwise compared to my peers when the opposite was actually true.
He actually said that when he gave me the sheet with the facts of life on it when I was in second year. “You probably know all this” he said, “you’re a lot more streetwise than the others”. He said it with a good deal of malevolence and scorn in his voice.
Father Pinkman and the Facts of Life
It seems that the ‘facts of life’ revelations session was one of the major times that he used to compromise the boys. After all he needed to explain some things by showing them what he meant using their bodies as illustration.
I was one of the last ones in my year to get the ‘facts of life’ from Pinkie. By this time he really had it in for me. There’s no anger like a paedophile priest who has been scorned.
He came for the first few shower sessions but then came less frequently. However, I had to continue this morning by morning. He never ever told me to stop. It was just a case of I started to skip it more and more and he never did anything about it.
How I managed to leave the college without being seriously molested by Pinkie, I think was mostly down to luck.
I’ve joked about it since on our reunions. I told the other ‘boys’ that I hadn’t actually been booted out like some of them but had only been suspended for a year. They would ask why I didn’t go back. I would say that after the year was up I considered it and thought to myself “I’ll be buggered if I’ll go back there”.