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Monday, July 9, 2012

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 29 Back in Albany New York


The immediate answer in my mind to Jonathans question was “No way in hell.” That’s at least what my first thought was, I never said it out loud.

“Maybe someday we can, but for right now why don’t you go to sleep?” I said to him as I slid into bed.

“She sure is pretty,” Jonathan sighs again. I can hear him roll onto his side. “Goodnight,” he says and immediately starts snoring.

“I hate him.” “I hate him so much.” ” Jonathan is stupid and disgusting.” He follows me around like a sick puppy, needing constant attention. He’s dirty and sloppy and has a weird constant smell.

I get angrier thinking about everything that has happened since I got here. I should have stopped Leo from beating Jonathan and tying him to a tree, but something in me is happy to hear the stories from Leo about pounding Jonathan. I am no better than any of the bullies that I encountered in my life but somehow, I take a perverse glee in Jonathan’s suffering. Is it because it’s not me?

I feel protected by Leo. I feel that he has protected me from Jonathan and from this world I’m living in. It’s true that deep inside he is a wild animal who strikes and someday could turn on me.

I let my rage start to grow as I think about how I got here. I try to think about my rage and how it bubbles to the top and spills over. I certainly am no saint. Lying in the dark I begin to reflect.

My thoughts turn to my Mother. God I hate her. I hate her so much. The rage feel towards her is all consuming. Things according to the family picture album started out good enough. It was at about age 7, that there was a change. Mom was always nervous and edgy. She lived by a set of rules that made little sense. If you questioned her rules you would find yourself punished. If you questioned anything that was said to you, you would find yourself punished.

Bad words would get your mouth washed out with soap. You could be made to sit with a bar of soap in your mouth for as long as 30 minutes. Finally, when you were drooling foam that burned your throat, she would then remove the bar. I came to loath Irish Spring.
My mother is mentally ill. There is nothing more to this thought. She medicates it with alcohol as most people did back then. My father was always absent; he used to travel a lot for work. Whenever he was out of town my mother would strike and it would always be worse than when he was there.

It was a pattern that would repeat itself for years. It would start in the morning as I sat at the breakfast table. Mom would wander into the room, cigarette dangling out of her lips, Kleenex poking out of a sleeve in her bathrobe. Hung-over, she was always looking to pick a fight. Alcoholics still scare me to this day. There is no reasoning to anything that they do.

My parents had spoken of divorce on several occasions. We kids, always thought that they were going to split. We were sat down and they asked us who we would like to live with in the future. We chose our Father which made my mother ballistic. She announced that the question was nothing more than a popularity contest and stormed out of the room.

That was my mother’s usual cry.

The problem was that my father took his vows seriously. I remember a fight so bad one time between the two of them. Mom was screaming, Dad was leaving and we kids were crying. My father made it as far as the front steps with my younger sister hanging on his leg. There he sat thinking about what a hell he was living in and decided that he had promised for better and worse. It was at this moment that his world changed. He placed the blinders on his eyes and never looked back.

My mother’s mother was mentally ill and I wondered when did we first notice as kids that something was off with her? Was it the time that my sister had to sit a doll at the thanksgiving table so there wouldn’t be thirteen people sitting there? Was it the piles and piles of articles, clipping and cartoons that she cut out of newspapers and slid between the pages of scrapbooks placed in the bathroom in stacks? 

Was it her love above all others of her cat applies named Miss Cat? Could it have been her constantly putting my mother down while praising my uncle? Was it her taking to darkened rooms when she didn’t feel well or the multiple pictures of Jesus Christ she placed around the house? My favorite thing she did was to ignore us and my mother, pretending we weren’t there. She would hold the cat close and talk about how much she loved her.

to be continued.......


Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.    

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