Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Vicarious Eleven

1. What is your signature food dish?
 Well, I always get chicken parm wherever I go (to a deli or a restaurant or something).  But, I make some kick-you-in-the-face good sandwiches, just ask my wife!

2. What hobby/passion/activity did you enjoy in the past that you wish you had kept up with and what is the main factor keeping you from taking it back up again?
I was very good at football as a kid.  I never really tried at being any better though as I got older, so I just stopped playing.  That coupled with a pretty terrible coach.  I'm glad I didn't play in college, but I would have liked to stayed with it through high school.

3. Which fairy tale do you relate to the most?
 Humpty Dumpty

4. What is the song that you can sing best?
If I Could Turn Back Time, by Cher.

5. What was the weirdest thing that someone ever said to you and how did you respond?
An old woman on a bus in Australia asked me, "So, come here often?"
I said, no in fact, I never come here (Australia) but I've been riding the bus for several weeks.

6. What smell do you find most offensive?
Putrid Farts

7. What was the name of your favorite stuffed animal or doll as a kid?
Brownie the Bear

8. What do you secretly suspect you could do well, but you have never tried?
Stand-Up, or a one-man show

9. If you were going to picket a cause, what would your sign say?
I DON'T KNOBAMACARE

10. Who wants to live forever?
Those people who want nothing but money and power.

11. What would be the title of your memoir and who would you dedicate it to?
Pleasantly Unpleasant: A Boy and His Non-Mother; Dedicated to the Non-Mother

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Another Beating

I had a dream last night which I can't remember what was said, but I remember the feeling when I woke up: like I had been trying to say something to a monster but the more I said, the more enraged it became.  I remember feeling the things I was saying was Truth and it didn't like that at all.  I woke up, turned to my wife, said "I had a bad dream", hugged her arm and fell back asleep.

I was five years old last night, and my Little Me was being slaughtered again by my mother.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Hate and Reversion

So last night I spent over an hour spewing to my wife things that I hated.  I didn’t sound like I hated them, but inside, deep deep deep inside, I felt a rising disgust, foul and putrid updraft of hatred. 

One of the many things that I mentioned I hated was the fact that my mother met my father.  It seems like that is reminiscent of “I wish I was never born” cop out but I’m not sure if it is at this point.  I accept that I was brought into this world, but I hate how it was done.  The circumstances.  And the people that were brought together to create me.  I hate all that.  I hate how repulsive I am, how my comfort zone is to be lying, through and through.  I hate how I was taught to operate under the assumption that everyone can be manipulated and how easily I fell into that way of thinking.  I hate my mother for fucking with me over the years.  I hate her toxically sadistic love/use of me for whatever supply she needed.  I hate how she couldn’t keep her vagina closed for two seconds to think how it would affect the rest of her life (fucking some random guy at bar and the result was me, then flashforward some years, fucking many almost random guys from her work and the gym and justified it by saying she “needed love”).  I hate how I ended up just like my mother.  I hate how she destroyed my sister and played her children against each other.  I hate that I hated my wife for not believing my lies, then I hated myself for hating my wife for not believing my lies.  I hate that I felt I like I have to break my fingers to punish myself for what’d I done to people I supposedly cared about.  I hate how I wanted to punch through my shed and my coffee table and the walls of the house.   I hate some of the people I work with and the work environment, part of which I created for myself.  I hate some of the choices I made.  I hate that I didn’t want my wife to be my best friend and now she might never be.  I hate how one day I’m going to have to explain to my kids how awful their father was.  I hate having to learn empathy because I was never taught it before.  I hate the entitlement my father holds onto.  I hate my mother.  I hate the lack of remorse I show, the lack of sorry I show, the lack of true depth.  I still hate my mother and I want her to know this plain as day.

Hear that Mom?  I hate your soulless contraption of a person, with your slimy coating, and writhing and wretched insides.  Evil is using your children for your own gain.  Evil is you.  I will not be your minion, soul-sucking Narco-philiac.  Feel your parasitic bonds tearing away, screeching, moaning, ear-bleeding noises as I break you.  Break from you.  I curb-stomp those goddamn things just to watch you atrophy.  I hope it’s excruciating you bloodsucking troll.

Among all this hate and more I was stewing pretty nicely.  Then my wife turned some lights on and just as she flipped the switch, I felt a change in me too.  I became more defensive, snide, smug, passive aggressive.  We were talking about lies and more of them I’d told.  In the dark, I was safe, I could set myself up there, exist freely in the dark.  Indeed, the emotions and sentiments I put forth were true, but they could not be believed.  With the lights turning on, it’s like I reverted to pre-emotional outpouring me, intimidated very easily, ready to place blame unjustly so.  I wondered briefly if I was bi-polar: these responses were very different coming from very different places within me.  Could be that the Little Me was showing himself, then when the lights came on, I reverted.  This is unnerving to me now that I think about it.  I’m perfectly capable of expressing myself, so why didn’t I continue with the same mindset as my “hate” tirade.

The truth seems so simple doesn’t it?  Perhaps not for something like me.  Yes, a something, not someone.  I have so many lies that reality is distorted; what is and what isn’t blend into something that may have or may haven’t – a dangerous place to be.  I want to come out of that place, but since I’m also a coward, that also becomes difficult for me to do so.

Just do it, my wife says.  It’s a leap of faith, be ready to jump.  My knees are shaking.  I’m nervous, uncomfortable scared.  Hesitant.  Maybe I can just hold on up here a bit longer?

Maybe?

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Sister's Narcoma

My sister recently tweeted:
I will always be disappointed because I aim for perfection.

Need to thank my wife for cyber-sleuthing that for me.

What’s super interesting about this is that I wrote a post along these same lines back in April of this year.  Basically, I was describing how I decided not to strive for anything better than what is.  I learned not to want more from myself, not to expect more of myself.  The drive to do better burned up the in fires of indifference.

Now – how did both my sister and I come up with the nearly the same life motto?  Well, I need look no further than the one person we have in common our bitch witch mother.  Yep, good ole “ma” found it deep within herself to instill both her children with a severely defeatist attitude about life and a penchant for invoking pity-partied attention from the surround peons.

Don’t try too hard at life, she says, it’ll just run you down.  Instead listen to your mother, since I know how to control you slave, I – I mean since I only want what’s best for you.
Cue, devious/faux “I love you!” smile.

Admittedly, I wanted to save my sister at first.  After all, she was an innocent victim just like I was, I thought.  She was 15/16 then.  Three and half years later, it’s about time she take responsibility for her actions.  She won’t since she’s worse off than I am – the mother/daughter gender bond I believe is significantly stronger than the mother/son bond.  I was exceptionally sad when I realized that my sister wouldn’t likely come out of her Narcoma.

Indeed, I wanted her to wake up and realize what a pawn she’s been all her life.  I wanted someone to commiserate with in my journey, to share together our difficulties in really becoming ourselves.

Instead, she’s sided with my mother because she can’t possibly know any different now.  Her brainwashing is nearly complete, or it possibly is complete.  I was born with a flicker of something that allowed me to see on some level, what terrible things my mother did.  I’m not sure if she was fortunate enough to have this flicker of hope.  As my wife has said – it would be nothing short of a miracle were she to come out of her maternally induced Narcoma.

While she’s still my sister by blood, she’s become part of the problem.  She’s swimming in the toxic waters my mother has prepared for her.  I’m tired of participating.  Maybe my sister will too.  Maybe not.

I remember when my aunt told me I had a new baby sister.  I was sleeping her house, on the floor of their room (I was nine at the time).  At 10:35pm, my aunt woke me up to tell me the news.  I remember being genuinely excited at this news.  I also remember the carpet being a light brown.  And that’s it. 

I have sporadic memories of my sister as a baby, a toddler, beginning to talk and interact with me.  At one time, I remember her asking “why” A-L-O-T and remember being very annoyed by this.  I was 11 or 12 at the time and was wholly focused on myself.  I didn’t like that I had this small person following me around all the time.  I feel bad now thinking about it, that I didn’t treat her better, in my opinion.  I shoo-ed her away a lot too.  The age gap between us was 9 years, and what could a 3 year old and a 12 year old really have in common at that time?

As we both got older, I started to like her more maybe because she began having her own set of friends, she could express herself clearer, and wanted less to be involved in every second of my life.   Even when she was in her mid-teens and I in my early twenties, we never really communicated.  I never really felt close to her – all we had was superficiality.  So then, when I distanced myself from our mother, I wondered where she got off saying that she and I used to be so close (that sentiment came from some of the family “friends” we had too).

I composed a second letter to her addressing this and other issues, but it is a useless endeavor.  It was more of a letter of things I should have said when I had the chance.  Perhaps I will post it here, perhaps not.

The hope is gone now, replaced with sadness and disappointment that she cannot be a part of Operation: Growing Up And Really Seeing Our Mother For What She Is.  She’s off to college now, putting at least some distance between she and my mother.  I doubt that will amount to anything but severely poor decisions on my sister’s part.

Crushing Betrayal

“I’m home,” I say as close the door behind me.  The house smells like a clean dog that’s been cooking meat sauce for the last few hours.  The dogs were clean and it was my mother that had been making the sauce.  Just as I turned the doorknob, I could hear the yips and barks of the dogs that lived with us, Eskimo and Mrs. Sausage.  They met me just as stepped through the door and now were jumping on me as I closed it.  Barely gave me time to get in, huh pups? I think.

The entry way is tiled with stone grey ceramic and hardwood throughout the rest of the downstairs.  Blue paint with a hint of green colors the bottom part of the wall below the chair rail, a lighter, grey blue covers the top portion.  An office, the “adult” office sits to my left, with homemade built-in bookshelves.  I envy Jim’s talent for building things like that – I very much want to do that as well, but I just don’t have the motivation to do so, or to learn.  I think maybe one day I’ll just…know.

“Hi sweetie,” my mother calls out from somewhere.  I think I hear her either in the kitchen, the living room, or in the office.  I don’t pay much attention, but rather, keep petting my dogs.  “How was it?” she asks, voice now coming from the office.

“Good,” I reply, offering no more information than that.  I suppose I could tell her more, but I just don’t feel like it, and not for any reason I can think of in particular – it was just easier to say “good” and be done with it.  “Good” seemed to work for my mother anyway, and she went silent presumably engaged in whatever she was doing before I got home.

I walk toward the steps in front of me, a small hand table with some decorative baskets sit at the bottom.  I don’t hear or see my sister anywhere; she’s probably at a friend’s house, I think.  I’m heading upstairs to my room, it’s time to see who’s online now.

My room is a mess.  A disaster area as my mother often calls it.  My bed sits in the middle of the room, the headboard against the wall to my right so it sticks out.  My dresser is directly to my left, on it sits a small TV.  On the other side of the bed sits my desk with my laptop, black screen telling me it’s in power save mode.  I kick my clothes out of the way and remove my shoes and drop them by the dresser.

Power up.  Wireless network connected.  Double click on AIM icon, and here we go!  A newer version of AIM was release not too long ago, and one of the features is the ability to log chats.  I think that’s pretty neat and curious to see how far back my conversations were logged, I navigate my way into the IM Logs folder in my computer.

There’s my screen name, there’s my best friend, who’s also used my computer, and my mother.  This isn’t unique, as my mother has asked me many times before to use my computer in the past.  One time, she was on the phone with someone while she was using it right in front of me.  On a whim, I navigate into her folder to see who and what she was talking about.  I have no qualms about searching through her things at this point, I mean it’s my computer isn’t it?

There, I find names I’m familiar with, her friends, some of my friends, my sister and her friends.  I also come across people I don’t recognize so that’s where I start.  Some are work related – did you send out this, is that finished, that type of correspondence. 

Then I find something.  Something that I can feel makes my blood turn cold.  I felt the color slipping from my face, I felt my eyes squint to make sure what I was seeing was real.  One of the unfamiliar screen name chat log reveals a devastating truth:

My mother was in an active affair.

I scroll down from the top to read accounts of bruising and how to explain it, the entertainment value of their rendez-vous, explicit details of their behaviors, and to top it all off, how my mother felt about being around this man’s kids – how “weird” it was for her to be around them.

I was in shock.  It was complete and utter betrayal.  Dismay doesn’t begin to describe the state of being I currently inhabit.  I don’t know what to do with this information.  My finger tips are moderately numb but the sensation of the keyboard and the mouse under my hands are fiercely clear.

I did the only thing I could think of: I called my best friend John.  I dial his number with some difficulty.

“John,” I say, trying to hold it together.  “John, come over now.”
“Now?  You ok?”
“Yeah, just come over”.  We had that type of relationship: we would just tell our parents that we were be going over the other’s house and that would be good enough for them.

When John arrived, he trotted up the stairs to my room, and I recounted what I found, and showed him the evidence.  After the initial shock, we came to realize that it shouldn’t have been THAT much of surprise to us.  For the last several years we’d been joking that my mother’s “late lunches” were her having sex with other men.  It had become an almost weekly occurrence where my mother would make dinner, then never eat it and her excuse was that she “had a late lunch”.  John and I would jump on that poking fun at her, hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink.  I never thought twice when my mother asked to use my computer, why would I have to wonder what she’s doing, she my mother I had trusted her implicitly.  Further, my mother never looked up as she said her “late lunch” story. 

We didn’t spend too much more time in my room lamenting this revelation.  Instead we popped downstairs and switched on the video game console to get lost in a fantasy world.  That was more for me than him, I believe.  We acted as though nothing had happened.

Time passes, several days perhaps.  I’m over my girlfriend’s house, we’re getting ready to go out.  My mother’s betrayal weighs very heavy on me now.  I can feel it pushing me down, crushing me.  I feel it in my shoulders, in my neck, in my legs.  I can’t take it.  The crushing force of betrayal comes out: I break down in tears.  My head sags low as my arms struggle to hold me up on her dresser.  I weep very softly, stifling the shuttering exhales.  Helen sees me.  She stops.  Looks at me.  Doesn’t say a word.  I’ve already told her what I’d found.  I needed to tell her, I was hoping for support when I did.  Now, though, all she can do is move slowly out of the room and down the hall to her parents.  She told them.  I walk out to meet them in the living room.  We talk for a short while, they express their concerns and willingness to help.  I don’t feel comforted.

More time passes.  Helen and I are sitting in my car in front of my father’s house.  It’s cold and black outside.  I feel like invisible ice in the air is cutting my skin everywhere.  The heat is on in the car.  I can’t feel it.  I look at my father’s house.  A crushing pressure fills me again.  I feel it this time from my gut.  I feel as if my fingers are swelling.  I’m not sure if I’m holding the steering wheel anymore.  I know the moment before I was.  My eyes feel as though they are swelling.  I want to pop my extremities from the pressure, that obscene, lung buckling pressure.  I let it out.  Tears fall freely, as sorrow and betrayal encapsulate me.  I shake some.  I’m not loud when I cry this time.  I try to stifle the coming bouts.  It works some of the time.

I’m quite sure of the date now.   Days or weeks since my last betrayal breakdown with Helen in the car in front of my father’s house.  I’m in my room now, working through the clothes chaos that’s still the floor of my room.  My door is open a few inches and I hear someone coming up the stairs.  I don’t look up until the footsteps are at my door.  My mother.  Something is not right.

“Can we talk?” she asks as she knocks once and stands at the threshold of my room, almost as if she has trouble walking through.

“I suppose,” I reply, but I can’t hold it together any more.  Looking at her makes me so sad.  It’s a cold, depressing sadness originating from directly below my heart.  I’m not sure how I can pinpoint it, but it’s start from there.  Tears fill my eyes and obscure my vision.  I’m not sure what piece of clothing I’m hanging onto but I keep tossing them onto my bed.

My mother vomits words.  I can’t really hear them, I’m too lost in my encompassing shell of sadness.  It almost sounds like she’s underwater, but I can still make out what she’s saying.

“It’s like that movie, Love, Actually,” she explains.  “Love is all around.”  I didn’t buy any of it.  They were only words, letters put together to make a sequence of sounds.  No real meaning, because she wasn’t sincere. 

“Say something,” she pleads.  She’s not crying, but manages to look sad.  Actually, her face looks more like she’s concerned rather than sad.  I have difficulty looking at her face.

I could barely think.  I was holding some of my clothes I was not sure what to do with now.  I couldn’t put them down – that would move forward my situation.  Putting them on the floor would rewind what just happened.  I’m in limbo, stuck in some time/space glitch keeping me from going anywhere.  What can I do with this information?  What can I do with this situation?  Tears still cascade down my cheeks, each with an infinite volume of crushing betrayal, deepening sorrow.

“I can’t now.  We’ll talk.  When I’m ready.”  I don’t know how I manage to say that, but I do.  I’m not sure if I even mean that either, I just needed her out of my room.  Out of my line of vision.  I notice how her presence in my room seemed to increase the gravitational effect the world had on me.  I felt heavy.  So very heavy when she was there.  Like I couldn’t do anything but collapse in on myself.  My arms like eighteen wheelers.  I’m not sure how they stay connected to my shoulders.

Even though she leaves, that Heavy remains with me.  I stand there holding my ball of clothes lost in my tears, lost in her betrayal.  This is too big a burden for me, I think.  She’s destroyed me.  I’m not sure I actually think this, but I certainly feel it.  Completely obliterated, like I don’t matter.  Like nothing in my existence matters.  Like every breath was just a passing breeze; here and gone in an instant, here and gone in an instant. 

I stand there, frozen, wanting to do something, but I can’t seem to move well.  I cry.  That’s all I know how to do now, is cry.  You won’t hold onto this crushing Heavy, somewhere inside of me a voice seems to say.  This Heavy you won’t have to experience again, it continues.  I can’t be sure of its truth, but that seems to comfort me and I let myself become absorbed in that voice.

I won’t talk about it with her, I tell myself.  She can’t hurt me like anymore.  Good, the voice says.  I suppress the sobs, and they subside.  I’m able to function again and start moving more of my clothes around my room desperately hoping that my clothes will not obliterate me like my mother just did.

So, How Was Your Afternoon?

I was cold.  The sky was a milky gray – no blue was breaking through that barrier.  Clouds that looked like they wanted to rain but never did, blanketed horizon to horizon.  I walked next to Peter, one of my dad’s friends.  I could only see to the middle part of his thigh when I looked straight ahead.  I wasn’t above average height for a five year old by any means.

Gusts of wind churned up some of the beach sand.  They spattered my face and exposed skin like tiny stray bullets.  Otherwise, a steady breeze that would disturb only a few tree branches made its way down the beach.  This park had both beachfront areas and a picnic area for visitors.  We were picnicking. 

My dad brought a date.  And his friend.  And me.  Shortly before lunchtime, my father turned to his friend Peter, “Hey, why don’t you take LSV for a walk for a bit.”  Peter knew what my father was really asking.  At the time, I didn’t.

So Peter and I walked down the beach, braving the chilly breeze, wishing that I had on more than just shorts a t-shirt.  I felt as though Peter didn’t want to be walking with me, but I was happy to explore more of the beach anyway.

Before long, we came upon a crowd of people.  They all looked the same to me: monochrome shirts with khaki or jean shorts.  Brown hair and baseball hats. 

“Lets check this out,” Peter offered. 
I obliged and was excited because I got to go into the water.  Despite being cold, the water was always fun for me.

I immediately regretted wading into the shallow water.  While it was warmer than the air, the difference in temperature was jarring.  I wished even more for sleeves and a sandwich.  We shuffled in to the back of the crowd.  Small wind-driven waves lapped at my calves.  Splashes of water leapt up my legs.  I could feel the cold in my bones now.  I looked down at the water to find it awfully churned up: I could barely see my hand only two inches down from the surface.  Weeds tickled and teased my feet and ankles.  I knew they were there, I could seem floating, but I couldn’t see the ones near my feet.  That made me very uncomfortable.

I didn’t want to stop moving.  Lets keep going, I willed to Peter.  I looked up at him and his big round glasses, big round head, and receding hair line.  He did not look down.  I frowned and squatted so I could pull my shirt over my legs.  My butt hit the water and I was simultaneously cold and warm.  The water line on my shirt was moving up slowly, soaking up the oceanic waters.

“You want my shirt?” Peter finally looked down at me.
“No thanks,” I replied as I maneuvered my legs further under my shirt and continued to squat.  I was having less and less fun by the minute.

I stood up again and let the water drip from my shirt, as it did taking all the remaining warmth I had with them.  Following the stares of the crowd in front of me, I finally decided to find out why we were here. 

At the front of the pack, there was a rather large stage with banners of red and whites with advertisements saying “buy this!”.   Atop the stage was a man in jeans, a tank top, a cowboy hat, and a megaphone.  In his right hand he held a large pitcher with some kind of clear liquid as its contents.  His voice was blasting out, in what could only be phrases meant to stir up a crowd.  The crowd cheered. 

The man with the megaphone turned to his right and held the pitcher up over a rather large woman that was next to him.  This woman looked to be only a very large white t-shirt.  Her chest seemed as though it wanted to burst through her shirt even dry.  The next moment, the man with the megaphone dumped the liquid all down the front of the large woman’s shirt exposing the woman’s curves as the shirt adhered almost instantly to her.

The crowd cheered louder – a distinct basal tone which could not be mistaken for anything other than a crowd of men.

The woman with the extremely wet white t-shirt raised her shirt exposing herself.  She bounced several times so that nearly all of her upper torso seemed to jiggle and bounce with her.  This elicited a stronger cheer from the crowd.  I didn’t look at her long, but I was fascinated by her chest.  I stared at her for a short time wondering if it hurt to do that; indeed there was so much of her bouncing around up there.

I looked away for a moment and just as I did, I felt myself be swept backward and up in the air.  I thought I was very high off the ground and going very fast.  In another situation this may have been fun for me, but something I could feel in the air told me that this was not a time to be having fun.  The splashing of the water behind my father fascinated me too – I could see the trail leading to the spot Peter and I had occupied, and I saw the crowd was not as large as their cheers made them out to be.  Peter was left standing in the water, arms crossed, looking a mixture of surprised and confused.

My father hauled me off all the way to the picnic area, which wasn’t quite set up yet.  My father’s date waited for us there looking neither concerned nor anything really.  She just sat there, on the picnic blanket.

I was placed beside her and my father sat on her other side.  We ate silently for a time then my father’s girlfriend turned to me and asked, “So, how was your afternoon?”