Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"Her" Part Two -

It's so hard to remember things before Her.  It's like trying to become lucid in a dream...bits and pieces.  After Her though, I remember everything.  Everything.

We continued training; more together now.  I started spending time at her house a few times a week.

What's that?  What happened?

You know what happened.  13-18, remember?  I don't need to describe anything.  I can still taste her when I close my eyes.  Her breath.

She was The One.  Ya know?

Well life doesn't give a fuck.  Even with an abundance of resources, a combined IQ north of 300 and a deep, true, spiritual love for one another we didn't make it.

"I suppose these things happen..." - The narrator

So, how does the "high-school sweetheart Cinderella story" come crashing down?

I cheated on her a week after we announced to her family that we were engaged.  With my best friends sister.  On Acid.

Then I left her.  For the nth time.  I'll never forget the moment.  She had warned me.  "Threaten me with leaving again.  Just one more time."

She was true to her word and walked out after six years.  She had to.  If she had stayed she wouldn't have been the woman I loved.


"Cluster B is called the dramatic, emotional, and erratic cluster. It includes Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, and Antisocial Personality Disorder. Disorders in this cluster share problems with impulse control and emotional regulation." - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV - 301.7

"Because I hated her while begging her to stay." - Me

Coming up: The "Her" finale and we finally tell the auto-erotic asphyxiation story!


Disclaimer and Clarification


I should have been more up front about this, and for that I apologize.

I use the word "fuck" as a noun.  I honestly make a fucking effort to cut back, but you've been fucking warned.



This little place is to help me deal with some issues, and if by relating to it you find some help yourself, mission fucking accomplished.  That said, I'm going to be talking about things that will shock people who know me.  We'll call this the trigger warning. (I hate that fucking phrase)


Friday, September 11, 2015

"Her" - Part One

The windows of the suburban Karate studio I'm sitting in are almost completely fogged over, save for a few spots where kids press their faces into the glass to peer inside.  It's not even halfway through the hour-long class before someone props the door open, letting in some of that awesome Michigan winter evening.

I'm here to see Her.

It's 1990 - 2 days before Christmas - and I'm sitting amidst a group of observers in the lobby area.  Though the studio had become a second home over the years, that night I felt like an alien.  I clutched the mix tape I'd made for Her and wondered how much further in over my head I would get.

At least this much more.

Sensing my tension, one of the people next to me asked if I was a student at the school or just an observer.  I nervously replied that while I was both a student and an instructor, my reason for being there on that particular evening was to meet with another student to exchange Christmas presents, meet with Her mother and hopefully get to spend some time together.  I continued to describe Her as only a 13 year-old boy can do, nervously stammering on about how beautiful and kindhearted she was.  (SD - For the record, this girl was so far out of my league it's not even funny.)

I finally caught a glimpse of her auburn hair as she exited the locker room.  I quickly excused myself and went outside to make a few deals with God.

At least I think it was God.

A quarter of a century later and I can still recall every detail of her face as she walked out of that door into the night air. My gaze caught her soft brown eyes contrasting against a razor sharp smile that betrayed her depth and intellect.  Her upper lip adorned with a tiny scar from a car accident that she and her father were in when she was younger.  The lightly falling snow getting trapped in her hair before melting gave it a silk-like shine.  I even remember the smell of her perfume as we gently brushed our lips together.

I didn't stand a chance.

When does this story get to the funny?

After a couple of minutes, she laughed and asked in her Tomboyish way if I was "ready".  I think we made snare drum marching noises as we walked back into the lobby.  We specialized in Gallows Humor.

"So, when is your mom getting here?" I asked as I kicked the snow off of my boots.

"Oh, she's already here." she said, with a barely perceptible smile in her voice.

I knew before my eyes confirmed it.

She was pointing at the woman I had been talking with.

Not sure if funny or sociopath...

Now dear readers, if you've ever been skydiving you likely know the exact inner monologue I went through as her mom approached us smiling like the Cheshire fucking Cat:

We've bypassed funny and went straight to horrifying.

"FUUUUUUUUCK.....okay..okay...don't panic, we trained for this.  Check altimit..err...I mean boots tied, fly up, nothing in my teeth?  Pull the main.  STOP.  BREATHE.  We got this.  Good.  Breathe.  Scan left-right.  Shit, is this Her lip gloss?  It tastes like it.  I probably smell like Her too, but there's no way to jump back into the damn plane, so hold on and prepare for the PLF!"*

She owned me from that point on.

This wasn't so much a turning point in my life as it was the beginning of something extraordinary.  She came from a Catholic family with strictly enforced rules. (Notice that I didn't say: "strict rules")  Interestingly enough, she was more protective of her heart and honor than her parents were.  Though it may sound self-serving; she knew what she was worth and wouldn't settle for anything less.

(SD - Women please take note, this kind of behavior will drive a man 100% chewing-on-the-furniture-fucking-bonkers. There exists no quality in a woman more attractive than self-esteem.)

*Parachute Landing Fall : Adj. - A basic technique of hitting the ground in a round canopy with a full combat load that minimizes risk of injury.  See also; PFL**

**Pretty Fucked-up Landing : Adj. - A basic technique of hitting the ground in a ram-air canopy with a full combat load that maximizes the amount money your orthopedic surgeon has available to spend on weed and hookers.  See also; "Marine Mike's Motorcycle Incident" - One man's passionate attempt to achieve flight from level terrain in a 1/2 ton wing suit.

In the fall of 1991 I moved into a large studio office behind our house and began living my life as an adult at 13.  I went to two schools during the day, taught Karate a few nights a week and spent most weekends with my paramour and her family.  When we turned 15 we both got jobs waiting tables together at Denny's.  This was both as tragic and hilarious as it sounds.

So many memories from those years:  The first I Love You - events at her school - church every Sunday with her family - That. Little. Black. Dress. - the lesson at the play - the shirt thing was cool - the Detroit River fireworks from the Canadian side - her writing - Jack and Devon - her piano recitals - making mix tapes - indoor soccer - Chocolate Chip Cookies - the dance floor to ourselves at senior prom while the DJ played "No One Like You" by Scorpions.  All eyes were on us.  (To this day, I have no fucking idea how she pulled that off)

Not every memory is rainbows and puppies though:  At her Senior Homecoming dance it became clear that she had appendicitis, which led to a terrifying and intense night.

I was completely terrified of losing her.  To me, hospitals were not a place people went to heal.  It's where they went to die.  I sat in an all too familiar waiting room feeling an all too familiar tension.  For example: The moment the surgeon explained to her dad that they had to run a pregnancy test as a precaution before they began surgery.

"She'd better not be pregnant." her father said, giving me a look that made my insides cold.  

"That would be impossible."  I stated matter-of-factly.  "She's never had sex."

I could see the skepticism written all over their faces.  17-year-old kids do not stay celibate.  I admittedly became a bit testy: "With respect, I think when it comes to this particular subject, I know her better than anyone."

If that seemed like an awkward moment, about 30 minutes later I broke a long silence in the empty waiting room with:

"She's a virgin."

Her dad looked at me incredulously.

"You know how I feel about her.  I wouldn't lie about that at a time like this.  Under other circumstances, admittedly I might.  But not here.  Not now."

His gaze softened and he nodded his head.  This made logical sense to a logical man.  It also had the advantage of being true.  We were very reserved about using restraints....or something.

(SD - So remembering back to our Gallows Humor: About ten seconds of silence passed after finally getting him to believe me, when I had to quell a gigantic urge to jump to my feet and exclaim: "Wait!  You can't get pregnant from anal can you?")

I don't want to die without any scars.

Next up: A Clarification and Disclaimer  Until then, chew on this:  If you died during auto-erotic asphyxiation, would you rather whoever found you told everyone or made it look like a suicide?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Oakland County Family Circuit Court in Pontiac, Michigan is...

...quite intimidating in it's size and grandeur, especially to a 12-year-old kid.  As I fidget impatiently in the hallway with my "Guardian Ad Litem" I distinctly remember becoming cognizant of how fragile my living situation was...

At the end of the game, the King and
the Pawn go back into the same box.

It's 1990, and in the previous six months both of my "King" grandparents died.  First my grandfather: after decades of battling poliomyelitis, the disease finally spread to his major organs, causing respiratory failure.  (Note from S.D.: This was around 30 years beyond what the physicians that first diagnosed him predicted.)

Precisely 8 weeks later my grandmother died from a massive myocardial infarction.  This was in no way a surprise, as she had suffered from severe cardiomegaly for years.  In fact, when I was about 10 I remember her having severe angina during an IRS audit.  I later learned that she had faked it to postpone the audit until her client could get his shit together.

Are they gone yet?

As for my grandfather, I cried so damn hard at his funeral I thought I'd never stop.  I still miss him terribly.

Now a warning: If you are related to me you may want to skip the next paragraph.

I didn't shed a single tear at my grandmothers funeral.  It wasn't because I was in shock or emotionally numb...it's because she was a horrible fucking person who manipulated everyone she came into contact with for personal gain.  She cheated on my grandfather and her clients, lied to the IRS and last but not least, called my father a couple times a year to come over and go a few rounds with me.  This isn't even going into how she used narcotics as a motivational tool.

My lack of grief didn't go unnoticed.  As I greeted people at her funeral with: "Hey! We really need to stop meeting under these circumstances." I didn't notice the effect it was having on others.  Later at the wake (Yup - Irish), the youngest of my mom's sisters decided she would call me out on this - with fists.

I'm going to stop for a second and point out that I was still 12-fucking-years-old and had just buried what was effectively my parents.

She was so drunk that I didn't even need to defend myself.  I just let her swing wild while trying to talk her down.  All this while my family watched.

While my family watched.

I'd say more, but we have rules...

Two years later back at the courthouse, it's my turn in front of the Hon. Judge Young.  She asks a few questions concerning my mental health of my Guardian Ad-Litem, then asks me to step into her chambers alone.

The judge explains that Mark and Cheryl have offered to legally adopt me in their family.  I say legally because by this time, I had lived with them for almost a year.  She went on to explain that the reason for all the lawyers and court dates is that my sister and I have a substantial trust fund setup from our biological mom on top of receiving monthly social security benefits, and that it, and we, needed protecting.

Judge Young continued: "This is your decision and as such, you take as long as you need to make it.  I'll even adjourn for another date if that will help".  I went on to express how Cheryl had already filled the parental role of mother over the last several years and that was where home was.  Literally.  Cheryl had purchased my grandparents home from her other surviving sisters.

So we returned to the courtroom together and she announced we would be waiting for my biological father to show up, as was his legal right.

I remember Judge Young flashing me a knowing smile as she approved Cheryl's petition for adoption five minutes later.

Next time - we'll get to that romance and possible auto-erotic asphyxiation.  Exciting no?

Semper Anticus - SD

To say that I was raised by my grandparents would be less than accurate...

The full cast of that lovely drama consisted of:

It took balls to hang with these women.

The Kings:

  • Cheryl - My stepmom
  • Susan - The youngest
  • Lois - The matriarch
  • Bill - My grandfather (Not pictured)
  • Cathy - The sole survivor of this picture
  • Carol - My biological mother
  • Paul was the cute one

While all of these people (except for Paul...or was it Ringo?) were constantly in my life in one way or another, it was Cheryl who took on a maternal role after Carol died.  Like her father, an entire book could be written about her alone.

I will of course be dedicating some time to writing about her in the near future.

In the meantime, allow me to introduce:

Susan Lee:

Meet the enigmatic heroine of our story.

My sister.

Perhaps she'll grace us with her presence here, if only to bitch about the photo of her I chose to use.

Her story deserves a major motion picture, 5 seasons on FOX and a fucking Saturday morning cartoon.  Alicia Silverstone could do her voice.  It would be awesome.

Why don't I get paid for these ideas?

As her and I were raised separately, I think any attempt I could make to tell her story wouldn't do it justice.  I'll never know how things happened through her eyes until she tells her story.  Because of this I'll only be writing about her as our stories overlap.

Now that we know the players, next time we'll examine the game.

Semper Anticus - SD

Saturday, September 5, 2015

It's the summer of 1982...

I'm standing in a hallway filled with a blue haze of cigarette smoke.  There are too many people congregating in the living room of my childhood suburban home and I can feel the walls closing in.  Now I'm following my biological father down the hallway into the bathroom.  

I already know.  

I always know.

He squatted down to try and get eye level with me to make sure I understood what he was about to tell me.  But I only remember him hanging his head and staring at the floor.  His words were full of a pain I wish I wasn't familiar with now.  "So you understand?  Mom's not coming home.  Okay?  You understand?"

I only remember feeling cold.

I'm grateful that it's all I can remember,

Because dead puppies is going too far.

Over the next 15 years, my only interactions with that broken man was through threats and violence.  Usually both.

I'll spare you the details.  But it's worth noting that most of the beatings actually came when my new parent-maternal-grandmother would offer him some "dope money" to come and "discipline me".

She handled the psychological abuse and he tagged in as the bruiser.  A Dream Team of fuckery that only ends in my therapist buying a boat.

I don't recall her mentioning a boat.

It wasn't always lunacy.  Around age 6 I fell in love with Japanese culture and martial arts, which my mom's younger sister Cheryl and her boyfriend Mark encouraged me to pursue.  It became a refuge amidst bedlam.

My grandfather suffered from paralytic polio.  One of the very last people in the US to contract the disease.  It resulted in paralysis from his neck down and left him using a respirator belt just to breathe.

This extraordinary man deserves a book written about him by an actual writer, but I'll be dedicating a post or three to him in the near future as he is an absolute hero.  For now lets just say he was a constant source of hope and inspiration.  Work in medicine for longer that 30 seconds and you'll encounter the "bad back" or "knee issue" patients that prevent them from working or going to school, or doing anything that doesn't involve Oxycontin and weed.  I often have to bite my tongue to keep from asking some of the obvious fakers: "If they had heard about the guy with polio that ran a business six fucking days a week for up to 12 goddamn hours a day, using archaic devices that barely allow him to WRITE, NOT TO MENTION BREATHE!?"

I didn't think so.

Breathe in......and out....

Tomorrow we start getting juicy.  Deaths and a courtroom drama.

Stay tuned...

Semper Anticus - SD

Friday, September 4, 2015

On August 29th, 1977 at 2:33 in the morning, a newborn was presented to it's family after a prolonged delivery...

The nurse approached carrying the swaddle of pink blankets as the waiting family looked on, overjoyed.  A girl.  They would name the newborn girl "Susan" after her aunt. As the nurse handed the baby girl off to the family she informed them of a hospital issue that caused a slight complication...

My first taste of obfuscation.

...they had run out of blue blankets.

So the happy family had a good laugh with the nurse and took their new bouncing baby boy home and lived a rich life full of meaning and purpose.  - The End

Let me try that again...

So the criminally dysfunctional tribal members would return to that same hospital only four years later to watch my mother - brain dead - waste away in a coma over the course of months after an aneurysm burst in her Circle of Willis.

I've never expressed it to anyone, but I hope it was a doctor or nurse that had the courage and compassion to let her finally go.  A mixture of cowardice and selfishness had kept her body alive for far too long.  Not machines.

What followed has been described to me as "frightening".

Screaming, accusations, violence, property damage, (my grandmother put her fist through a wire mesh window) and good old fashioned chaos.

This would also prove to be a very serious turning point in my life, as I lost both of my parents that day.  A little dark, I know...

Here's Gary Busey to help lighten things up.

That's enough for a good first day, yeah?

Welcome to Selling Drama.  I'm happy you're here.

Semper Anticus - SD