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

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