This is from the “My Life in Vignettes” series
things you don’t want to talk about or write about. There are things you wish never happened. There are things you hoped would happen. There are things I ask myself, “How can Iexplain this?”
This I know now: I’m
a dreamer, a hopeless romantic, naive, and generous to a fault. And,
an eternal optimist.
I didn’t always know these things. By this point in my life (1958) I can transport myself anywhere. I can walk down any road I’ve ever been on, and make up roads I’ve never been on. I
go deep into the woods; there is always my guardian angel with me. I never want anyone ever tofind me. I love being alone in my own head.I have a brother who is five years younger than me. He wants me to protect him without sayingso. He wants to be brave but is not, and never will be.In the house there is always tension. It never goes away. You always have to go back to it. Youeat and sleep tension.
Our house is small. Conversation and arguments are a short earshot away late at night. There’s
always this thing about my brother not being my brother. Someone else is his father. What thehell are they talking about? Bastard this bastard that. It never stops.
Then the overhead light goes on again and I’m mentally back in the woods, safe. I see only
beautiful things. I see the y
ellow bowl on the Sunday school table. I’m back in the Ozarks with
It’s: “You’re no good. Why don’t you leave?” Over and over. But it’s actually okay because I
did leave. At least spiritually I did. This would come in handy for me a lot of times.
Then the message my mother starts to send me over a period of time is: “I want you to beat your father. Beat him up when he comes home.”
Well this I tell you upends my whole universe as I know it. Even the parallel universe I hide in. Iignore it like the
plague. But it doesn’t stop.
“You gotta do this. I want you to hit him when he comes in the door.”
Where do I go now? I’ve got a problem. The reality of such an act makes me want to run.