The Battle of the Doggy Bowl and the Crimson Nightmare

Murphy’s Law- Whatever can go wrong, Will go wrong.

Now I’m not sure about of a lot of things in life, but for the first 26 years of my life I was sure about one thing, This guy Murphy was right and I hated him for it. I would think life would show me some reprieve after I witnessed my mother walk out the door, never to come back. Low and behold there was no such luck, in fact there was no luck at all, unless you are willing to classify bad luck, and I use the word “bad” only because I can not for the life of me find a better word to describe it at this time. Life had been rough before momma left, but I could have never guessed it would’ve gotten any worse.

When I was a small child I was afraid of the monsters that lived under my bed, the monsters that most certainly lived in my closet, and all the monsters and ghouls that I saw in the latest Fangoria magazines my mother had left lying around the house. In my limited capacity at that young age all of those monsters were real in my head, that I was sure of. I knew one night the boogeyman would jump out of my closet and I would get one brief glimpse of him before he took me away to whatever place boogeymen took their child hostages. I never realized just how real monsters were until my mother left, when she left that’s when I learned what monsters truly were. After she left I wished the boogeyman in my closet would make me his child hostage.

My “Father” was a vicious man. He still is my worst nightmare turned reality, and I still go through life tormented by the memories that haunt me and scare me even today. “Father” was a Irish immigrant, he was a card-carrying alcoholic, a walking Irish stereotype. When he first moved to the states he was hired on as a construction worker, not long after that he had a steel beam fall on his leg and end his fledgling construction career and in turn end his hopes of succeeding in the states. His bitterness at first was focused inwards and did not physically affect me at all. His actions in the beginning were completely self-destructive and only indirectly effected my little sister and me, after momma left we were never again so lucky.

I’ve said before the one memory that would always stay with me was the hunger I felt. There was rarely any food on the table, there were many nights and days that went by when we would not eat at all. I remember falling asleep to my sister crying out in hunger, it was the most pitiful cry I can remember, weak almost as if she didn’t have the strength to have a voice. Sometimes when I shut my eyes at night I can still hear those cries of hers, they send chills up my spine now, and at times bring a tear to my eyes.

It had been a year since my mother left to buy cigarettes, I would always wonder when she was going to get home. I hoped she was cured of her disease and wasn’t on her “medicine” anymore, I hoped she would come home and swoop in like Wonder Woman and save us from the Hell we were taking residence in. The beatings were becoming more frequent, most of the time we got beat because he was mad over something that happened at the bar earlier in the day. All I knew was when my “father” took off his belt my little behind was going to be sore for the foreseeable future. We even got beat for our dog Satan, and you read that correctly, our German Shepherds name was Satan. He was even cruel to the dog.

Now if my demon of a “father” wasn’t feeding us, he certainly wasn’t feeding Satan. Poor thing was skin and bones just like my sister and I were. I have a vivid memory of a battle my dog and me once had. It was later at night and my “father” wasn’t quite torched yet and poured some water in Satan’s bowl. I heard it, Satan heard it. My head perked up from my pillow just as his did. I looked him in his brown canine eyes, he looked into mine. There was a moment of primal understanding, we weren’t friends at that point. Survival was of paramount importance, and come whatever may, it was either going to be him or me. We both jumped from the bed, mustering every last bit of strength we had and ran to the kitchen. Satan had the upper hand, all four of his legs moving rapidly in unison. I could only move so fast, but I was clever as I was able to catch a back leg and cause him to slide head first into the kitchen table. I made it to the bowl and got on all fours and placed my lips into the cool water and sipped my wonderful liquid prize. I looked up to see if Satan was still there, as I looked up from the bowl I caught a boot to my face, and faded to black.

When I came to, I was strewn out on the floor of my room. I could taste the blood, it was metallic and warm. My little nose was flattened and there was dried blood on my Bert and Ernie pajama top. I looked over to my little 4-year-old sisters bed and she was gone. I gathered myself and walked cautiously into the kitchen. As I made it to the living room I heard it. It was a sound I will never forget, it haunts my worst nightmares. My little sister had found her voice, and she let out the most blood curdling screams I have ever heard, even until this day. I heard the devil inside yell at her to “shut the fuck up and lay still!” Satan then sat beside me as I cried for my sister. Both Satan and me both knew that neither of us had won, and my sister was the innocent that received the punishment for our exploits.

My sister was brutally raped that night. I’ll never be able to bury the image of her walking back into our room, face all battered and bloodied, and the large crimson stain on the bottom of her tattered pajama bottoms. I’ve taken copious amounts of meds to deal with that memory nothing worked. I fall asleep and still hear her screams. I lived with Lucifer incarnate, and I can tell you with the utmost certainty this: Monsters do exist, and they look like you and me.

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A Unique and Special Snowflake?

Some people say we are lucky to be born here in the United States, I do agree to a certain extent. Some children are lucky enough to be born into a middle class or *gasp!* even an upper class house hold. Some children are fortunate enough to have a mother and a father that love them and treat them like the blessing they should be. Some children live in stable homes with stable families that have a stable income that can put food on the table on a daily basis. Some children hit the family jackpot and are fortunate enough to get all of these things. Unfortunately I did not hit any sort of jackpot upon entering this world.

I was born in Lynn, Massachusetts on a snowy afternoon in December. My mother was 15 years old at the time, hardly old enough to care for herself let alone a new-born child. My father, and I use that term loosely as he hardly deserves the title of “father” was a 50-year-old disabled construction worker. Needless to say I was not born into a life of luxury. I spent my formative years in the bowels of the Lynn projects, the only white boy in the neighborhood. I remember many days going by without food, because alcohol was far more important to my father, and Heroine was a far more attractive choice than caring for a child in my mothers eyes. Of all the memories I have from my childhood, I would honestly say that I can still feel the hunger I experienced.

My mother was very fickle. She was a fiery redhead filled with her own demons she was battling. Sometimes she would nod off for days and other days she would become the mother I was yearning for. On the nights where she was what a mother should be, she would come into my room at night and run her fingers through my hair and tell me how much she loved me and how I was so special and I was going to be her “Unique and Special Snowflake”. I was very young when she would tell me this, but when you only have a few good memories of your childhood there’s a tendency to remember the little things like this. I was my mothers special snowflake, and hearing her tell me this would erase all the days of an absent mother and everything would be right in my little world. It was my “Heroine” at that young age, and I can tell you from experience that both had the same effect on me.

It was dark outside when she walked in one night. She had a black trash bag and had a heavy coat on. Her hair was disheveled and her eyes tired and bloodshot. I wasn’t sure if she had been taking her “medicine” again as she called it or she had been crying. She walked towards the side of my bed and kissed me on the forehead and whispered “I love you so much. Momma will be back soon, I’ve got to go buy some cigarettes.” She then wiped away a tear and I watched her walk out of my room and out the apartment door. I don’t know where she went to buy cigarettes, but it must have been pretty far because 26 years later I’m still waiting for her to come back.

I don’t think I understand or if I will ever understand what special means. When I tell my two little girls they are special I truly mean it. I couldn’t picture my life without them. I couldn’t walk out the door with a clear conscience right after lying to my child. How can you walkout on someone’s life that is that special to you? I don’t know, I don’t understand the logic behind it, maybe as a person with a conscience I’m not supposed to.

I just want to take the time to thank my mother wherever she may be for all the issues she gifted to me. Special and unique turned into fucked up and haunted, sad and lonely, angry and bitter, a basket case and a lost cause for many years. Where ever you may be I want to thank you for showing me how not to be a parent, between you and dad I have a list of things not to do as a parent.

My children are special and unique to me, they are my angels from God above and helped save me from my path of self-destruction. Something I clearly couldn’t do for my mother.