Tag Archive: love


A Pause for Station Identification


We’ve taken a long pause on this, our blog of our childhood – and beyond. Perhaps this become another’s story; perhaps it is our own – though I know in reality they are intertwined, for ‘I’ am DID and there’s a lot in my life I don’t understand.

This is about “13”, our alter, who more or less took over from the time we left Germany until we came back to the USA – and beyond.  It wasn’t supposed to be that way it appears . . .

This is where “we’ve” been stuck, and is part of the reason for this blog: to work our alters out of our woodwork; to understand our own life, its arc and path – ‘who’ became ‘what’, the reasons why . . .

And that’s why ‘we’ have been stuck for such a long time. We’d sit down to work on this blog – and draw a blank on emotions, memories sometimes. Oh some of them would be there, like glimpses through a fog – snapshots only.

But a few weeks ago we started experiencing a disturbing emotion . . . and it turned out to be “13” – the key to moving on.

So we’re going over what we’ve wrote over the past week . . . documenting 13’s journey, and the steps we – he – ‘they’ took . . .

In many ways this is another alter’s story; not my own, not “Mikie’s”, nor the alter ‘he’ sprang from – an entirely different viewpoint, way of looking at the world . . .

for ’13’ was born when we were 13, and had only a few months left ‘in-country’ before we would go over the the “Good Ol’ U.S. of A.” which we had left a few years earlier.  Change was in the air; our best friend was gone, our girlfriend was fast becoming a thing of history, clouds were on the near horizon – gray ones, whirling and thick in my mind . .

 


I am 13 and I was born over in Germany but I was fairly prepared.  Gone were a lot of the emotions and outlooks I’d had.  I’d read many books and seen a lot of things, but sex with a girl was on my mind – not that I’d had any, tho’ I’d come close with a cousin once, and then with another girl.

I’d had sex over here but it didn’t take – friends were a thing of the past. I was way more into science and writing and stuff.  I played in the band.  I’d learned not to make friends.

I had learned racism over here, due to a few incidents with some blacks. That’s okay. I’ve very nearly gotten over it, but statistics don’t lie, and the black mobs over there were cruel. Unruly. And ran around in mobs.

That reminds me; I’m supposed to write about dealing with racism over here. (germany – host entry – he’s still a bit lost over ‘here’ in the real world)

Not that that has anything to do with this story. Racism plays a part in my life, but just a little one. We didn’t know nuthin’ as a kid about racism. All were the same in my little kid’s mind. ‘We’ learned better later on.

My host is reminding me it’s time to go on. “How should I write this” he is saying.  Should I do it from first person viewpoint or ‘yours’ (his).  I should be writing a question to my (intended) audience.  I could do it like stories like my Boss wants me, or just cut to the chase. I don’t want to do it either way.

But (sighing) I suppose I should fill in the racism blank. And a few other things over there.  But it was hard.

(Bosses Viewpoint):

Okay here I gotta step in (teen attending).  13 is a highly intelligent kid; apart somewhat from “the system”, although very important.  We’d always kind of ignored him – ‘he’ was like an engine running in the background, quiet, but doing his job . . .

then he began to ‘choke’ a bit last week.  Funny how what you took for granted can suddenly misbehave.  But that’s good. We’re gonna get some work done on this blog.

He’s all alone in his own way.  “We” had stripped him/it from certain aspects of ‘his’ personality.  He read.  He was well traveled.  He’d seen Berlin, Spain, whatnot . . . and plowed through every book he could get his hands on.  Fluent in English, he had gained a junior college vocabulary and reading comprehension skill level – he was tested for that – and wrote quite a bit (mostly poems).  And he was shy – painfully so. But at the same time big, quite strong, a bit flabby in the middle, but close mouthed and HARD.  He’d lie to you in a heartbeat, smoke a cigarette in the restroom – give a blowjob there – and go on to steal tank parts (or the bullets that go in them) at night.

He knew about nuclear bombs and nuclear missiles; about girls and boys – knew enough about the biology to make a woman happy; the seven erogenous zones (on a woman, anyway) – knew how to drink and hold it, used his bike like a car; was at home in a German atmosphere as the home one, tho’ sometimes ‘he’ would retreat inside while the child was being punished, sparing himself some pain . . .

He’d read “Everything a Boy Needs to Know About Sex” – and the girls version, too – just to be safe.  He’d seen a dog jacked off; done it on his own as his abuser had taught him to do, had loved and lost and loved again – and had lost

until he’d sworn off of it.

“Never again,” he was saying in the back of his mind. “No more pain.”

But ‘he’ didn’t know that, not yet . . .

that still laid ahead in his future . . .

and he was a pretty tough kid.

 

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No More Hugs


No More Hugs

Harlow's Monkeys

When I was seven years old I did something for reasons I can only guess at, and about which I harbor certain regrets – but in some ways don’t regret at all. It is hard to explain.


I remember the day, the time, this scattering of moments with crystal clear clarity. I can clearly see the bedroom, lit by the overhead light; I can feel myself in the bed, the covers pulled halfway to my chest; see their rumpled billows embracing me. I can even orientate myself; my head is to the north, my feet toward the south; the doorway is to my left and down, and the hall light is on. It is bedtime.

My dad comes in. Despite his cruel ways, his hidden sadism, he is smiling, almost laughing as he bee-bops through the doorway and across the linoleum tile floor. He was always fond and affectionate when it came time to put us to bed – though he has a rude way of awakening us – coming in in the morning, jumping on the bed and roughly tickling us, and sometimes even worse – grabbing us by one heel and snatching us up and dangling us upside down. That’s the way he used to beat us sometimes – holding us up with one hand by one foot, and lashing as hard as he could with a thick leather belt with the other. I don’t remember those times real well, but my brother recently told me, triggering flickers of memory and pain; of squirming like a tortured frog within his grasp. I guess I am fortunate I cannot remember those times as well as my brother, for my brother has told me he could hear me scream and scream and scream. To me they are just blackness; a time buried and lost in my memory, or within the memory of my inner child.

He comes to my bed; places a knee on the bed. I feel uneasy, uncomfortable. I don’t know why – just a general uneasiness. He bends over, scooping my thin shoulders – broad for a child, but thin as a kid – in his arms. The warmth of his closeness, the feel of his closeness, his bristled chin scraping my face. He hugs me tightly, goes to kiss me – a parent’s kiss, nothing more. And when he releases me I tell him.

“Dad? I don’t want you to hug me anymore.” I feel odd telling him him this, but my uneasiness is forcing me. I don’t know why I am uneasy; just that it’s there, the feeling of some undefinable something wrong.

“What?” he asks kindly, his face a few inches from mine.

“I don’t want you to hug me anymore,” I say – a bit more forcefully, a bit more sure. “I’m a big boy. I don’t want hugs.”

He leans back and looks at me, confusion clear upon his face.

“Why – okay,” he says, taking his knee from the bed and rising. His face is clouded, then clears. “Are you sure?”

“Yes,” I say. My uneasiness is leaving, and yet I am troubled – there is a deep churning I cannot describe, even now. A dark thing within me. A bothersome feeling I cannot pin down.

“Well. Okay.” His face is now unreadable, a slate hiding his emotions. He goes to the door, pauses with his hand on the light switch.

“Good night,” he says, flicking off the switch. The room plunges into darkness. I can see him, a dark featureless shadow framed in the doorway, silhouetted by the hall light.

“Good night, dad,” I say, turning over as is my wont, towards the crevice between the bed and the wall. That’s how I often slept – my nose stuck in that crevice, breathing in the cool air from beneath the bed.

Over the years I have replayed that scene in my mind, wondering. My mom was devoid of physical affection – I don’t remember her ever hugging us. During my childhood and teenage years, I don’t remember them ever saying they loved us, except as a tool, such as “We are doing this (a punishment) because we love you.” That was the only time love was ever mentioned – as a reason for a punishment. Why would I suddenly decide to put an end to the only source of parental affection available to me? Why did I do that – and yet seek an even more intimate form of affection from my peers and the teenager next door?

I suspect I know why. I guess I write this as a warning something to look for in your child, though I cannot be sure this was the reason, nor do I wish to raise undue suspicions. But I think – and this is just a thought – that my uneasiness arose from what was happening between the teenager and I. That I was afraid my dad would go further, as the teenager did. That that kiss would turn into something else; something more adult and demanding. The press of his body against mine – I guess it subconsciously reminded me of something, what was happening to me two or three times a week during the summer; a little less during the school year.

My brother and I both discussed this in a sidelong sort of fashion. We never admit the sexual abuse that happened. But we both agree: dad never touched us “like that”. He never did anything sexual to or towards us. He never (to the best of our faulty recollections) – touched us inappropriately. There was only one time he ‘touched’ me in a way that was bad, but that was for a medical procedure, and if it hadn’t been for the sexual abuse by the teenager, it wouldn’t still stick out in my mind. I’ll write about that sometime later.

The majority of my ‘selves’ regret that day, my decision – but the little child inside still doesn’t. I don’t know why. To this day I can feel his firm resolution on the issue. (In my mind I can see him shaking his head “no”, still stubbornly refusing to change his mind.) Strange. This is one of the problems with my kind of madness. Having these ‘beings’ within you, some fighting other parts of your mind.

But I think – and this is the warning, the admonition – that when a small child suddenly, out of the blue, refuses or no longer wants a parent’s affection – when it suddenly becomes uncomfortable to the child, makes them uneasy – it may indicate . . . something.

Just a thought. Perhaps a warning,. I don’t know. Like I said: I’m still not sure why I felt so uneasy about my dad hugging me anymore – but I have my suspicions.

And sometimes suspicions are grounded in fact.

Animal Friends


My Animal Friends

They were with me from the very beginning, or so I’ve been told. At least most of them were. Most were in place by my second birthday; some had been there for the first. One, I’ve been told, was given to me after I’d been born.

I remember my momma entertaining me with two of them – it must have been at a young age, for it is one of my earliest memories – her using Alley the Alligator and Leo the Lion to play with me as the plane came down.

Then there was Chee-Chee, the wondrous bear. He was my favorite friend of all; his small eyes a warm brown, his body soft and a fuzzy mottled golden brown. There’s a bald spot on his head where my Uncle and I gave him a small trim – much to my consternation then, and a bit of sadness now. I didn’t want to give him a ‘haircut’ but my Uncle did. He was always sort of destructive that way whereas I had to take care of what I was given; it had to last for awhile. A long while. And in some cases I’ve managed to make them last a life.

These were my friends, my stuffed animals. There was “Monkey”, a Steiff monkey, who I lost in the woods. Chee-chee and Grandpa (another, big ol’ bear) – and of course my brother’s bear, Teddy (kind of a plain name, but true). Leo the Lion, Alley the Alligator (and later on Squirrel and Wolf) were the Steiff puppets we had. Leo was mine, Alley my brothers, and Squirrel and Wolf I bought on another trip ‘over there’, when I was ten or eleven.

I’ll never forget losing Monkey – I was about four years old, and I used to take him down to a tree that bordered our yard. I would climb that tree with my monkey (though it probably was more of a bush) and sit there with him, playing little games and letting him climb around in the tree. How he got lost remains a mystery to me; I cherished my little friends. But when my dad came home we went walking through the woods, looking for him. I was sure he’d taken off, so here I am, a little kid – anxiously scanning the tall pines, looking for him, calling his name while my dad walked by my side, holding my hand. He was dressed in his Army uniform, a drab olive green, along with his Army boots polished to a high shine. We looked for what seemed like hours until the light began to go, and then he coaxed me into giving up and we headed home. I never saw that monkey again.

My parents bought me another one some time later – “Monk-monk”, a plain brown American made thing – not quite as cute nor anatomically accurate as the Steiff ones. After all, Steiff is known as a quality toy maker. They should be. They’re German, and they’re highly given to being anatomically accurate (in some models), cute, cuddly, and made from high quality materials to exacting standards. Which is also why they are collectable, expensive, and a treasure to behold if you’ve got one left over from your childhood. Though mine, for the most part, won’t be worth much. Not only are they very old – they are worn with love.

My Steiff bear, Chee-chee, got some new paws (and a heart to go along with it!, courtesy of my Aunt Nelle). He also got some new stuffing and a seam up his back. Most of my animals did; they needed them. And their hearts are psychedelic. I know; I chose the material at that time. Wild rainbow colors; a sixties pattern if I’d ever seen one. I loved the colors as a kid.

And then there is Valentine. I got her when I was about six years old. She was sitting there (or laying there, to put it more accurately) in a bin at Southgate – a K-mart or Woolworth type of store; perhaps even a grocery one. (Whichever one it was, it was facing east, so it must have been on the west side wing.) I saw her among a pile of other snakes, and there was a special going on. Not only this, but she was named “Valentine” because she was my Valentine’s gift from my mom (in a way). I looked and I begged for her; begging over and over again. And it must have been around Valentine’s time, for there was a silky tag sewn onto her collar (her neck) that said “Happy Valentines!”.

At first my mom was extremely reluctant. She was trying to check out and I come up dragging this thing – it looked about nine feet long though it’s nearer to five, and about four inches wide – red, with white puffy cheeks and a white puffy nose. She used to have different eyes; now she has kaleidoscope ones – made out of patches of that same cloth (I insisted) that her heart is.

But I’ll never forget when I got her. The very next day I found a thread hanging off her side. It looked odd and I pulled it – and it just came. It was clear. So I went to my mom and asked her about this thread. And I guess she was regretting her decision, because she told me:

“Fine. Then I’ll just take it back to the store.” And the way she said it – hard and firm; mean, sort of – I knew: she was going to do it. She was going to take my friend.

So I went into my room and cradled my poor snake who would be condemned back into the bin for some other stranger to find – only no stranger would want her, not with a string hanging out of her side – so I cried – jeez, I don’t know. It felt like hours, about a half day.

And then my mom came in – saw I was still upset – and caving in, clipped the loose thread (it was ‘fixed’) – and that was the end of it. I got to keep my new friend.

 

That was the thing of it in a way: these things were alive to me. Everything was in a way; everything had a purpose of some kind. And it hurt me to see something wasted with no purpose, or not for the purpose it was built. I remember crying once when I broke a living room lamp – not over the beating I was about to receive (I had been clumsy, rolling around on the floor and snagging the cord) – but over the fact that this lamp, a living thing to me, could no longer serve the purpose for which it had been used. I had ‘killed’ it, and it was all my fault. So I sat there and cried.

I guess I was kind of a sensitive kid when it came down to it.

 

And I remember those days – sometimes long, lonely days and hours – sitting in my room playing with my animals. “We’d” sit around for hours playing some game, or having a party or two. It was great fun for me. I could imagine these animal’s minds – my friend’s minds – for I knew them so well. Chee-chee was in / a part of me. (He was the good part; he was my friend; he was the best, always loving. Never caring what you did to him; he loved you just the same; always and forever my little friend – yes we still love him and him us today, we are sure sure certain).

 

But you see how it is.

 

We’d sit around – me making up voices for my friends – and play. And no matter where we went – overseas, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia and New Jersey: there were my friends. The only ones who stuck with me through ‘the end’ (though the end has not come – not quite yet.) They stuck with me through bad times and good. When other friends died and moved on – they were there. When we moved – they came with me.

 

Leo the Lion has a small ink mark on him. This was from one of the few times I took my animals in for “Show and Tell” – and I only took him and his friend, Alley the Alligator (the only two puppets we had at the time). I think I must have been in third grade and the kids were passing them around – I had stood up, pulling them from my brown grocery paper bag, and nervously giving my ‘presentation’. And some kid marked him up before they turned him in. I got him – rather sad, somewhat mad – and resolved never to take them to school again. People were too unkind; you couldn’t trust them – hell, I couldn’t even trust my own parents – but I took care of them. After all; they were mine to take care of. And I always try to be good to my friends.

 

I think my mom knew – and appreciated – my deep devotion to my animal friends there at the house. She made clothes for almost all of them. I don’t know if maybe she was just bored, or practicing making patterns to sew. She took clothes in and made new ones, functioning as the seamstress of the ‘hood to make extra money. Money was tight in those days. But in doing so she taught me to sew as well – how to ‘throw some stitches’, that I should turn things inside out before sewing them (that way the seams don’t show); how to thread a needle, how to choose the thread. And while it was some years later, I ended up making my own stuffed animals – rather plain and sad affairs, really, for I could afford no ‘fur’ cloth for them, and used buttons for the eyes. I made a red owl out of some clingy yarn material my mom had left over from something (naturally called her “Owl”) who was more of a pillow than a comfort, and I made a snake for my friend, Valentine, giving her a checkerboard plaid husband, complete with whiskers and a smile.

I remember dressing Chee-Chee – changing his clothes. At night he would wear a red pair of soft snap-up flannel pajamas that covered his round body firm; during the day he would have on his Army outfit, or a pair of overalls. My brother’s Bear also had overalls; his had an Army badge. He still wears them.

 

Nowadays? I got Monk-Monk back just the other day. My mom has been hanging onto them – my entire crew – for many years. She’s always known how fond I am of them, and lately I’ve been wanting them back.

I’ve had Valentine under my bed for awhile; her and her husband, too. Her ‘fur’ is matted and her fabric has gotten weak – I have to be careful, for she is brittle. And I have sewed. I had to sew a new ‘collar’ on her – she had gotten a hole, and the time-rotted fabric wouldn’t hold. But she is still mine, and I know she loves me – and I ‘love’ her (yes, I know, but I am of multiple minds). Or at least a part of me holds her very very dear – and so I, the adult, honor that love and devotion and am willing to keep her near. Her and all her friends – my friends, my childhood friends who held my dreams and tears; who listened to me when I was said (and Chee-chee, his little arms raised as if to say: gimme a hug and I’ll give one to you, little boy blue).

They stuck by me – were my friends. I’m not ready to let them go. And I won’t. They are a part of me – or a part of a part of a part I once had, one who’s quite alive . . .

I think I’ll keep them for a little time more.

My stuffed animals,

cherished memories, warm friends, loved ones, comforts . . .

all the things a family should be

and often were when I had none.

Strange Love


Strange Love

As I work my way through my tales of the ‘hood, I found a part of myself aching, and I was compelled to face the same question over and over again. Why, as a such a little boy, did I fall in love? For there were two boys I fell in love with at first sight one time. No, nothing ever happened with them, and they were in two totally different locations. But I wanted to be with them in the way I had with other little boys – closer than natural, perhaps – for I wanted to make love with them; which means I loved them. Because I did. A ‘love at first sight’ kind of thing.

One was Mark (or Matt; we really aren’t quite sure), a boy on my bus, a boy I saw frequently when I was seven and eight. He didn’t live in the hood; he lived some distance away. He had pale green eyes, wide set and framed with thick lashes, and a laughing face. I remember how the corners of his eyes would crinkle when he smiled – a broad and happy smile – as he got on the bus. He lived on a narrow road cut in the clay, embraced by high red banks. The bus got into a wreck there one time, flipping onto its side with all us kids flying in all directions. I wonder if I loved Mark because Mark looked a bit like my best friend, the boy next door – curly brown-blond locks, a square jaw, impish upturned nose. But unlike my friend who had a thin scattering of freckles, Mark’s complexion was fair. Each time he would get on the bus I felt my heart skip; I wanted to get close to him, know him, and let him know how drawn I was to his personality. It was a painful desire, and yet I never did. Even at that young age I was knew what what going on in my life was wrong; I was too ashamed to even speak of it. And yet – I felt that draw, that want – and yet at such a young age!

The other boy I fell in love with was in North Carolina when I was nine – an Asian boy named Leo whom I can still remember quite clearly. He was a lithe black haired youth, slightly taller than I, with a laughing face and a quick smile. Physically he did not resemble Mark, not at all; in that respect they were total opposites. He got along with the other kids, unlike me – a “new” kid in school, transplanted from the dirt poor outskirts of a southern town to what was to me a large and modern city. I don’t know why I loved him so much, but I did, and like all my loves, it is one I still feel ghostly echoes of. We would play, my eyes on him – and I was only what? Nine? And yet I wanted to be so much closer; to be as close as the teenager had been to me: skin to skin, warm body to warm body, feeling his flesh pressed against mine. Again, I think it was something about his personality which attracted me – something in the eyes, the laughing smile. So odd! So strange! – for a boy of nine. And yet I can still see him, dancing and running in the dappled shadows on the playground; laughing and playing. So odd – I do not remember being happy at that time. Was it because we had moved? Or was it because I was so afraid to approach this kid to whom I felt such a strong bond? I was pretty friendless that year, being the “new kid” and all – and we moved away before I could make good friends. Such is the life of a military kid: here today, gone tomorrow.

In the ‘hood my best friend and I were the closest of friends. Sexually abused by his older brother, the teenager, we were on intimate terms, and yet we were not lovers. We did not know how to be lovers, but we were both always together – and we did “things” together – the things his brother had shown him. And yet my feelings towards him – when I compare them towards my feelings towards Mark and Leo – it was is if my best friend and I had been thrown together, whereas in Mark and Leo I could sense something more was possible – a closer closeness than a sexual relationship can bring; a deeper love. Strange to think of a seven, eight, and nine year old boy being possessed by such feelings, but given my past I think I can understand, explain it a bit if you can not. But remember: I am still attempting to understand it myself – and the child within me.

I loved the teenager – that much was true. I still feel echoes of that love from the past. I trusted him with my life, would do anything he asked – and all I wanted in return was to be loved and accepted by him, even if in the end it all fell apart with his betrayal. Given that child’s desire and the way that the teenager showed his affection and acceptance – through sexual acts – led me to feel that the only way I could express or accept love was through intimate touch. It is a problem I still face in my relationships: for me love and physical intimacy are as closely intertwined as vines on a wall; rain to a rainbow. I cannot have sex without love; and with love comes the desire to please the other person “in that way”. That much I know was taught to me, courtesy of the teenager, and it has affected most of my relationships since then. It has been a love undeclared in many of my relationships, for in many it would have been rejected with scorn and embarrassment (or at least I so I believe, or believed, remembering with burning hurt the way the teenager betrayed me); in others it would have been morally wrong, damaging the other person. It is one of the reasons I am leery of making new friends, and do not tell close friends all that I feel. It’s one of the ‘crosses’ it seems I must bear, a sometimes painful one I do not like, but thus far am unable to change. The shrinks told me that it was wrong but to be expected given my past, this fusing of love and the idea of making love, but they were unable to totally break that bond – and I understand that even for ‘normal’ people, this can be an issue: confusing sex with love and vis versa.

Going back to those two boys – I know some of the “whys” of what I felt: I had already been introduced to the concept that love and sex were one and the same. But to this day I wonder why I felt the way I felt towards Leo and Mark – a feeling so strong that I can still recall their names (both real in this story) – as well as their faces. There are shadows to answers in here, this “story”, this batch of questions – and yet – they elude my grasp. The only answer that makes any sense to me is that perhaps, somehow or somehow – they may have been soul mates of mine.

I guess that’s something I’ll never know, and there is a bit of sadness in that knowledge.


(I must admit: this was a difficult story for me to write, and probably could have been done better. Some part of me – and I know which one: the child – had pushed me over and over again to write about this. I resisted, then finally caved in some weeks ago. I put it aside, not really sure if I wanted to post it – for what difference could it possibly make? It is in the past; there is nothing I can do about it. And the child within has been whispering, gently pushing me in his childlike way: “For me.” To tell a bit more of “his” story, how “he” felt, and still feels today. I used “I” in the narrative, for it was the “I” of yesterday who experienced those things, felt these things. As a result I get a bleed-over of “his” emotion. I guess it just goes to show that despite being a house divided, “I” and “he” are in many ways one and the same. But it is what it is, and I did the best I could to both communicate the depth of feeling I had; the desire I felt – and my confusion at feeling that desire. In some ways I find it a scary thing – that a seven, eight, or nine year old child could be capable of that kind of feeling, and embarrassing in that I was a boy, feeling that for another boy. But I realize: such is the way I was taught by the teenager and it’s made quite a difference in my life. As the past often define us, it has something to do with the way I am.)

Kissing Cousins


Kissin’ Cousins

We rarely got to see our relatives; they all lived over a thousand miles away. As a result I never became close to many of them, most were strangers to me, people I’d see maybe once a year for a few days during my childhood, less as time went on. The last time I visited any of them was twenty-five years ago. And people change over time, you know.

 

But there were a few relatives I came like a great deal, fewer still I came to love and treasure. One of those was my cousin.

 

I remember how filled with joy and excitement I would be when we’d pull up to their house. I’d be bouncing up and down in my seat, looking out the window, knowing that I would be seeing her again. She had long black hair which ran all the way her waist, straight and shimmering in the Western sun,, and her skin was a dusky tan, almost an earthy color. Her eyes were brown as coal, almost black, with long thick lashes set above a cute upturned nose. How she got those looks when both her parents were pale whites is beyond me – and it didn’t matter. I loved her. I remember us pulling up in their white span of concrete driveway one hot summer afternoon, the first visit of the season, and hearing the screeching howl of a poorly played violin emanating from the house. “She’s taking violin lessons,” my mother explained as we got out of the hot, stuffy car. I took off running, and before I’d even reached the house, the sounds had stopped and she’d raced out, smiling from ear to ear, her violin in one hand, the bow in the other, and her dark eyes dancing with happiness and affection. For she loved me every bit as much as I loved her. I don’t know why we were so precious to one another – I just know that we were. As close as coattails, a snug fitting comfort when we were together.

 

We’d spend hours exploring in the basement of her house – playing pool on the crowded pool table, digging through the toys. I remember one: the original clapping monkey who held the cymbals in his hands. And then after awhile we’d get bored with the toys and we would start kissing and hugging and doing all those things kissing cousins do, and a few proper cousins would not dream of. This was not just experimentation, not just kids at play – we were passionate about each other, telling each other all our secrets, our troubles, our sorrows and concerns. Sometimes we kissed open mouthed, and how well I remember her body pressed against mine – both of us young and eager and her soft lips embracing mine. She knew I was having sex with the boys back home, but that didn’t bother her; indeed, being children, neither of us understood that was bad, nor the possible consequences to come of it. All we wanted was each other to be happy; the other one was our biggest concern – concern about each other, being with each other, and sharing the world between us, being in each another’s company – and knowing, knowing deep down in our secret hearts, even hidden to us, that it was not going to be so. She would have to stay; I would have to go. No matter what we did, the destiny of our parting was always so, so clear – we always knew: this cannot be forever, and it never will.

 

I remember once we visited some relatives who I didn’t know. I think I was eight. It was a big party, probably a family reunion, and as is so often typical with such events, the children went off to play on their own while the grownups stood around and talked, ignoring them. During this reunion a group of girls went down into a dark basement, and after awhile, invited us boys to come in.

 

The lights were off and the girls were all lined up against a damp brick wall, their pants dresses either pulled up or their pants pulled down. There were about a half dozen of them. They had us boys seeking around in the dark, ‘feeling’ them, touching their private parts, but there was only one I was seeking, only one I was looking for. My heart was crying out for her. Because at these events so often the “boys will be boys” and “girls will be girls” philosophy reigned, and each gender would stick with their own – meaning the boys played the boy games with the boys, and the girls played with theirs. I didn’t like this. I only wanted to be with one. My kissing cousin, my confidant, my lover and true friend. Going from one to another, I touched them all as they bid us – them giggling and laughing as we do – until I found her in the darkness. Touching her wet softness ‘down there’, she embraced me like a lover, and I embraced her – hugging her tight until the girls, all giggling, hiked up their panties and pulled up their pants, shooing us boys away. I don’t know why they did that; but then again, there was only one who held my interest, the one who had captured my heart. My summertime friend and summertime girl. The one I wanted to marry from then on.

 

Her family came down to visit us one summer when I was ten; her mother complaining about the heat, humidity, dirt and bugs, until they found us, me and her, in bed. I can’t remember much – I was on top of her, we were two kids clumsily attempting to make love for the first time; neither of us knew how, we only knew we wanted to do it, and do it with each other. It wasn’t about sex; our hearts were filled with love for one another. We could see nothing wrong about it – after all, we both knew we loved each other, and loved each other dearly – beyond words, like I said. I guess her mom and mine came in, interrupting us before we’d even got properly started – we hadn’t even gotten our clothes off yet, I think – and I vaguely recalled shocked yelling and being roughly snatched from the bed, our confusion at their outrage and anger at us and our expression of love. There must have been some kind of bad punishment where everything turns black. I know what that means – nothing good, and I suspect I was beaten. They never came to visit again, though we continued making those long trips west. It breaks my heart sometime – even now.

 

I remember one hot summer day when I was eleven her and I were sitting in her parent’s metal storage shed. The doors were shut, the heat stifling, and my brother was running around outside. I wanted to make love with her. She knew how and by now I knew, too – or at least a little bit about it. But my brother kept jumping up, trying to peep in the windows, she decided that we should wait – perhaps the next summer. To this day I sometimes curse my brother and his meddlesome nosy ways, for I’m sure if we had, it would have been a moment I’d cherish and treasure, even if she was my cousin, despite what society says is wrong. That didn’t matter to me, for this was a girl I loved with all my heart and soul — more than anyone else of the opposite sex that I had ever loved before. It had always been that way, my love for her. And she knew I had been having sex – being molested, if you will – for years, but with her my desire was different. It was more pure, based on a deep long abiding love instead of purely sex. If ever there was a soul mate, she was my first one. But then again, I believe a person can have several soul mates, for there are many souls and we have probably lived and died a thousand lifetimes. But your chance of meeting them on this earth is a rare event, and sadly, only happens a few times in one’s life – if you are lucky.

 

Time passed, we moved overseas, and I didn’t see her again for years. I’d hear stories about her from my mother – how she got married, then divorced a few months later (her husband deciding he was gay) – and that nearly broke my heart: both her marriage and her unfortunate fate. She had problems with drugs early on, and hanging out with all the wrong friends. She got married a couple other times, and began putting on weight. She bore children but never held a job, or if she did, it was never long. She fell from the list of ‘favored’ relatives in my mom’s opinion, and onto my mom’s ‘shit list’ where she has stayed ever since (in her, my mom’s, opinion).

 

I went out west once when I was in my early twenties, just to go and see her more than anyone else (though I’d gone to see them as well). She’d gotten married again, and I met her new husband Mitch – a nice guy, but they were already having problems – most of them caused by her. But once we were together it was as if we’d never been apart. Oh, we refrained from kissing the way we had, but we hugged and by the sparkle in her eyes and mine, we knew. She opened up her heart to me, and me to her, discussing the old times and the new. I remember us sitting in a park, her huge and voluminous, but her hair and eyes just the way I remembered them, beautiful to me. Strange – I have troubles emotionally bonding with obese people, but with her it never made a difference. I was sad to see her young and beautiful body was gone, swallowed by fat and a nervous and trouble driven appetite. I guess I just loved her too much for that. (My emotional troubles stem from other causes; personally I know what it is like to be overweight, having been there myself for some years. Not so much now.)

 

She ended up getting divorced again, became a classic welfare mom, bearing more and more children, until she had a pack of them. Then she went to jail for dealing drugs – again and again and again. She has lived the latter part of her life more behind bars than out of them, and she currently resides in a half-way house near the last prison where she was stationed. She does not do well on her own; she loves her kids (now all grown up) with a fiery passion, but she cannot shake her habits or live in an unstructured setting. I talked to her some years ago – about twenty – when my own marriage was facing stormy times due to my eldest stepdaughter. She advised me wisely, us falling into our old pattern on the phone, able to talk about our hearts and desires.

 

I still hear about her, mostly through the prejudiced eyes of my disapproving mother. According to my mom, my cousin was also deeply in love with her father, so much so that she wanted him in all the ways a woman can want a man, even as a young girl, despite it’s incestuous implications. Though I don’t know if he ever gave in (my mom says no, as if she could know), it apparently caused a lot of friction between her and her mother, both competing for the same man. Perhaps that is why she went through so many husbands – she was looking for a man just like the man she loved, her own father. Right or wrong, I don’t know. But I do know this: the heart knows no moral bounds. When it comes to love, and the love is strong enough, there is no wrong, there is only that bitter-sweet longing, that purity that knows no bounds. Such I think is the love between soulmates, no matter who or what they are. A love that transcends the laws of man.

 

If you can’t tell by now, I still love her. I often think about making that long, long drive out West, just to see her again, despite our circumstances, despite the amount of time which has passed. If we were to meet again, I know that we’d be able to talk openly about our hearts and loves, our trials and troubles, just like we always did. I don’t know why that is so; what it is about each other that brings this quality out in us, only that it has always been there, ever since the beginning. Sometimes I think perhaps in a previous life we weren’t just cousins. That we were made for each other in some magical, mystical way, but time, distance, and circumstances prevented what should have been from happening. I don’t know.

 

I just know that no matter the passing of time, the events in our lives, the changing of our ways and bodies, there is one thing that still endures.

 

And that is our love.

 

(Julie died October 2, 2011 – just before our father’s birthday. And we’re gonna miss her… forever sad – until we meet her on angel’s wings – that will make us glad ….and we will be in heaven with her, meeting once again . . . and I miss her.)

Hearts


Every summer when I was little we’d pile into the station wagon and head West. I’ll never forget those long drives from the hot humid climes of Georgia to the vast open prairies of Wyoming and Iowa – trapped in a car with no air conditioning – unless you counted the open windows — and sometimes accompanied by a drooling dog drunk on tranquilizers (he’d get car sick a lot; hence the ‘miracle pills’.) Dog in the back, drooling on my shoulder; my brother and I with our ‘dividing line’ – a seam on the back seat, across which neither one was supposed to cross. Of course it was a favorite game of ours to put just the end of your pinkie across that sewn boundary – into the other’s ‘space’ – just to hear the other one scream “MOM! HE”S ON MY SIDE AGAIN!”. You didn’t dare play that game too much, or else my mom would whip around, wooden spoon in hand, and thrash around like she was stirring kid pudding. Then the drooling dog (eyes half crossed) would have the pleasure of hearing our yelps instead of his! (drip . . . drip . . . pant . . . pant . . . I can almost feel those warm moist drops of drool falling on my shoulder even now. Hot car. Bad dog breath. Drool. And boredom.)

Eventually we’d arrive at one of my most favorite places in the whole wide world: My Aunt Liz’s and Nell’s house. These were actually my ‘great-aunts’ – and they were quite a couple – spice and sugar, sweet and sour, these two ladies lived together for almost their entire lives.

And their house! God! How I loved their place! They lived in Altoona, in a small white-framed house, two-story with the narrowest set of stairs you ever saw leading to a cluttered unused bedroom above. They had a closet in there that fascinated me as a young kid – open the closet, and there in the back was another door – a small one, only a few feet tall – and open THAT one and there in the back of IT was another door – tiny small, just about a foot. (I learned later that it fed into the attic, and that it was for stuffing curtain rods into for storage.) But of course the Aunts told me to never open the ‘little door’ because monsters lived behind it, so I would just look at it in wide-eyed awe, too afraid to even touch the thing.

I loved their yard – not a huge yard, for they lived in a neighborhood – but just bursting with flowers. They had a big old gardening shed – a ‘secret’ sort of place for us kids, as though it had been built for gnomes, with small windows set high on the wall, and that mysterious musty scent old buildings and sheds have. There’d be potting supplies and garden tools – all kinds of strange tools and things – and often when we’d arrive they’d either be in there, or out tending their yard.

In the house was a laundry chute that dropped down into the mysterious ‘downstairs’. (And I guess you can tell: there was a lot of ‘mysterious’ things to me about their house – still is.) But nothing threatening, everything seen through a child’s wide-eyed wonder, and they baked the best sugar cookies in the world (angel cookies, they called them). They’d always greet us with hugs and kisses – Aunt Nell with with her horn-framed glasses and softly concerned eyes; a flickering smile on her face, and stern old Aunt Liz (also with horn-rimmed glasses), who was never one to put up with any nonsense – from us boys or her live-in relative. (Later, when Aunt Nell’s mind went, and Aunt Liz’s body failed, it was a hilarious sight: Sharp tongued (and sharp minded) old Aunt Liz calling out orders from her bed, telling Aunt Nell what she was doing and where to go – and Aunt Nell – her house key strung around her neck, following the orders in a state of somewhat perpetual confusion. They lived to be 104 and 98 years old, respectively – Aunt Liz being the older one. And they died within weeks of each other at the nursing home – Aunt Liz first, then as if being called by her, Aunt Nell.)

Anyway, one of my ‘treats’ in going to visit them was that they were the ‘animal doctors’. Now I had a collection of stuffed animals – one of my favorite things (to me they were ‘alive’, and still are in some ways) – and over the course of time they would become worn, the stuffing packed, limbs loose, eyes dangling – my poor old bear even had his footpads and palm pads worn off from use, he partied so much with me. (Plus a bad haircut – me and my uncle decided one day the top of his head needed ‘clipping’ – and he has that bald spot right there on the top – which despite my continued hopes, has never quite filled in again.) And “Valentine”, my stuffed snake; her nose worn off with kisses.

So me and Aunt Nell – she was the ‘sewer’ and the animal doctor – would sit out at the picnic table next to their garden, in the shade of an old tree – and she would go to work.

First she would ‘inject them’ – stick them with a needle – so that they could ‘go to sleep’ and wouldn’t feel any pain. Then – at least for the bear – she carefully cut out new paw pads and foot pads and sewed them on. Then came the ‘major’ operation: putting in new stuffing.

She’d split the seams – so carefully! – that even now I can’t tell where she did her work – and taking some ‘new’ stuffing she’d poke and prod and plump them out again. I can still see her: horn rimmed glasses, face knitted in concentration as she worked; a few little beads of sweat on her cheeks and forehead (it was summer, after all) – stuffing and sewing, sewing and stuffing, with me anxiously looking on. Sometimes it seemed like it would take hours before she was ‘done’. And the last thing she would do – just before ‘sewing him’ (or her, as in the case of Valentine, my red stuffed snake) – she made him (or her) a new heart – carefully stitching one together (they are made of one of those wild 60’s hippy patterns) – stuffing that heart with some fresh stuffing – and putting it inside his chest (or in Valentine’s case, somewhere in the upper third.)

To this day I still have all of my stuffed animals – I found Valentine when my mom was going to throw her out – and then again when my wife, discovering her sides split and cracked with age (who knew that cloth can do that?) – and this time it was my turn to be the ‘animal doctor’. Her nose is still patched with that red cloth Aunt Nell put there; her eyes a wild kaleidoscopic pattern – and I found that heart inside – just where Aunt Nell had placed it – and there it remains to this day. Old Valentine (the bear is at my momma’s house) – looks a little bit ragged and worse for wear – and she has a big red ‘bandage’ sewn around her middle (my sewing skills aren’t as good as Nell’s – plus the fabric is too brittle to be ‘sewn’ properly back together) – and despite my wife’s objections, she resides with us (under the bed mostly, but sometimes hung over something in our room – along with her ‘husband’ I made some years later when I was a kid. (Yeah, I learned to sew early, and made a LOT of my own stuffed animals — a thing I think a kid of today would sneer at.)

And whenever I look at these things – those old stuffed animals of mine – I know not only those hearts are in them — but WHOSE hearts are in them – and it makes me feel SO good – because I know behind those hearts was another heart – as big as this whole wide world, only bigger.

Thank you, Aunt Nell and Aunt Lizz – wherever you are today – because to this day you are, and always will be my most favorite Aunts of all – the ones with the strange white house and beautiful gardens – the ones who really cared. The ones who gave their hearts to me.

The Armageddon Child


We think we finally ‘know’ (somewhat) what happened to our little one, Mikie.  “They” (society, the military, and to some extant our parents) ‘trained’ Mikie to be an Armageddon Child.

And we (or he) is not the only one.  I am certain there are literally thousands of us – tens of thousands, if not more – children who were brought up in the warfare environment – whether through military training, or just the horrors of being exposed to war and what war means – especially for the “End Times” – those “End Times” being (in the Nuclear Age) the disposal of our nuclear weapons – by using them.  Not just us, but ‘one and all’ . . . leading us into Armageddon.

Think about it some.  I don’t know about you; but for US, the ‘war time’ children – those raised during the “Nuclear Age” when Kennedy was president and it seemed that the world was going to go to war, using its nuclear arsenal rather than fists and clubs . . .

Those “army brats” and “navy brats” – the Marines, Air Force, and then some – WE were raised with the threat of the nuclear umbrella closing over us – engaging us in a wintery darkness (and radiation fallout – we mustn’t forget about that thing!) – the Russians poised right over the German border; thirty thousand tanks against our ten; nuclear arms race is going on (as well as the SALT treaties – we mustn’t forget about those!) . . . on and on and on again; this pressure from behind and above and from our ‘secret enemies’ (who, we are sure, in this day and age, must have been equally as scared as us) . . .

So they took this child – this Artist and Sensitive Child – a Child of Love and Nature – one who felt within himself only the desire to “do good” and “do right” and “do good and right by others” – a child who felt LOVE so tenderly and yet had none in his life – this child who would do ANYTHING – literally anything – to save someone he loved (even if, sometimes, that saving was himself) – they took this Sweet and Honest child . . .

and twisted his mind (or tried to) – and Made a Warrior out of him . . .

And hence Matthew was born (to some degree.  There is one other – during that transition period – which suffered a LOT for us – we feel secret anguish and tears over what he’s done) . . .

But that – that cruelty of the world – that’s what changed him the most.

and things haven’t changed a great deal since then.

The nuclear weapons are still ‘poised’ above us (ask the Russians; ask the Americans: yes, Virginia: there are nuclear bombs pointed at your head.)  While arms reduction has reduced the number of weapons available – we used to have enough to wipe out the world five times over – the fact remains we still have enough to do it twice again – more than enough for the job – if someone gets a nervous finger (or tic in his face) – and decides its time for the end to begin . . .

and that’s what “we’re” here for . . . to survive that end . . . and begin again, if necessary, if we can – if we are alive by then.  For it is certainly a fact: they don’t call it ‘Armageddon’ for nothing.  Chances are none of us will survive, though a few might . . .

And people trained like me (with little Mike at the core; the helm of things – with Matthew and the Soldier to protect him) – people who were raised to be self-sufficient; to learn to ‘do’ anything they needed to be a survivor – to survive to ‘move on’ and ‘carry on’ .  .  . that’s me, that’s them, that’s the thousands of ‘them’ that are out there (both on ‘our’ side and on ‘theirs’) – we learned something.

The human race doesn’t have to hate to survive – that’s not what little Mikie’s about.  He’s the one; the ‘strength’ in us; the compassion, the sweetness, and the sweetheart.  He’s the one who can love (we can’t? or can we? we don’t know . . .) with an endless pure desire – not us.  We’re contaminated by those ‘things’; the reality of the situation – the ones who despite him must fight on – and with him, find we can, though we have had to do terrible things to him (and others) to get there . . . hurting ‘him’ inside while hurting others outside (often for their – or someone else’s – own good) . . .

He’s the one who will pick up the gun; but not the one to use it.  He’s the one with ‘training’ – but his is of a different kind: no longer the ‘vengeful’ training of Matthew; nor the exactitude training of the man and soldier; but he’s the one who will hold our finger on the trigger – while we decide whether or not to depress it – with him calling on to us “Hold On.  Just give them one more second (to behave).  One more chance to do the right thing . . . let’s go over and help them” – while the rest of ‘us’ are knowing that the only thing that awaits us ‘out there’ (on the endless battlefield) is death and things . . . horrible things; things we don’t want to see . . .

Mikie is our dreamer, our lover, our companion; he is the one who, like a dog, is eternally forgiving.  (“Go ahead and strike me if you dare . . . I will still love you nonetheless…”).  That’s him.  Brave child; eternal child; face lifted to the horizon, eyes defiant – and filled with a bold love . . .

They took that child there and gave him . . .

us.

 

sweet and precious child of mine, destroyed – yet not destroyed!
before your precious time . . .
Taught the things you must be taught to survive the end of time
seeing the things that must be seen . . .
the hurt, the killing unkind . . .
nothing is ever worth it
this loss of love
and so Mikie constantly gives birth to it
while Someone watches from above . . .

gently nodding . . .
see “The Tree“.

 


Grade School Memories


(from our Tokoni Post, 6/1/2009)

Grade School Memories

 

First grade was a mixed bag of tricks, just as this story is a mixed bag of memories. I wasn’t the brightest student, but I wasn’t dumb, either. I was just your average – and talkative – first grader. And talking – boy! – that got me into endless trouble.

 

The year was 1965, the school freshly minted; the playground a copper colored field of red clay without a single swing or see-saw. It was just a barren dusty field, muddy when it rained, which dropped off abruptly into a wide ravine where they’d pushed the hill over to flatten it to make room for the building. The school itself – nice enough, I reckon, was about three miles from our house. It seemed much further, for the school bus which met us at the top of the hill had to travel what seemed endless miles of unpaved road to pick up us country bumpkins, transporting our squealing mess to the low rambling building. (Funny thing: Looking at the school on Google Earth, I see that playground hasn’t changed a whole lot! – and neither has the school. Nice to see that parking oval where me and my friend would run ’round and ’round.)

 

I have a lot of memories of that school. The blind girl who sat in our class – stark white hair which matched her blank white eyes, and her skin so pale as she sat before the bulking black hulk of her braille typewriter. She was endlessly fascinating to us, and we all treated her kindly. She sticks out in my mind so well that I can feel her name right there, on the tip of my brain – but alas, it’s gone, forgotten, lost to the winds of time.

 

I had a teacher who hated me; that much I know from my mom. This teacher, discovering I had a German birth certificate, would refer to me as ‘the little Nazi’. Of course I didn’t have a clue what that meant, except, as the teacher would often point out, “Any of you can become president – except YOU, you little Nazi!” I didn’t mind, and when my mom found out I guess that practice ended. I do know it took me forever to earn my ‘silver star’ for learning the alphabet, and I always had to sit towards the back of class. But that was a good thing, because I was a talker.

 

She tried to get me to stop talking – smacking my hands with a ruler, and setting me in the corner. But it didn’t work. I would just talk to myself instead. She put me in the hallway – fine. I talked to anyone who would walk by, and if no one was there, I’d talk to the cinderblock walls – myself again. I didn’t mind.

 

I remember us playing ‘instruments’ – the recorders and little tin cymbals; the game of ‘pass the phrase’ where one would start with a phrase and we’d pass it down the line and see what the end person ended with. It never was the same. I do recall struggling very hard to recite the phrase handed me perfectly – but somehow by the time it reached the end, it had changed. I never understood that; how people can take something and change it and change it and change it again until what came out didn’t resemble what was said at all. I still have trouble understanding why or how people can do that.

 

I recall the library – we were forbidden from the library that first year, since we didn’t know how to read – watching the other students roaming around in there selecting books, maybe sitting down to read them. Boy, how I wanted to go in there! Later I would discover the true wonders of the library, going on to read literally thousands of books over my lifetime. (And yeah – thousands. But that’s for another story.) And I remembered us watching it snow as we marched past the windows — a miracle for us little kids, raised here in Georgia.

 

Once – perhaps in second or third grade, they assembled us to watch a film in the auditorium. There were about a half dozen police officers there, and they showed us this really gory black and white film about the dangers of hitchhiking. I suppose parents today would have been in an uproar – this film showed dismembered bodies – and an image that still sticks with me today – a jar full of eyeballs. “This,” one of the officers solemnly intoned, “Is why you should NEVER hitchhike! There are a lot of (sick?) people out there . . .” We were all suitably impressed and traumatized. I know the fear of hitchhiking has always stuck with me since.

 

Unlike today, a lot of inoculations were done at the school, along with the TB tests. You don’t see too many people today with that quarter sized scar on their upper arm from the booster shots – the older folks know what I’m talking about – when they’d march you past the guy with the ‘black gun’ who’d press it against your arm and deliver a painful sting. I also learned to hate the taste of raspberries. One day we were gathered together and all us kids had to brush our teeth with this raspberry flavored toothpaste – a fluoride treatment, I learned later. They warned us not to swallow – but a lot of us little kids did anyway because after brushing you had to wait in line to spit it out – so some was bound to trickle down our throats – and many of us got sick. To this day that raspberry taste makes me feel queasy.

 

Corporal punishment was allowed; I remember one little girl getting her butt tanned with one of those ball-and-string paddles by a teacher until the paddle broke. The girl then pee’d down her legs. Us kids snickered and laughed – but not too loudly. I can still see the teacher’s angry gaze looking at us, warning us to “shut UP!”. But such paddlings were rare. Most of us kids were well behaved, knowing that whatever we got at school we would get double at home.

 

It’s odd, how things stick out in my mind. My last year there – fifth grade – I got my first “F” in math. The time the school bus, dodging a weaving driver on a rain slicked mud road, slipped sideways into the ditch, throwing all us boys onto the “girl’s side” – and they had to evacuate us out the emergency door – how we all waited breathlessly for the ‘fat girl’ to get out – it took three guys to handle her. The boy, Mark, with the squinting green eyes that I fell in love with on the bus – but he lived so far away, and me, being a boy, didn’t dare say anything to him. (I can still see his face, though, smiling, his eyes creasing in the corners.) I can remember the ache in my heart, wanting to ‘love’ him the way I’d learned love should be shown (as wrong as that knowledge and desire may be in an eight year old boy, I still feel that ache.) The girls playing jump rope on the dusty clay, us boys running in endless circles (we had an ongoing debate: did the breeze from running cool you off more than running make you hotter?) It was another time, another place, and I sitting here I ask myself once again: if I knew then what I know now, would I want to go back and relive that time?

 

I don’t know. And that’s the sad part about it. But I do know this much: I’d treasure some of the moments a lot more than I did then.

 

Such is the folly of youth, just as regret is the folly of age. Which I why, though difficult sometimes, I work on accepting what happened, what didn’t — and on putting the ‘Ifs’ and ‘could haves’ on a back shelf in my mind to gather dust, where they belong.

 


It’s hard to describe the roundhouse effects of Child Rejected One, Child Rejected Two, and Child Betrayed.  A ‘one-two-three’ punch to the child he’d loved and the child who had loved him (meaning our pedophile friend and our little one, Mikie).

Some of it I suppose was due to age.  Little Mikie had taken on some years; quite in the same way a hungry person will put on weight.  Not physically: Mikie was a trim and fit kid; able to run fast, play hard, tanned and muscular beneath a Southern humid sun.  But he’d already changed . . . big for his age; his shoulders broadened; by the time he was ten or so the other kids wouldn’t take him on – even the teenagers pretty much left him alone.

But in that ‘getting bigger’ perhaps was another clue: he’d ‘outgrown’ that teenager friend of his – or perhaps the teenager had outgrown him.  Who knows?  We haven’t got a clue.

But on the other hand . . . the teenager was covertly scheming to have us coerce and coax that little kid over … the one from another next door.  That sand blond kid; thin and with freckles – a giggly tough but kind hearted kind of kid – was only five years old.  About the same age I was when the teenager started doing me.  (Only I was about a little bit older; maybe six or seven years old.  But so innocent in all so many other ways … but not unfamiliar with terror and pain.)

So maybe it was the innocence that ‘caught him’.

All I know is what he did to me.

That first betrayal: that shoving aside … all had taken place (I think) in the period of about one year (amazing, come to think of it now: how those three events can stand out so strongly like that; they were affecting me and mine so much both then as well as now).

But examining it from the child’s side:

Mikie’s father was gone.  The closest thing he had to a father . . . who knows?  There were several men: the one next door (a massive man, good humored besides) and his side-kick (a gruff old man chewing a cigar and reclining on his sofa out in the heat of the yard).  The one across the street?  (His wife was a ‘momma’ of sorts to all of us) . . .

It takes a village to raise a kid, and we certainly did: that neighborhood was like a village all unto itself – safe from the law and violence (for the most part; what happened in stayed in; what happened out – stayed out, but came in sometimes nevertheless…)  Everyone’s ‘momma’ was the momma (with the notable exception of a few) – and everyone’s daddy to be obeyed (even the drunk ones; or the ones that made no sense).

It was the rule of the law; the lay of the land . . .

and the teenager was included within.

Only he was some kind of ‘demi-god’ – middle management, if you prefer.  Falling under control of the grownups; only slightly less in the eyes of some kids – he was the ‘demi-god’ – one of several, to be sure – but he was MY demi-god and I loved him – strong and clear and clear.

And then he threw me away; threw me aside; favoring someone ‘better’ – or at least unknown – younger looking; younger acting – more naive in his innocence; more round eyed; doe eyed . . . than me.  Perhaps that was it.  I don’t know.  All I know is he rejected me … then abused me some more.  (The twisting emotion; a sickening pain .. the one of some love betrayed.  Bitterness; anger in this thing; the betraying of emotions.)

And then love died (I’m thinking to myself; wondering what all had gone on).

We can feel that in ourselves; that love softly dying…

only it wasn’t softly at all; it was off of that first moment; when the teenager betrayed him; announcing to the crowd:

“Mikie really loves sucking some dick.”  and then the neighbors laughed.

Cruelly, mockingly; just as the teenager did that night in the tent (and some … I don’t know what, but we wanted to say “some more”.  Perhaps he mocked us again later on; I don’t know – but I feel a real deep hurt; a screaming that it did and I see my friend and he – Mikie my own kid….I think we both got insulted some of the time which is why we were so tightly bound together – B., my best friend back then.  With the handsome eyes (wide spread); curling sand brown locks on his head … he was a cute kid looking back in time; here and he and I.)

(sighing again … this pain is so hard; Mikie loved B., the teenager’s younger brother – Mikie’s own age – as such a friend…)

Both of there at the beginning; but not so much the teenager at the end.

This is going to be a long post I see.  We’re already over 800 words (the ‘proper amount’ for a ‘commercial blog’ – but this is not some commercial we’re producing.  It is I and my friends … and there’s a lot going on … a lifetime we’re trying to recover…so be patient with me dear Reader and friend … while we ramble on.)

A hatred of love … I think that’s where it began.  The seed was planted in little Mikie’s heart.  It would take more, of course – uprooted, rejected again.  Losses overseas.  But eventually it became such a thing – a source of all his pain.  Love, then lost; love and lost again.  Giving it another try – and violently yanked from its source.  Again and again this sort of thing happened – loving and losing again.

By the time we were 13, I (Matthew) was done with it.  And so (I reckon) was Mikie.   Or at least he ‘retreated’ – went inside – leaving me alone to run the farm.  Hoeing those long rows of pain; trying to undo what had been done (that’s M3 talking right there) – but for ME??  Matthew??

I couldn’t do it again.  Not for him; and not for Mikie.

Not even for myself.

And that’s when the wall began.  The inner ‘walls’ sealing ‘him’ (Mikie) inside – the ‘outer walls’ against the world.

We had been betrayed by love – for we HAD loved; DID love – and got a kick in the face (a dick in the face); and something rammed up our ass.  It resembled a bootprint for sure – but it hurt much more; going deep within . . .

just like that teenager friend.

I wish I could go ‘aaaarrrrgggghhh!!!!’ with a cry of anguish; but I can’t; I hold it in.  It wouldn’t do no good.  I know; we’ve tried it before..

When the pain gets so bad the cutting begins … we’re drinkin’ a beer, numbing my friend; and my being Mikie (so we can’t hear his whimpering … tho’ in my mind I AM trying to hold him close … but it’s like hugging a cactus; each spike brings us pain – those spikes of loves lost, betrayed – over and over again.

I wish I could get over this thing (we wish we all could heal.)  On this one thing if no other . . .
one day maybe we will….

(sighing)

We cannot even begin to scrape the surface of the damage that he’s had; Mikie and our friend (Matthew is in mind).

Those two; most precious to our hearts.
perhaps that’s where the pain began…
deep in our hearts with parents who … while taking care of us … beat us and hurt us all.

Screwing us up forever in relationships ….
driving us to these things
looking for love in the wrong places
darkening our angel’s wings…


*Warning: Potential ‘triggers’ for Fellow Survivors & Friends* 😦

I can’t blame a single adult in our childhood community for any of the sexual abuse that went on.  It was all (to the best of our knowledge) committed by the children . . . and the children’s ‘father’, if you want to label the one who ‘started’ the abuse that went on.

It was a Children’s Conspiracy; and One of Silence as well.

None of us children told.  Not one of us; not to the best of my knowledge.  Sure – the signs must have been there (remembering limping in; piss running down my leg from where the teenager had “peed in there”.  Why didn’t mamma suspect something was going on?)

No; we all knew it was ‘something bad’ and something ‘dark’ to be hidden and done in secret corners; this ‘secret’ thing we had.  Fucking each other in the ass; sucking one another dink-um.

And the teenager was at the beginning of the herd.

So was he innocent or guilty (as I am thinking some of the times)?

This guy had a hard life ahead; hell, he had a hard one at the time.  Thirteen years old and here he is working with his father – a mason – busting his ass all of the time.  Doing a “man’s” job and a man’s day’s labor for his dad – helping to support his own family … fucking his brother in the ass … doing his own little sister (she was several years younger than I) . . .

and so was it HIS fault in doing this sort of thing?

We aren’t really knowing; not really – and yet knowing THIS sort of sick and twisted thing: he was a part and product of his own environment;  just as WE are.  And WE could have been HIM – quite easily – for he was leading ALL of us children down that merry path – having sex with him and having it with some others . . .

I remember the times …

warm summer’s day … up in the treehouse … forty feet up in the air … just me and ‘him’ (the teenager’s little brother – and my best friend) … looking at porno magazines (they were just simple black and white sort of things; catalogues I’m thinking; but enough – moving on) … and then I ask him (bored with my own pictures) to pull his pants on down …

Him and me staring at the house.  (this is why we didn’t get caught for so long; meaning NEVER).  He’s in the barn; so are we and we’re staring over the door at the house (his own one) further on …. and I’m fucking him in the ass …

so anyone who is looking will just see two little boys (dirty brown faces) peering at them over the shed’s half-door….

Staring at the house again (only this is a different one).  He (Someone else; another friend) …. is behind me on his knees … doing ‘things’ … I’m leaning on the rough concrete; elbows down; face staring; watching the windows of the house (his momma’s in there) … while he ‘has his fun’ …. waiting for my turn to come.

The grownups never KNEW ANYTHING . . .

The closest I ever got caught was in a doghouse during a great storm…my dad came out and caught us two (me and another friend) … engaged in some intimate action.  But we had saw him coming and ducked and pulled and getting our clothes on as those feet came on closer …. hearts panicking and pulsing and mouth numb from sucking … quitting and getting our clothes on ..

“What are you doing in there?!”  is all he said.
“Nothing,” was the cure.
He never asked again.

Why mom never caught on to those drawings we did … the ones of little kids fucking one another in the ass …. it was right THERE for her to see!  And yet what did she do with it?  She folded it up and put it in with our toys ….

Don’t you think a parent should think something is ‘wrong with it’ when her 8 year old kid tells the neighbor kid’s oldest daughter that he knows what her ‘thing’ looks like – and then ‘shows her’ with his hands?

Instead we got the ‘sex education talk’.  At 8 years old.  We were very much interested in all the mechanics of this thing.  Brother was not so much interested as he was into being disgusted.

He didn’t make very much as a sexually molested kid.  He wasn’t ‘into it’ like I was – really into this thing.

How GOOD it felt … not the “lovin’ ” so much as the other … feeling warm hands on my back; stroking my head; soft murmurs and things; ENCOURAGEMENT … not warning words; not them hateful glances my momma was giving me and things ….

It’s no wonder we kids kept things so silent.

It was the only way we hid.

Me and Little Mikie