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Living With The Past.

17:09:54 01/01/2014.

January bloomed frigidly across the U..S today. I think I heard somebody say they expected 14 states to experience temperatures below -40˚F.

I would truly like to start a brand new year with a brand new slate, blank page, open outlook. Things to accomplish. People to inspire. Insights to help us soar to new heights. But- Minor incidents last night brought up scenes from the past.

My father was an Ogre. At six feet two inches tall and often around three hundred pounds in weight, he had a repertoire of violent gestures that could intimidate anyone, especially growing children who just might feel the impact of a huge fist anywhere on their growing bodies. He was everyone’s friend when he had a few drinks under his belt, one more drink and he was a fish eyed monster lunging around, trying to mame or kill anything within reach.

Last night I was specifically remembering one incident, in which I had a new pocket knife. I was maybe about sixteen or seventeen. I thought I had left it on my bureau, in my bedroom. It bothered me that I couldn’t find it, because I was proud of that knife, a thin thing with two or three blades and a white plastic handle that looked like pearly marble. There was also some kind of oval metal thing that said something, the manufacturer’s name or something. I had bought it with my own money, money I’d earned. And I thought it had fallen on the floor or something. I had gone over my memories several times and distinctly remembered taking it out of my watch pocket and placing it next to the change that had been in the pocket that the watch pocket had been inside of.

One day I came into the house from being outside. Don’t remember where I’d been. I sat down on the couch and gazed at the television. I have no idea what was on. But then my father, sitting in his chair, his spot, his living room, his house… took out a knife and opened a letter.

My father had a ‘thing’ for pens and pocket knives. I don’t think he took out my knife to rub anything in or prove anything to me, I think he saw a letter he hadn’t opened yet on the table beside him and unconsciously reached for the knife he was using that day to open letters.

“Where’d you get that?” I asked.

“Like it? I found it.”

With my mother, at least two sisters, and my brother in the room, I said, “Yeah- you found it on my bureau- that’s mine.”

He glared at me, “If it’s in my house, it’s MINE!”

I hope I can calm down and continue this later.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 2, 2014 9:20 am

    I had a manic depressive father who totally cleaned out my closet and supposedly gave the clutter to kids at the hospital because I didn’t clean it after one of his midnight “lectures” on how dirty my room was. I think I was twelve, and I don’t know what was in that closet except that after that I had no toys I liked left.

    This is also the same person who took away my fishing rod after I got in trouble (he and my mom were separated at the time – we had a ground floor apartment that was on a river – the Rideau – that I could go out my window and escape to at will) that he never returned like he promised. I have never forgotten that, or my missing fishing rod.

    Parents are fallible creatures that I can say from looking back now as a parent. I can also say, from being promised in a manic drunken moment a violin I wanted that he forgot about, that I never promise what I can’t 99.9% in my heart can deliver much to many peoples’ chagrin. Especially my children’s.

    We learn, we live, we experience, and parents are both pricks and angels. Such is life.

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