Monday, July 26, 2021

Moving Day

When I was in grade school my father told us we were going to be moving to a new town.  He said we were buying an ice cream shop with a house attached in the hills of Berkshire County in Massachusetts.  After I made this announcement at school, Randy, one of my closest friends, made me a wooden sign and said all I'd have to do is paint our house number on it once I knew the address.  The sign was simply a stake painted gold with a dark purple arrow-shaped piece of pine nailed to the tip. 
This move never happened, and I'm sure this was one of many schemes my father dreamed up over the years in his maggot-infested mind.  
One day I did something bad.  I had a Suzy Homemaker oven on top of a low dresser in the bedroom I shared with two brothers.  Why it was in our room and not our sister's room across the hall, I don't know, and why it was atop a dresser I'll never know.  I know these things didn't really get hot enough to "bake" anything in, but I ended up melting something plastic inside the oven and filling our soiled laundry- toy- and cat shit-strewn bedroom with acrid smoke, which drew the ire of my father.  He charged up the stairs and, seeing the sign my friend made, grabbed it and started whacking me with it, the blows landing wherever he could reach as I cowered in the corner.
Long story short, he broke the sign on me, so it was just as well that we never actually moved.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

But, His Hands

 The hands were what got me worked up the most.  I know they've got to work with what they're given, but surely the embalming process pretty much does all the work.  Am I wrong?  Extreme decomposition can be challenging, I'm sure, but I didn't think this was the case.  When I met two of my siblings and my brother's best friend in the funeral home's parking lot I'd asked for a few minutes on my own before they entered, a request they granted me.  Nervously, I approached the casket, the tip of my youngest brother's nose now coming into view.  As the remainder of his face met my stare I think I let out a breathe I wasn't aware I'd been holding.  They did a great job with his face and hair, and his suit was meticulous.  His hands, though, looked bloated, sausage-like.  "Comfortably Numb" came to mind, that line in the first chorus, specifically.  A sister, breaking our agreement, walked up behind me silently.  "He looks good", she whispered.  I'd cried a little, swiped at my eyes, said, "But, his hands-".

Flashback a few days.  Another brother, oldest of what started out as eight of us, douche of douches, impatient, holier-than-thou, self-important, spouted, "Why should the fact that my brother took his own life inconvenience my employer?".*  Getting back to work was furthest from my mind, but I guess others had different priorities.  We were sitting in a large circle, the funeral director and our mother at the head.  I wondered what mom felt when she heard her eldest spawn blurt such shit, cringed at what the director thought.

Flash forward a week or more- I don't remember.  It's now been about 14 years if I'm not mistaken- the above mentioned sister and I were the only ones who, for closure or whatever the fuck reason, requested to see the photos the police took when they found my brother's body.  It took some nerve but I sat at that desk for what seemed an eternity, staring at the image of him lying on his side, his hands under his cheek, eyes closed, like he'd just fallen asleep.  Which, I suppose, was the case, only he'd had help.

- An excerpt from a memoir that'll likely never be written because I'm a lazy procrastinating fuck.

*Verbatim, I swear, in case this ever ends up in court.  

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Marvelous Memories of Youth

When I was a teen in the 70s two uncles- one a pedophile drug addict and the other somewhat normal- ran a night club in a refurbished barn in a tiny town you probably never heard of.  I washed bar glassware, swept up closing time debris and mopped up beer, puke, jiz- whatever all that shit was that gave the concrete floor its texture.  I restocked the beer coolers, helped in the kitchen and even ran the lights once or twice for bands no one ever heard of or ever will.   I guess child labor laws weren't a big deal at the time, and I often stayed until the last patron stumbled out. The Marvelettes- or at least that era's line-up, played one night.  To a typical horndog teen these three beautiful ebony women were untouchable goddesses, and I'll always remember sitting at the bar (yes, at about 15 years old) at the end of the night, mingling with the ladies and their manager and pretending to be an adult.  Suddenly, one of the gorgeous ladies sidled up next to me and asked if I wanted a beer, and signaled the bartender- my uncle- for a bottle of Heineken.  After popping the cap and setting the bottle down on the bar he turned away, and ********** slid the bottle toward the edge of the bar, held it low in front of me and pulled my t-shirt out.  She teasingly slid the beer up my chest under my shirt, poking it out through the neck of my shirt, and had me sip it that way.  Not exactly discreet, I know, and I'm not 100% sure my uncle didn't see what was going on, though he never acted on it.  After another round my uncle made it clear I needed to head home, so I said my goodnights, dug my bike out of the bushes by the dumpster and pedaled the five or so miles home, weaving back and forth over the white line along the edge of the road.  After undressing and climbing into bed I thought back through that night's events and those three beautiful women, which lead to multiple rounds of vigorous masturbation.