Nice Lives in Hell

When I think of the words, Things I Remember, images start popping into my mind.  My uncle forcing me sit on his knee behind one of the big Australian pines in our side yard, while his rough calloused hands push my shirt up to reveal 6-year-old nubs on my chest.  What was so attractive / alluring about this, I’ve wondered a hundred times since then.  Sitting up in a tree behind the house, reading book after book, feeling and following the adventure right along with the author’s every word.  Baseball games with friends.  Smoking under the hanging tree branches at the bus stop.  Hiding up on the roof of the barn.  Hiding under the hollow steps of the house while the Old Lady screams my name as she stands on top of them.  Getting dressed in the 2-foot space between the windows in my bedroom so I’m obstructed from view from anyone standing at the kitchen sink.  Sleeping under my bed in the summer because the floor was cooler.

Sometimes I wish I could go back, with my adult’s mind, and do all the right things, tell all the right people, make the right decisions but that would mean that I wouldn’t have married the man I married, wouldn’t have had the children I had and while I might feel sorry for the childhood I had at times, I feel so grateful for my children in my life, for the opportunities I’ve had and for the ones I’ve pissed away, and for the feeling that I experience most times of “this could have been so much worse than it was”.  Look, Ma, no cigarette burns on my chest!  Oh there are a few scars here and there.  A bullet wound that healed quite nicely with no real adverse effects to my life.  Lessons learned.  And absolutely none of that “revisiting my youth” on my own kids, whewwwwwwww.  Thank God.

I’ve tried a few times in the past few months to find out more about the Old Lady, to find out what made her the bitch she was, to find out if her childhood was the shitty one she imposed on me.  I can’t find anything on her, like she never existed before she married my uncle, the Old Man.  I can’t remember her mother’s name.  Miss Rose is what my dad’s family called her.  Nan-Nan is what I was made to call her.  Ah, life’s memories.  Wish I could find little tiny sticks of dynamite and end them all, but no matter how many drugs I’ve tried through how many methods, those memories still pop up, like turkey timers whenever I think of the words, Things I Remember.  Well, yes, other memories pop up too but always second place to the perverted shit, to the horror show, come one, come all, see the dirty little girl with the raggedy clothes and the chopped up hair, look how sexy she is, how sexy I must have been, right, to have been the drawing card of all the lust in that house.  Geez and I didn’t even realize it then.  I should have been milking that, right, as in “hey, I want a bike”.  *laughs out loud*  I’m a sick person, egad.  I think I will just wish them all nice lives in Hell.

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5 thoughts on “Nice Lives in Hell

  1. What a compassionate journey you take in your writing. I love how you try to see the whole picture to gain understanding. Otherwise our memories can feel too horrifying to deal with, don’t you think? I’ve followed you for a while now and find as much wisdom as delight in your writing. Big hugs to you.

    • Aw, thanks. I’m a bigger picture person or at least I strive to be. I was judged much as a child, always thought to be a liar when in fact I rarely lied and usually only out of necessity at most. I really think the Old Lady just didn’t like me because my grandmother did. You know, the whole “mother-in-law” thing. 😛 Your words mean a lot to me. Thank you.

      • I believe our pasts are there to make us better people, if we let them. Sounds like you did, and are a great mom and grandparent because of it. Some families reach us how to be; others, how not to be. (Thanks for liking my dragon piece, btw. A bit bitter, yes? Yikes. Time for some of that learning!)

      • Time is the one thing I wish for more of, and the thing I cannot replace. You are a wise person; you’ll do the right thing, I’m sure. Every day we learn, don’t we?

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