Monday, March 8, 2010

Late Night Maudlin Street, Part 2

Late Night Maudlin Street is an ongoing series about the dissolution of my nuclear family. it might help if you read part 1, the day the bomb was dropped.

So it was done and there was much silence, though people actually lived in the house you wouldn't know it, my father took to the basement and my mother to the bedroom and my sister would storm in and out and glare at me or my mother but mostly it was me sitting at the kitchen table listening to the clock tick, waiting to go back to school, it was as if suddenly we were all apparitions moving stealthily about in order not to wake the living, it was odd and confusing and lonely and on one my last nights at home, a home i would not return to for quite some time, i came in from another night out with the girlfriend, she had dragged me to a fucking karaoke bar and proceeded to do her Kate Pierson impersonation and sing nothing but B-52 songs while throwing her long mane of red hair around, i downed scotch and possibly prayed for death to come swift and painless or at least for one of my friends to show up and get me out of this place, i walked outside instead of listening to her and her sexually confused male friend crank out Rock Lobster and stared up into the stars, when i thought about my house i went numb, it was like a husk, like those dead spiders i used to find in the garage, the ones that had been dead all winter and now were just a shell with withered legs and nothing inside, it's what it felt like every time i turned the key in the lock...

On this night i walked back through the door glad to be away from the noise and the woman and humanity, i walked in to the eerie quiet, the only light on the one above the kitchen sink, like a drunk moth i moved toward it and stopped, i listened, i heard nothing but something wasn't right, i knew this wasn't the old days where my mother would instinctively rise to check on me, to make sure her wild child had made it home alive for one more night, the war between me and her had just begun and in her mind she wanted to give me space when what i needed was answers to questions, no something was fucking not right, i began to search through the house or at least the rooms i still had access to, the rooms that weren't locked to protect people from the people they'd lived with for the last 20 plus years, i couldn't find my dad, it was a one story house with a basement and suddenly i felt like the 4yr old boy with the wind howling and the branches making shadows on the wall and i was afraid, where was my father? i walked around and opened the door to the dark basement and began creeping down the steps, Dad? i whispered but heard nothing i walked back towards the makeshift office he had in the back of the house, i heard a space heater and knocked, a voice whispered to come in and my dad was laying on the floor, he had made a makeshift bed and was laying on the carpet, you alright i said, i could barely see him in the glow of the space heater, yes son, go to bed, and even though i was a grown man i turned and walked up the steps and into my room...

I flipped the switch in my room and stood there, a rage swelling up from my stomach to my chest, here was my father, a guy who had worked his whole life to provide for his wife and kids sleeping on the fucking floor cuz he had lost his job and his wife decided to leave him for reasons that we shall soon discuss, there was a villain in this, at least in my mind and she slept across the hall behind a locked door refusing to answer my questions, while my father who had worked full time and put himself through college, a man i didn't know until i was 6 because he came home from work, ate dinner and left for school, a man who had tried to do everything right, was sleeping on a cement floor with a couple of musty blankets, instinctively my hand clenched and i began punching holes in my bedroom wall, one-two-three-four, and i turned and walked back down the stairs, i opened the door and said Dad get up, he blinked and said what and i said get up please and sleep in my room, in fact it's not my room anymore it's your room i mean you paid for the fucking place the least i could do is give up my bed, and my old man sat there staring, he stammered but you need a place... and i cut him off, look at me dad, i said, you don't even want to know the kinds of places i've slept and for the first time since the bomb dropped my father cracked a smile knowing that he most likely didn't want to know some of the places his young son had slept or more correctly passed out and i held out my hand and helped him up, i put my arm around his shoulder (i'm about 6 inches taller than my dad) and walked him up the stairs and into his new room, lucky fucker had just inherited a water bed, the next morning we would move in a television and run a cable hook up so he could have his own little enclave just like my mother, i even clued him into my stash of porno mags (see the post X-mas with my father) but that night i helped him into bed, told him i loved him, turned off the light and shut the door.

I walked back into the kitchen, to that same light and leaned up against the sink, it was cold and i stood there for a long time, listening to that same clock, thinking, trying to take it all in, the creak of the floor, the sound of the furnace, the way the streetlights shown through the front window, knowing my days here were numbered, knowing that my mother would have to face me at some point and sharpening my knives because i knew that though she had put up an icy veneer, that her boy, her baby boy was the one person that could hurt her. I thought of her locked in her room. I thought of my dad on the basement floor. I could feel the warmth of my tears as they rolled down my face.

5 comments:

daisyfae said...

ouch. but it's a good "ouch". although it took time, my guess is you understand it a little better now... is there one of us that isn't fucked up by our parents somehow?

Peau said...

the collateral damage of love. it makes the idea of loving again that much more dangerous.

everybody touches us; fingerprints on a glass. i'm just happy when the glass doesn't break.

hasn't yet, and that is good.

Nine-uh said...

This was amazing. And unfortunately, reminds me of far too many stories from my own past. Really beautifully put though.

nursemyra said...

I wonder if my son hates me for leaving his father......

Kono said...

Daisyfae - you're right i understand and accept it alot more now then i did when it happened, age and perspective maybe.

Peau - ?

Nine-uh - thanks and thanks for stopping by the Lounge.

Nurse - Each situation is different Nursie, sometimes people should leave, i may have had serious issues with my mother back then, (wait for pt. 3) but i've rebuilt my relationship with her and i'm glad i did... and you know who was he biggest proponent of that? my old man.