I’m Not Suppose to Be Here

I’m not suppose to be here. I catch myself saying that time to time when circumstances let me know otherwise.

My mom was told she couldn’t have children. My Dad and she still tried anyway, and after numerous miscarriages, she finally gave birth to a baby boy weighing seven pounds, two ounces. “A miracle baby” that wasn’t suppose to be here.

My childhood was the white suburbia middle class fairy tale. I grew up going on vacations and was instilled with the love of travel ever since I could walk. Every summer we crisscrossed the country, eventually seeing every state west of the Mississippi. I also went hunting, camping, and fishing with my Dad every weekend. I was attached at his hip for the first ten years of my life. My Mom cooked dinner every evening, and we always ate at the dining room table, where we discussed everything from what was happening in the news to how our day had been. My Mom has a masters in English, so I was taught to read at an early age, and was encouraged to constantly have my nose in a book (some things never change). I did well in school, played sports, and everyone was sure that one day I could be president. My childhood was ideal, except for “the incident”. I wasn’t suppose to be here.

I call it “the incident” because I really haven’t come to terms with it, I still get uncomfortable whenever I try to talk about it, and I can’t create or find a title that puts in words a day that changed my entire life. I was ten years old and had gone to a Boy Scout camp for the weekend with my Cub Scout troupe. I had been asked one evening to help in the dining hall by a man, and to this day I can’t remember his name or his title. I wasnt suppose to be here. What I can remember is his face, the tone of his voice, and the smell. For some reason I am still haunted by the smell. Sometimes I will be somewhere and the faint smell of bleach mixed with green beans will creep up on me, and out of nowhere I’m ten years old again in that storage room of that dining hall, scared to death. I can’t go into details about “the incident” because I still haven’t learned how to talk about, I still feel a sense of shame, a sense of guilt, and all of that has kept me from telling anyone about what exactly took place. I wasn’t even suppose to be there, or anywhere. I repressed most of this for years until one day I had lunch with my youngest daughter at school, and standing in that cafeteria, scenes started rushing back. That’s the way it still is for me at times, like someone is changing the channel on my tv getting nothing but bad reception, and all of a sudden they turn it to a channel that can be picked up clear. I am constantly scared that the scenes will rear their head out of nowhere, and going to sleep sometimes is a nightmare of epic proportions. Most times I don’t remember my dreams, but when I do it always seems to be the ones that relate to what happened. Shit, I’m not suppose to be here.

I never told anyone at the time about “the incident”, and I wonder how right or wrong that was. I know that it would’ve wrecked my Dad probably. He loved me so much it would’ve broke his heart to think that something like that happened and he didn’t protect me. Not to mention the fact that he would’ve literally killed the man. That’s not me being dramatic, it’s just the truth. So, on one hand I’m glad my Dad never knew, but on the other hand the man was never punished. I often wonder how many kids I could’ve saved from suffering the same thing if I had only said something. Also, if I had started dealing with this when I was ten instead of thirty four, maybe things would’ve been different. Maybe I would’ve been different. But… I wasn’t even suppose to be there. I wasn’t even suppose to be there

So, instead of starting therapy at a young age and learning how to recognize and deal with my feelings, I taught myself how to bury them deep, how to turn cold, how to not show emption, how to not face any problem head on, how to cringe at a strangers touch, how to avoid conflict as much as I can, how to avoid talking to people, how to not ask anyone for anything, and how to lie to people because i think the truth will be more painful, only to end up hurting them more with a lie. Instead of learning how to cope with my bouts of depression and my daily anxiety, I let them consume me to the point where suicide is a constant thought that dances around me. I taught myself how to numb the pain first with drugs and alcohol, and then sex with a stream of women that I can’t even remember most of their names. I’ve learned how to sabotage every relationship I’ve ever been in, and how to hurt the ones in my life who have loved me the most. I’ve taught myself how to not only be unhappy, but stay unhappy. Not only that, but I’m not even suppose to be here.

So, here it is thirty years after “the incident”, and I’m still trying to get my footing. I’m still trying to cope in my life with the actions of some man I never knew. Some man that probably doesn’t even remember or ever thought twice about what happened. I’m sure he just went on living his life, and I had no bearing on him in any way. I’m sure my face doesn’t wake him up at three in the morning along with a terror gnawing at his heart. I’m sure to him I was nobody, just some kid to do with as he wished. But to me, he was somebody, a somebody that took so much from me that I will never be able to fully measure it, or get over it….but I’m trying. I’m really trying. And just think, I’m not even suppose to be here, and I damn sure wasn’t suppose to be there.

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Jealousy by its Ugly Head

“I can’t stand this excitement any longer. It’s killing me.” The words fell off her lips and drifted underneath the bedroom door. “All the sneaking around and running behind his back is too much. I wish it was already over,” there was a pause in her rhetoric. “No, I couldn’t just tell him. I didn’t know how he was going to react. It has to be tonight though. I can not wait any longer,” there was another pause as she gave the person on the other end time to reply. “Would you really? Oh, thank you. That is a great idea. Be here at 7:30. I will tell him before then. Thank you Jerry. You are wonderful.” As she hung up the phone, her husband of thirteen years snuck into the back yard where he was in the middle of planting a supposed flower bed.

“So, that’s who it is, Jerry.” He spoke to himself in his usual monotone voice, “after all of this, and out of all the people in the world, it ends up being fucking Jerry. He always was the lucky one.” He grabbed the shovel off the ground. “I should have known. The way he always made her laugh, the way she would always compare us as she bitched, “why do you have to be disagreeable? Why are you so hard to know? Why can’t you be more open like your brother?” He shoveled some more dirt out of the hole he had started. “Frank, why don’t you act like you love me? Why don’t you ever take me out like you used to? Why cant you make more time for us? What happened to us?” Why, why, why? The phrases and her voice raced through his head faster and faster as he shoveled. “Didn’t she understand? If he didn’t love her, he wouldn’t work so hard, and if he didn’t work so hard there would be more time.”

He gripped the shovel tighter as his knuckles turned white. “All of that doesn’t mean shit now. I worked and worked for nothing, and because of whom? Jerry. For as long as I can remember, he hasn’t had to really work for anything in his life. The world just opens up to him like he is the chosen one. He was Mom’s favorite, Dad’s favorite, and even in school the teachers and coaches always preferred him, no matter what I did. When we were both hired on I thought, this is my chance. I am going to outwork him, and eventually he will be working for me. Eight years later look where we are at… me calling him boss.” He twisted the shovel back into the ground and came up with a small mound of dirt.

“I should have noticed it sooner. Wherever she was on the phone using that soft voice I thought it was just “girl talk” with Creslon or Tolla. I never dreamed she would be seducing my fucking brother.”

Sweat was now pouring off his brow and stinging his eyes. “Well, I am not going to stand for this shit. I am not going to lay here like a dog, while they sit and laugh in my face. They’ll pay, the both of them. Its the way it has to be.” As this last thought planted itself inside his head, she came out the back door.

“Frank, what in Gods name are you doing? That hole is six feet deep. Haven’t you been paying attention? I cant believe you have ruined my flower bed.” She took a step forward and peered into the hole as the shovel came down on top of her. There was no cry or scream, just a loud “crack”. The sound was akin to the one a baseball bat makes when a player hits a 400 foot home run. Her body went limp and fell halfway into the freshly dug earth. He thought about hitting her again, but he said “fuck it” as he kicked the lower half of her body into the hole.

He raised his voice, “Beth, that’s what you get. You fucked up everything. I hope you and Jerry have as much fun in the next life as you did in this one.” He shoveled the loose dirt from the mound beside the hole. “I am sure you two had a good laugh about me. Well, fuck you. Who’s laughing now?” After fifteen minutes the hole was filled and her body was entombed. He started a second hole four feet from the first, “This one is yours Brother. You will never get the better of me again. You made your bed, and now you will sleep in it. Prodigal son, my ass.” When the second hole was finished, he threw the shovel to the ground and went inside to clean up.

After a quick shower and a change of clothes, he began to prepare himself for what was to come. He could picture Jerry in convulsions, on the ground begging for mercy. “You thought you were going to surprise me, you piece of shit?” his voice was in a hysterical chatter as he paced around the house. “Yeah, we will see who gets the surprise. You are going to pay for once in your life.” He reached into the cabinet and pulled out a box of industrial rat poison that he had used earlier in the year to kill rats in the basement. “This will work. I just want to see you suffer a little bit before I crack your skull.”

At 7:30 sharp he answered the knock at the door. “Brother, what are you doing out in my neck of the woods? Come on in, and let me get you a drink.” Jerry tried to give him a hug as he entered, but he stepped away and turned his back to him. “Frank, I wanted to come over here and talk to you for a minute. Where is Beth?” His back was still to Jerry as he mixed the drink, “She went next door, but she will be back in a minute.” He poured the Johnny Walker into the glass that held the rat poison, turned around, and handed Jerry his fresh drink.

“Well like I said, I wanted to come over here and… wait, Beth did already talk to you didn’t she?” He gritted his teeth as “Yeah, she told me. She told me every damn thing.” came out of his mouth. Frank looked surprised, but then slapped him on the back, and chuckled, “Well what the Hell is wrong with you then? Why do you look like you lost your best friend?”

He couldn’t believe the nerve of this guy. He couldn’t believe he was standing here in his living room, after fucking his wife, acting like it was no big deal. He was about to say something when his brother cut him off. “Frank, I just wanted to say congratulations, and I am so proud and happy for you two. It isn’t every day that I become an uncle. Also, we have decided to give you that district manager promotion at work. You have worked your ass off, and you deserve it. I am sure the raise will help out with this new addition coming into the family. Brother, I love you.”

As Jerry took another drink, Frank hung his head in his hands as if he was praying. There was nothing but silence.