Sunday, June 18, 2006

Dirty Laundry

Since today is fathers day I thought I would tell a little bit about dear old dad. I think a lot of our behavior is decided by genetics as well as upbringing. So this may give you a little insight into my mind. I'm not like my dad yet I'm exactly like him. I know that's a contradiction but I'm a walking contradiction anyway.

This story covers about 11 years. In 1972 I met my dad for the first time, I was eight years old. He moved in almost instantly. The next four years were filled with emotional and mental abuse for my mother as well as me and my brother. Dad constantly cheated on my mom, mostly with his best friends wife. In 1976, dad whipped mom's ass one too many times, he had stupidly taught her how to use a gun. For this part of the story I'm going to refer to dad as OT (Original Trash). After he finished whipping her ass he went across the street and was drinking beer with his friend Jimmy.

Mom eventually managed to drag her ass off the floor. She got dads .22 pistol from their bedroom and headed across the street with me and my brother close behind. We knew this was going to be good. Mom walked up the front steps and right in the door, dad has his back to her and Jimmy's eyes were the biggest I had ever seen on a human. Jimmy screamed "LOOK OUT OT, SHE'S GOT A GUN." My dad jumped up from his chair and spun around. Faster than you could blink my mom shot him in the head. From about eight feet away she placed a bullet squarely in the middle of his forehead, he dropped like somebody that was just shot in the head. Unfortunately I come from a very hard headed bunch of people. My dad popped up from the floor like a psychotic Jack-In-The-Box, he had blooded running down his face and now he was really pissed. He grabbed the gun out of her hand and beat her with it until he got bored, meanwhile Jimmy got a fresh beer and went to check on something in the back yard.

Six months later they got into it again, this time mom used a new approach. She got the biggest butcher knife in the house and sat down on the couch across from him. Mom said "If you move, I'm going to kill you. If you don't move, I'm going to wait for you to go to sleep and THEN I'm going to kill you." Mom fell asleep first. Dad stepped into my room and told us that we knew where to find him if we ever needed him and he was gone from our lives.

Mom packed us up and we moved from North Texas to West Texas. She kept tabs on him for the next couple of years (she never stopped loving him). We found out he killed his best friend and married the widow. The widow died from cancer and dad wound up inheriting two bars. After that he disappeared.

Fast forward to 1983-84 (somewhere in there). I was working at The Armadillo Run, the phone rang and when I answered it the guy on the other end was asking to talk to me.

Trash: "Armadillo Run."
OT: "Can I speak to Trash?"
Trash: "This is him."
OT: "Hey son. It's me. OT"
Trash: "This some kind of joke?"
OT: "No. Your brother G found me and told me where to find you."
Trash: "What do you want?"
OT: "I want you to come to Oklahoma and work at one of my bars. I'll send you the money to get here."
Trash: "Send it."

I went to see my mom that night to tell her I was going to see dad. It wasn't pretty.

Mom: "You're doing what?"
Trash: "I'm going to see OT."
Mom: "You're no son of mine."
Trash: "It's something I have to do."
Mom: "Why?"
Trash: "Unanswered questions."
Mom: "I'll answer them."
Trash: "You can't answer these. They have to be asked a certain way."
Mom: "If you go after him, he'll kill you."
Trash: "He's older and slower."
Mom: "That doesn't make him any less deadlier."
Trash: "I can take him."
Mom: "Don't turn your back on him."
Trash: "Mom, I think I know what I'm doing."
Mom: "Well if you have to go then you have to go. I may never see you again."
Trash: "I'll be back someday."

As I walked out her door she said something the people in my family doesn't say very often. She said "I love you". I should have known then that I was in trouble.

When I arrived in Oklahoma I went straight to his house. I knocked on the door and OT answered. He hadn't changed much. Just a little older. He was 63 and still looked hard as rock. But he was older and I was 19. I was younger and faster and I had skills (or so I thought). I had had my share of fights and then some. Deep down I think I was preparing for this moment. The moment where I could make this son of a bitch pay and he was going to pay. I was going to take every beating my mom or my brother or I had ever received from this asshole out of his hide. I guess he could tell my intentions by the look on my face or maybe it was just the animal instinct he had inherited from the junk yard dog that had mothered him.

OT: "Well I guess you want to kick my ass?"
Trash: "Yep."
OT: "So I sent you the money so you could come up here and kick my ass?"
Trash: "Yep."
OT: "You know you're not the first one to try it, right?"
Trash: "Yep."
OT: "You sure you want to do this?"
Trash: "Yep."
OT: "I can't talk you out of it?"
Trash: "Nope."
OT: "I wish we didn't have to do this."
Trash: "Why, you scared old man?" (wrong thing to say)
OT: "Get in the yard so we don't break nuthin."

Remember mom told me not to turn my back on him. Well I forgot. I turned and walked down the steps into the yard, when I turned back around he hit me in the face with a 2X4. OT proceeded to beat me with the hunk of lumber, not hard enough to kill me or do any major damage but hard enough to hurt for a long time. When it came to handing out beatings the old man knew what he was doing. After he was done he stood there looking down at the pile of me in the yard.

OT: "You had enough?"
Trash: "Yep."
OT: "Then get up."
Trash: "You're getting soft."
OT: "What makes you think so?"
Trash: "You didn't kill me."
OT: "You can't kill your own kids. It just ain't right."
Trash: "But you can kill your best friend?"
OT: "Sometimes when another man has what you want, you just have to take from him."
Trash: "So it's true?"
OT: "Not a word of it."
Trash: "How come you ran away from her?"
OT: "She was going to kill me."
Trash: "All you had to do was stop beating her."
OT: "Yeah I know. You know of all the women I've had, your momma was the only one I ever loved."
Trash: "Bullshit. You've never loved anyone."
OT: "Yeah. You're probably right."

I was in Oklahoma for six months. OT never gave me the job he promised me. I saw him maybe once or twice a month. He tried to sell me a piece of shit pick-up for way too much money. You can't kill your own kids but you can cheat them out of money. I started selling him weed for his arthritis and he married for about the 15th time. She was 36 and attractive. He kicked her ass on a regular basis. When I left town I stopped by to say good bye. He was out of town. She was recovering from a beating. I got her stoned and we had barn yard sex. Maybe I'm a lover and not a fighter.

No comments: