Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I shut my eyes and listened to the sound of the wheels of the car as they were spinning through the crunching, slippery, blinding snow.  There weren't many cars on the road, only the few who had to
be there.   Those who had to make it to work or had business in Milwaukee or had to go to the airport or those who were escaping the frigid, grey, dull and uninspiring surroundings.   I was in this car.  I was with the boy I loved.  I was leaving, leaving behind the pain and misery of those last eighteen years....
   I scanned my mind and looked back on it all...  Was it all bad... was that all that there was?   Where were the grown-ups who were suppose to help the lost child.  Where was the guidance and nuturing and words of encouragement...  My parents were too wrapped up in their problems..  my mother was  certainly in a world of pain herself..  How could she help me when she couldn't even help herself.   She was a lost child as well with no one to guide her.   She married a man she probably once loved but mostly she married a man to escape the hell of her own childhood home.  No one helped her either..  The blind leading the blind leading the blind.   Generations of lost,  lonely, abused women.
    My mother was drowning in a sea of self-hate. wounded and crippled without any means of freeing herself from all that pain..  so she drank.   and she took pills.   and she passed out.    and she fought with the man she thought she loved so long ago and no one could pull her out of the deep, deep hole that she fell into and was still falling into and the long dark deep hole did not have any light or any way out. She just kept falling deeper and deeper.  And so her family fell into that hole with her and did their best to hide it from the rest of the world and tried and tried to make things normal in a place where normal didn't have a chance.   A place where everyones' bright, shiny faces were hidden behind a mask, one after another after another until this midwestern family no longer knew who they were or what they were meant to be
 and so this family lived around this woman's moods... stormy, dark moods...violent manical moods.. never ever knowing what was to come next..what they were going to see when they came home from school at 3:15.   Would she be happy.
 Would there be a dinner?   Or  Would she be in a dirty, cigarette burned bathrobe , lying on the floor unconscious...would the little girl have to take care of her and get her off that floor and put the butt out in the ashtray and clean up the spilled drink and shake her to bring her out of it ?    Would she have to endure this alone while the rest of the family were  at their jobs and didn't get home until later.  Or would she be so guilt ridden from the day before that she would lavish the little girl with sweets and special treats and undivided attention...Always a roller coaster of emotions..always doubt and fear...always never knowing what would come next...but always knowing it would not be good.... I thought of these things as that car went down the interstate with a man that I did not know as he steered it toward freedom with the boy that I loved who was my knight in wire-rimmed glasses, long hair and green wool army coat.



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