Yesterday’s amazing healing, see my SICARIO review, has unleashed some memories from my dark childhood. Again, this piece is not for my more sensitive readers. I hold nothing back from this true-life drama of my coming of age in darkness.
THE MORNING AFTER CRAZY
It is a perfect October 1969 morning. Mom pours my sleepy father a coffee. I shudder in disgust as she kisses a band-aid on his forehead. Then my beautiful mom turns to me with a bright smile and says, “Orange juice, Kenny?”
I am freshly 17 and dead tired of yet another “morning after crazy”. “Seriously? ‘Orange juice, Kenny?’ after you guys tried to kill each other last night?” a disdain in my voice I’ve never expressed to my parents before.
“Ken!” whispers Mom, worried dad had enough booze still in him to go volcanic. But Dad simply sips his coffee with a sullen look.
“What the hell keeps you two together? Get a fucking divorce before you kill each other!” I shout back.
Without waiting for an answer from my sheepish parents I storm out the door. I gulp the fresh Wisconsin autumn air and flash back to the crazy night before.
I wake in a cold sweat in my bed I have outgrown so bad my feet hang midair through the foot-board spokes of a wagon wheel. I hear a wrestling match going on in the family room that’s been invading my dreams. The nightstand clock reads 3:13 AM as Mom’s scream lights every nerve in my body on fire,”Ken! Help! He’s going to kill me! Help!”
I throw off my blanket. Dressed only in a t-shirt and my tighty whities, I race to rescue Mom. Since my summer growth spurt and muscle building I have somehow been appointed the new referee in my mom and dad’s sick marriage. I race to the fight, but I slip and fall hard on the hard linoleum tile floor, almost re-breaking the arm my father broke when I was eight. Shocked and in severe pain, I realize I am sitting in a puddle of blood.
Dad cringes on the family room floor, the recipient an epic ass whooping! Mom wields a heavy black phone receiver like an avenging goddess.
“Fucker! Hit me again will you?”Mom shouts, delivering devastating blows so fast and furious I know she’ll kill Dad if I don’t act fast.
Years later when KILL BILL is released I flashback to this night when my mother took justice into own hands, after countless times the cops showing up on our doorsteps did nothing to save her. This was the 60s, long before domestic violence protected women like Mom from sickos like my dear old dad. Indeed, this bloody night is for me like a living prequel to Uma’s epic revenge against the man who beat her and almost killed her. And, yeah, my crazy dad’s name was Bill as well. Hence KILL BILL AND KILL BILL VOLUME 2 will forever be in my top ten.
Slipping and sliding in Dad’s blood that’s everywhere, my underwear stained blood red, I shout, “Stop, Mom! You’re killing Dad!”
“GOOD! I am done getting beat up by this fucker!” shouts Mom. Dad strangely is not fighting back. Thinking at the lighting speed of adrenaline, I see Dad’s either to out of it or waiting for the final death blow he so richly deserves for making this family’s life a living hell for so long. Mom winds the heavy black receiver back to end this sick man’s abuse once and for all. In desperation, I finally gain my footing and snatch the phone from mom’s hand just in the nick of time.
“He ain’t worth going to prison for, Ma.” I say. Mom falls to pieces, a sobbing mess on the throw rug.
“Thanks, son,” croaks my father. How he’s seeing through the blood running down his face I have no idea.
“Shut up before I finish what Mom started,” I say checking Dad’s gashes. I am a newly trained life guard with first-aid skills I’d not expected to use this way. “You need stitches. Let’s get your sorry ass to the ER.”
“Too many questions. Get the band-aids.” says Dad softly. His sweet side is back in charge. Will be for weeks. He’ll be a dad any Disney movie goer would love. Wild Bill’s mood swings like this give me such anxiety my hands tremble as I apply some band-aids.
“Good thing I have a tough head,” Dad chuckles. “It’s OK, Georgie, I had it coming.”
Mom’s shoulders stiffen at the arrival of Bill the Good and she keeps on weeping on the rug.
I am back in my body, walking for the school bus to whisk me off to a blissful normal day at high school on this autumn morning after crazy. In some twisted way I am happy Mom had finally stood up to my dad.
“Ma kicked my old man’s ass!” I shout to a crow in red maple tree. The crow flies off into the Wisconsin to share the good news of 1969 which, because I had lot of healing to do, I only got today in 2015:
Women are done putting up with the abuse of wicked men!
Mom and Dad stay married “for the sake” of my two younger brothers for another 10 years. Each of my little brothers get put through the same sick growing up process of becoming big and strong enough to be my parents’ referee, and sip on orange juice on many crazy morning’s after. After their divorce Mom and Dad will each will remarry within a year to mates far better suited. Dad passes of painful bowel cancer in 2011. My avenging mother is alive and well and loving life in Las Vegas as an expert Keno player.
2 thoughts on “The Morning After Crazy”
I have always hated the excuse of staying together for the kids. I get it. Kids need a family, stable environment, and 2 loving parents. The key things there are stable & loving. When we are raised in those environments, we can never develop an even semiacceptable version of love & family. To us it is merely another dream with no reality. . .no foundation or skills to make it work. Our views are so twisted & distorted & our personalities & coping mechanisms are messed up. So, why do we (as parents) not use “for the kids” as a reason to leave…or at least, get help? I wish more people would refuse to raise children in an environment where they fear their own lives & safety, or where this is their role model & example of life, love & family. It’s sick, sad, and wrong.
Yes. Sadly, there’s no easy answer to a broken home. But I agree the best thing is to end it if there’s violence.
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