And an unloving, tyrannous, brutal man needs no motive to prompt his cruelty; he needs only the perpetual presence of a woman he can call his own. A whole park full of tame or timid-eyed animals to torment at his will would not serve him so well to glut his lust of torture; they could not feel as one woman does; they could not throw out the keen retort which whets the edge of hatred.
How did they meet I suppose is where the story should start. As the only remaining child I have a fuzzy and inconsistent recollection of tales from the both of my parents about how their relationship really began. Mom says she knew of him in high school that he was "weird" and "poor" ... she would giggle and say there was something always off about him, a sense of nostalgia coming over her face as she would stare off into the corner.
"Then he got sent away to the marine corps and when he got back he was a lot different. Fit and put together, he always looked nice when we went out ! He was fun and exciting not like the white guys at my school, we always were out partying having a good ol' time" she'd perk up and say , "never marry the fun guy frankie..."
Dad on the other hand would scowl at the question then, true to form, make some fallacious comment about picking her up on a corner of some rough neighborhood and that she refused to get out of the car and hadn't left him alone ever since... This was a joke of course , something my father loved to do between his fits of explosive rage and self hatred. Despite his rather good nature I couldn't help but show my disappointment, pursing my lips and rolling my eyes to the side.
Why couldn't he ever be loving? Why is it that the most damaged and broken people choose humor or joy as a veil, almost overdoing it, their performance exposed through each forced snicker.
Before I was conceived I'm not entirely sure of the violent and abusive incidents that occurred. My mother revealed these stories to me at random, in times of extreme duress needing someone to confide in. She was a very tough woman, my mother, intelligent and successful during my early childhood she worked two jobs social worker by day and community college professor by night. Her masters degree a mere testimony of her endurance and drive. By the time of her death she had finally made it at 42 as the appointed CEO to a multi county non profit, its focus being to help victims of torture persecution and violence. The unspoken irony knitted deep into the trials of her life.
I was supposed to be born in September my mom revealed to me one of countless nights we were undoubtedly on the run, in search of a hotel far from our home. Far from my father. Her face battered and bruised, eyes wide full of tears she would nod and look me dead in the eyes, concern and a slight disbelief strewn across her face, as if even she couldn't believe it.
"Well... what happened ?" I asked flatly, preparing myself for the cruel and cringeworthy tale of my birth.
“Me and your father got into a fight, and I had left and went to stay with NaN and pap [my grandparents] I kept calling him asking for my things and the bastard told me he had thrown them out in the dumpster. All my work clothes and I needed them for the next day! So even though I was 8 months pregnant I went down to the apartment complex to get my things . The dumpster was huge and the walls high I had to climb into it. They weren't even in there ..." she says as she shakes her head . "Back then there weren't cell phones to call for help and I was stuck , too heavy to get myself out of the dumpster. " apparently after a while and many failed attempts she would use all her might to lift herself, scraping her stomach on the metal edges, skin torn and bleeding she would land on the ground on her back . Crying and bleeding my mother headed home, to my fathers mothers house not wanting her own parents to know what had happened.
"And the next day you were born Frankie! She would then smile and stroke my leg reassuring me I was the best thing that had happened to her, me and Marie . "The only good thing that man had produced "