Archive for 18. September 2009
Frank’s Comments on Into the Belly
18. September 2009 by Frank.
Here we are at the bottom of it all, really. This is the piece my mother wrote that Gennyfer didn’t want to write about too soon. She thought it might not have the proper impact without some background information on crazymom. I hope you have all read enough of this crazy stuff to have a true and refined understanding of just how whacked out my mother really was. So without further ado, we delve… Into the Belly of the Beast.
My mother wrote this little bit of insanity about the time just after our father, Frank, had just gone to prison, and my mother carted us off from a quiet town in upstate New York right smack in the middle of downtown Philadelphia. She moved in with a drug dealing friend of my fathers, the man she called Bear. I was almost 4 years old at this point, and Gennyfer was still a 2 year old in diapers. She packed so much crazy into so little space in this little note she wrote to herself, it almost defies description. But here we are, describing all of this madness as best we can.
Here are the real standouts for me. “We are all looking for Charles Manson to tell us what to do.” Now I know you are all relating to this statement as much as I am. When life gets rough for me, I am confused and unsure of what direction to take, where to get the best advice possible, who can lift me up from the darkness and despair that seeks to overwhelm and consume me, my thoughts immediately turn to… Charles Manson.
Another highlight for me was “I remember the night I thought I should walk off the roof of the house. I wanted to die, end it all” I was just three years old at that moment in her life, and Gennyfer was only two. I have a child myself, and as a parent, some part of you puts your kid first, no matter what. But my mom was so wrapped up in her own self centered dramatic bullshit at the time that she was seriously ready to end it all right there. If she had gone off that roof that night, she would have left my little sister and me in the care of some fucked up hippie drug dealer we barely knew, in a strange city while our father was off serving his country in jail. I am sure my mother had no contact with her parents and sister at this point in her life, so I don’t know what this whack job would have done to even try and get in touch with our extended family. We could have ended up wards of the state. Lovely.
Last, and certainly least considering it’s intense competition on this list, is this wonderful gem, “plus the mystery of spending time in jail - What is that appeal?” Someone please tell me, what is that appeal? I don’t know really. Is it a chick thing? I have met a few women in my day who have been in prison, and believe me, they were not full of sugar and spice and everything nice, if you catch my drift. Anyone else’s mom out there have a thing for ex-cons? Fill me in on this one. I am truly at a loss. I do remember my mom always being attracted to the wrong guys, even as she got much older. She was the epitome of the good girl who went for the bad boy every time. I have personally known some truly fine men who loved and admired my mother. She would have absolutely nothing to do with any of them. And thank god for those fine fellows. I am sure it pained them at the time, but they really dodged that bullet big-time.
I will never forget about a year before my mom died, I was at her house helping her to get rid of some old boxes in the closet and consolidate a bunch of her old stuff into a more manageable space. I came across a framed poem that’s title was dedicated specifically to her. I read the thing aloud to her, and there were several personal references to her that were unmistakable. Some guy had definitely had it bad for my mom, and had taken the time to write and frame a very lovely and intimate poem for her and about her. She was always a big poetry fan. I asked her after reading it to her who had written it. All I got in response was a blank stare, and a scratch of the head. She had no idea. WTF! “Mom,” I said, “How in the world does someone write something like that for you, some guy who was obviously totally in love with you, and you can’t even remember his name?” She thought about it for a minute, but could not place who had written it. Wow. I guess unless you were a guy who had been to jail, you got short shrift from my mom in the love department.
Someone who has been reading these little missives asked Gen and me if we experienced some form of personal catharsis from writing these stories out. I immediately denied that what I felt from writing these things down was in any way cathartic. Then I went home and looked it up, and I feel that I was right about that. Catharsis is a release of emotional tension that restores and refreshes the spirit. I am a Cancer, and Gen is a Scorpio, and believe me when I tell you this, we don’t like to let go of nothin’. Confronting these things head on is no easy task, and the rewards from writing these stories down are not a lightening of any burden from the past. I simply want people to know what it was like for me. For us. And, if they can make the leap, and it somehow pertains to them, what it may have been like for them in some small way as well. TTFN