Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I was surprised to get a call from my mom the other night that her marriage to my stepdad has faltered. It's mainly a case of one party being too controlling. I don't get wanting to control others. I feel that my will for another is their will for themselves, kind of how I feel God feels about us. Why would you want to constrain those you love? Resentment is sure to build in such cases.

They did quite a number on keeping the extent of their troubles hidden. Other than some strange goings-on on Christmas Eve, I wouldn't have figured their union was in any danger. Interesting how people put a happy face on their lives when it's anything but. Some are the same on Facebook, nothing but positivity. You know they can't be like that in real life and if they are, you married the wrong person.

When I first received word that my parents were contemplating divorce twenty-eight years ago, I was watching Olivia Newton-John's concert special on HBO.

It is forever linked now with that evening. One of my siblings told me what was going on and I went to the source to see if it was true. My dad was sitting on top of my mom in the living room, but this was no sex act. He was asking why she wished to dissolve the partnership.

This happened at almost the exact moment that I was first experiencing puberty. I'd go to my 7th grade classes and get what I liked to call "tenny" (tension) headaches on many a day. My grades went into the toilet and I came to rely more on my grandmother as I began to feel more distant from my parents.

My dad moved out of the house and into an apartment complex. One evening, I went there with my siblings. It was small, but sufficient, I suppose, for a now-single man. I noticed a jar full of quarters on the nightstand. I asked if I could have some. He said that he was saving them for something or another. A moment or two later, when he wasn't looking, I took a couple dollars' worth out of it and said that I was going to head over to the mall; it was located just two blocks away.

The shopping center was mighty quiet on that evening. I headed the length of the mall to my favorite haunt, the Electric Rainbow arcade. Halfway there, I saw a girl who was in one of my classes, Courtney. She was the one who as a 1st grader, I fantasized chose me to play with out of all the boys in our class. She looked fantastic that night, a vision with beautiful blond hair and preppy clothes. She may have gazed at me as we passed each other. I wasn't sure if she even knew who I was.

I set to playing some of my favorite video games: the sitdown version of Turbo, Star Wars, Joust, stuff like that. Playing those games helped me decompress a bit. They gave me peace when that was in very short supply. I left the arcade and just a couple steps later, saw Courtney again, heading in the opposite direction as before.

This time, she smiled and said, "Hi". I said "Hi" back to her and was on cloud nine as I walked past the rest of the stores. I was living in a broken home now, but it needn't be my destiny. Someday in the not-too-distant future, I would have a family of my own and all this heartache would be a thing of the past.

Tracks I listened to while composing this:

Take Good Care Of My Heart - Jermaine Jackson & Whitney Houston
New Girl Now - Honeymoon Suite
I Go Crazy - Paul Davis
How Much I Feel - Ambrosia


Mags said...

I'm confused-was this a complete flashback post or did your mom's newer marriage dissolve recently?

Either way, I'm sorry...

Thomas said...

Sorry, Mags, for not making it completely clear (like Tom Brady's Super Bowl plans; if it helps, I was rooting for them last weekend); I've since adjusted the text.

Yes, it is my mom's latest marriage that has begun fading out. Thanks for your concern and thanks for stopping by! Hope you're back to 100% soon...

Phats said...

Sorry to hear about your mom's latest marriage. You and I have a lot in common that's for sure.

Funny how things get etched into your brain when certain things happen. BTW I laughed at your comment back here about Tom Brady haha

Narkissos said...

sorry had to go through it again...but look at the bright have your own wonderful family now....and it's way better to grow up in a single parent household than a dysfunctional family....abusive relationship ain't good for anyone....especially the kids...also it breaks the victim down, and makes her/him give up on her/himself, and breaks their self-esteem.....they do not even realize sad.....

Dave said...

Funny how mothers fuss over their offspring and yet keep everything hidden from them that might cause them worry... same story the world over I think.

Love the new layout, great look!

Rocketstar said...

Ah, video games when we were young... quarters for hours of fun.

Too bad about your ma but if it's not a happy union, no reasson to stay, life is too short.