Tag Archives: Parents

Twisted

It's parents do this sort of thing.  Trying to twist the minds of their offspring into something that makes them feel better about themselves.  The selves of the parents, not the damned selves of the trees. Someone a couple of blocks away must have known that fact back when parents were parents and offspring were glad of it.  The offspring who did the tree are mostly dead by now, but they're twisted inside their damned coffins.  Had a hell of a time getting them nailed down inside something 3 feet wide and six feet long.

It’s parents do this sort of thing. Trying to twist the minds of their offspring into something that makes them feel better about themselves. The selves of the parents, not the damned selves of the trees.
Someone a couple of blocks away must have known that fact back when parents were parents and offspring were glad of it. The offspring who did the tree are mostly dead by now, but they’re twisted inside their damned coffins. Had a hell of a time getting them nailed down inside something 3 feet wide and six feet long.

Hi Readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

People my age have already worked most of a century  trying to untwist themselves from the twisting their parents did to them.  Meanwhile, they’ve occupied their own idle hours twisting a few more generations beginning with their own children and grandchildren, so’s to give them something to do with themselves.

Guy down the road a few miles in Overland Park killed some people a few days ago because he thought they were Jews.  Over in Kansas City, MO, in the neighborhood around the VA Medical Center I’m assured a white person’s got a good bet for being shot for being white if he gets caught there after dark.  But being black or Hispanic’s no cakewalk.  It ain’t enough they’re the darlings of affirmative action.  They’re odds-on favorites for going to prison or getting killed in drive-by shootings by people similarly ethnic in origin.  In large part for being Hispanics and blacks.

So really, despite the fact the Overland Park guy targeted Jews because he thought that’s what they are, being a Jew is still a lot better than being a black, Mexican, or even a white under the right circumstances.

Nobody assumes Jews are trailer trash, or rednecks, or welfare cases, drug pushers, gangsters.  Even though a lot of them probably are each of these stereotypes.  Guy tells you he’s a Jew you’re going to assume he’s got a college degree, lives in a good neighborhood.  He’s an accountant, physician, attorney, banker, politician, stock broker, CEO of something, engineer, musician, actor, photographer.  Drives a BMW or Porche or Volvo.  White collar criminal who’ll never spend a day in jail.  Jews just don’t go to jail.  Period.

Not like white people, or Mexicans or blacks.  Jews don’t need shooting, nor putting into the slammer.

The good news is this tree is no worse for the wear.  It wouldn't have been a damned bit better off if it hadn't been twisted in its formative years.  All's well that ends well.  If it had been Nuns, or teachers, or science fiction test tube baby creche families twisting it the threads might have run the other direction, but twisting is twisting.  Nobody gets a free ride.

The good news is this tree is no worse for the wear. It wouldn’t have been a damned bit better off if it hadn’t been twisted in its formative years. All’s well that ends well. If it had been Nuns, or teachers, or science fiction test tube baby creche families twisting it the threads might have run the other direction, but twisting is twisting. Nobody gets a free ride.

Jews are as twisted as the rest of us, but saying so is a hate crime.  I’m going to apply to be one next lifetime.

Old Jules

The nightmares of acceptance

high water

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Probably I was four years old, must have been 1947, I was a kid with a recurring nightmare.  I was walking along a raised roadway with my mom, my granddad, and my two sisters.  A deep gravel pit reached alongside the road and my feet slipped, I fell and began sliding into the pit screaming for help.  None of them looked around, none paused, they all just kept walking and I kept sliding and screaming until I’d wake.

With all these decades of hindsight I find that dream of a four-year-old amazing.  I had no business knowing that much about people, about life, about my particular gene-pool at that age. 

At the time my mom was between marriages and we were living in Causey, New Mexico in a two-room shack with no running water, an outdoor toilet, maybe no electricity, though we might have had electricity.  I can’t recall.  My granddad’s presence in the area was the only thing to draw us there.  My mom was doing anything, seamstress work, pulling cotton, trying to operate a miniscule variety store in the house to earn a living. 

A deeply troubled young woman with three kids and almost certainly more nightmares of her own to keep her company than anyone purely needs.  Her financial woes gradually improved when she married again, but my thought is her mental processes turned concurrently to lies and manipulation.  Maybe they’d never been otherwise.

Such a woman!  I don’t believe my sisters ever recovered from the experience of having her for a mother, of always being caught in the vice of ‘love your mother’ and that mother being a destructive, master manipulative sociopath.  I believe I did recover, but it’s just me believing it.  I do know that when she died a couple of years back and I heard the news I felt nothing but a sense of deep relief, of peace.

I suppose it was the neighbor got me thinking of this.  He came down bringing a cup of expensive coffee before dusk.  As we sat he told me about some trial in Florida of a man who killed someone who was beating him up in a parking lot.  An angry tale of violence and racial politics and justice.

As he described it to me I remembered something else he’d told me a while back, off-hand and matter-of-fact, about how his father had murdered two, maybe three people he [the neighbor] knew of.  One a whiskey salesman who didn’t get his purchases for the bar he operated delivered.  Beat him to death on the sidewalk in front of his bar.  Another salesman he beat badly might have lived, might have died.  I can’t recall for certain because when I heard the story I was still digesting the first salesman.

The next homicide by his father he was sure of involved a Mexican [or at least a Hispanic] who did farm work.  Evidently screwed up a switch on an irrigation pump.  That night the neighbor says the father took his .22 pistol and went out somewhere.  The next day the Mexican farm worker was found dead on the railroad tracks shot nine times with a .22, then run over by a train.

The jokes around town proclaimed it to be the most elaborate suicide ever.

When he told me this story it didn’t include any value judgements, no overtones, no repudiation, no anger of the sort contained in the story of the trial in Florida.

I suppose an infinite number of monkeys pounding an infinite number of typewriters will indeed eventually write the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, as someone claimed.  I’ve seen enough families and enough parenting this lifetime to accept that some families and some parenting must fall within the ‘normal’ part of the bell-shaped curve.

But to go a step further and suggest there’s enough ‘normal’ floating around among the father and mother components to celebrate seems to me to be a possible overstatement.  I count myself lucky my nightmares were only my own.  When Bobby Dylan’s song offered to let me be in his dream if I’d let him be in mine I was never tempted.  Still ain’t.

Old Jules

One of the Fascinations of Christian TV

Maybe I should have explained this on my earlier post.  If my dad’s still alive he’s too old to care, and anyone else who might have once felt anything about it will also be old enough to handle it.

For me, discovering I had a biological half-brother didn’t come as a particular shock.  I’d always figured I probably had a few, maybe a lot.  My dad never made any bones about having been a rounder all his life.  His extra-marital affairs cost him a couple of marriages.

One night during the early 1980s, Dad and I were sitting in the parking lot of the Georgetown, Texas, hospital at 2:00 am, because his wife of the time was inside being treated in the Emergency Room.  They were visiting my wife and me over some holiday.

It was a long wait, and the conversation drifted to women, observations about them, stories about them, puzzlements about women we’d found during our individual experiences with them.  Somewhere during all that the subject of the products of our meanderings came into the discussion.

He said he didn’t actually know how many kids he’d left along his back trail, but one was a sure thing.  He’d first seen the guy on television because someone told him there was a televangelist who bore an amazing likeness, both in physical features and in mannerisms of speech and gesture.

Dad was mildly interested, enough to eventually watch the guy on television.  Which bowled him over.  He said it was like watching a movie of himself speaking at a Toastmaster meeting at an earlier age.  A suspicion dawned for him sufficiently to cause him to find out more about the man.  Where he was from, how old he was, and eventually to find out who the mother of the televangelist was.  He had, it turned out, vivid recollections of her when they both were a lot younger.

He didn’t name the man, and I didn’t give it a lot of thought for a number of years.  But early during my Christian television watching it came back full force.  For a moment I was disoriented, almost as though I watching my dad on television.  I truly was amazed and there was no doubt in my mind I was seeing my biological half-brother.  Just about my own age. 

My lady friend of the time, whom I made a point of having watch him without explaining, commented, “He looks and talks like you.  Weird.”

The man was a moving speaker and a faith healer of some fame.  So one of the attractions motivating me to rise at 3:00 am and watch Christian television was the strangeness of watching him, particularly. 

I always tried to catch his show and his appearances when I could.  If a person’s going to put himself through an experience of that sort, 3:00 am’s not an altogether bad time to do it.

Old Jules