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Eyes Cast Downward- Memoir Excerpt

Originally hand written in July 2015 Late Spring of 2014.  Just Months before liver failure Our eyes are nearly always cast dow...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Dear Stranger

Although this is not my story to tell, you confided in me many things over our years together, I made observations. This is only my perspective and I want to share it.

What happened to you, sweet stranger? 

Kent, CT - 2011
I know the harshness of your mother and those spiked heels after she would come home a little drunk and very unhappy.
I know of the closets you cowered inside of when you heard her nearing. 
I know the beating you took, I understand the fear you had. 
I know that you witnessed that same woman, your mother, 
endure and accept the abuse by the hands of a man. 
The very same hands that once caressed her, with love, with kindness.
 I know that man, your father, the father you refuse to believe had ever accepted you as his son. 
Never really treated you as his blood. 
He couldn't even look you in the eye that day by Forty-Second Street when he came to give you that birth certificate (well at least that is what you told me it was) before  he sped away in a new SUV. 
You were propelled with his encouragement into exile.
 "No son of his!"  
He has sons more worthy (you believe) with another woman. 
Successful, loved, untainted by abuse and broken homes.
While you were shunned and disowned by the Alfa male of your family. 

While you were barefoot wandering the L.E.S looking for a fix,  these half brothers were receiving the love and acceptance he never bothered to give you. 
You once sat on the grass of your front yard, a boy who still believed in the good in people. 

Dear stranger, you waited for him. You waited long after the sitter told you to come inside. 
You were not even capable of thinking that someone, especially your father would break their word. 
He was supposed to love you.
Your mother never ceased to feel guilty about what happened to her child. 
No doubt she placed some of the blame upon herself. 
So she enabled you, listened to your pleas, your whims. 
In secret, she assisted you. 
Always pleading your case...  But you started making demands. You became aggressive as you aged, as you went further into the dark. You smashed her window when she tried to say no to you for once. 
Dear stranger, who are you? You did that to your own mother. The one that showed such love for you. 
These days, do you think she wishes you to vanish? 
After all, you did make an appearance into the world when she was trying to flee, you were not anticipated. 
You held her back then and you hold her still. 
Is that what you sometimes think stranger? I think she still loves you. I think she can't bear to think of you because it breaks her heart. 
This is the only part I am sure of because I am a mother too. 
Do you truly believe your father doesn't love you?  
That you're a complete failure, a total disappointment, dead already?
I doubt it, but no one knows.
What he thinks does not matter anyway. 
What do you think of you?
What happened to that little boy?
 What happened to that young man with talent and ambitions?
What happened to Frodo and Golem? Hockey? Dirt bikes? 
The boy who smiled and laughed with ease? 

when there was no heroin-

 no needles-
 Nor addiction as a disease; a need for escape that leaves you living on your knees.
Where did he go, stranger? 
Is he still there, beneath your grime and your lies?
 Have you forgotten about that little boy you once were, sitting on the  lawn?

Waiting. Waiting.

 Breaking. Breaking.

You remained there till the sun began to set, for the father that never came.
That innocent little boy needs you. 
Now he waits only for you. 
Do not leave him there alone.
Do not turn away, he may not be in the best shape, perhaps a bit jarring at first. 
He has been neglected for too long. 
Do you fear that childlike vulnerability that much?

It may not be my place to say this yet I will because, despite what you tell yourself, I still care for you- deeply.
You don't want to spend what is left of your life 
in avoidance.
It will never go away, not ever, not completely.
What really happened to you? 
What makes you think you are so so unique?
What made you a stranger even to yourself? 
Just remember, no one will ever care  for or love you
 more than you care for and love yourself. 
You are worth loving.
Please, Stranger you are not that strange.

Now, come inside where it's warm

. I've got some Hot Cocoa I could make for you. We'll get you cleaned up and I'll tell you a  story I know. 
It's about a lost little boy who met a lost little girl and how they each found their way home. 
Would you like that?

Mary Catherine, Cowardice Queen

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