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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, April 19, 2016

A Very Odd Year

My arms akimbo, I stand with burning eyes at a picture of me as an innocent. 
 I study the golden rivulets of hair that cascade to the base of crooked spine and the painted, on standby pseudo smile that I've already mastered.
 I contemplate your year of birth. 
 The very the same year Adolf Hitler died.
 an odd combination in the year of 1945. 
How many times must I remember? 
I want to be Jessica Rabbit. 
Fleshy lips, jutting pelvic bone to the right and swinging,  golden hair. 
Victoria’s Secret's were mine before I was even in grade school. Dancing for Daddy's friends at the bar age approximately eight. I don't like it when you kiss me on the lips. That's not fucking normal. Tony said so. I saw him pretend he didn't see when you smacked me on the bottom. I am twenty-one years old and still afraid to tell you that I don't like that. I wave and give a fake smile as my boyfriend and I drive off.  A real number you did on me Terry Randall. 

(I think of the photographs.)

 I loved Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop. 
 (I want to be loved by you, I am mini skirts and smile, smile, sing!
My hair was still damp and clung to my back. The outfit is obscene, one of many that your girlfriend made. She works as the dressmaker and seamstress for the strip club her daughter works at in West Palm Beach. I'm only eleven in these pictures, wearing a skirt that has a slit that goes up almost to my pelvic bone. My legs are crossed. Someone tells me to lean my head back. (Why do you cry when you listen to John Lennon's Imagine?) Put your hand in your hair Mary and lean back a little…. Okay. Now just a little turn that way… Right there, hold it…. That's my girl! Good... all right now look at the camera (vacant eyed stare). 
Perfect, that was great baby! He grabs my head and kisses the top at the roots of my hair. 
(I smell the booze).
 This is what a good 'girl' is. An error occurred in the brain of an eleven-year-old girl.

A little attention, a touch of rouge, some of her father’s paltry affection and the rare gem of praise. That was all it took, she cut that red tape before she even had the red visit. This is what one ought to do. "Your life is over." This is what you say after not seeing each other for five years. I am seventeen and I introduce to you my infant son. You were always so funny though, like George Carlin. You sang like Sinatra, a crooner Mom had called you. We sang together. You made up the most fascinating stories! You told me how beautiful I was and showered me with attention and compliments during the weekend visits. You had your girlfriend sleep on the couch and me in your bed. You did that. That was real. Not a good combination. Just like your black coffee, ten cigarettes and five screwdrivers-eighty percent vodka- twenty percent orange juice all before the noon. Not good for you. You’re dead now, a corpse man, ash man, a couple of years I guess your carbon now. You were born the same year that Norma Jeane was discovered... An odd year, that 1945.
Mary Catherine, Cowardice Queen

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