Cornered man, living in 1960’s single, with big sexual repression at home
Entrapped woman, same era, judged, mocked, forever shamed, by out of wedlock baby
Given up for adoption, 1957, and then internalized the unworthiness, forever more.
These people meet on double date, and due to untenable options at home
Hurriedly get married, 1963. The home lives were inescapably crucibles for them both.
So they overlooked the obvious in each other, the obtuse angles in contrapositions, the utter inappropriateness of values, lifestyles, even sexual orientations!
I became their only child, born 1964. Born to a hellishness of witnessing the unraveling of three lives, all because of that crucible that put them in this situation.
Anything to escape what was essentially a Salem witch trial. How long must one suffer a high libido, no outlet but marriage, heterosexual marriage, which was the only type until 2015 June in these United States of America?
Dad died in 2010, a broken man, having tried to corner his drive in the only acceptable way, which was in fact hellish, and defiantly unfair to him, as well as his unsuspecting wife, who also brought her carpetbags laden with oak logs, heavy, dragging behind.
Mom died in 2014, also broken, from a life of not being good enough, for herself, her inappropriate mate, her parents, her drunk boyfriend, because what good man would want her?? She internalized the rejection, from the act of having a baby, out of wedlock, in 1957. She was forever tainted, scarred with stretch marks on her abdomen, if only dad had seen them, I would not even be here…but he didn’t.
Silence became the way of life, for all of us, until we screamed piteously at each other, and at the injustice, of being in a cobweb from which there is no escape. And the spider is coming to eat you…you can see him, as you squirm, and wail, to no avail. You are his meal. Law of the animal kingdom. Caught in a web of one’s own making, a tapestry of life, choices made, circumstances unfolding, being the only child of a complete travesty of marriage, screaming, crying, wailing at the obscenity of it, knowing it will fall on you to clean up the refuse, the excrement, make the decisions, knowing full well that you are unequal to the task, because you are shaped by a spider and a fly in a cobweb….
You are the sole arbiter of destiny. You decide to be better than they were, making an example of how not to be, from how they were, with each other, and you. You take the parts that are good, and incorporate them, and become unique, and forged by steel, a witness to so much, including attempted murder, abuse, neglect, dysfunctional coping mechanisms. There is a price to be paid. I fulfilled my role, despite railing against it.
And was rewarded in the end. And leaving no descendants is perhaps a fitting epitaph, as no one should be burdened by the genetics of insanity, of overcoming life, bit by bit, as if in a crimson forge, making horseshoes…The many friends are the next chapter, and they will find good uses for the treasure I share with them, and their kids. It’s like leaving a foundation to carry on good work for society…and that is a good ending. Something like Sidney Carton in “A Tale of Two Cities,” by beloved Charles Dickens, assigned by an English teacher in high school. I remember their names even now. And I am 37 years past graduating…they live on in eternity thus.
I write because after me, there will be no blood witnesses, but there will be a community touched by a life lived in hell, in the flesh. I cannot go to horror movies anymore. You can imagine why. Peace to all whom I have loved in this life. Even if it didn’t get me where I wanted it to go.