Monday, April 04, 2005

Life With Sarg - Part I

He was a son-of-a-bitch. He was a hard-assed, no-nonsense, militant father figure. He was my mother's husband, my sister's father, but not mine. He was the man Gail married because the man she loved left her with nothing but a broken heart and a bastard daughter. Sarg was a career step-parent; his first wife came complete with three children whom he raised and provided for. Like her, my mother came with baggage that didn't have the key to his heart. Sarg was supposed to provide us with the life my mother had dreamed of; a beautiful home that sang with security and creature comforts. Gail didn't know that Sarg was wounded. Gail didn't know that Sarg lost more than 40% of his hearing in the war. Gail didn't know that Sarg lost 40% of his soul as well.

Life with Sarg was boot camp and battlefields. Life with Sarg was Christmas morning on his terms; coffee with the boys came first. My sister I could sit under the tree staring at its glory for hours, but we dared not touch the ribbons on the packages until Sarg fired the starting pistol.

This career military man was a career step-parent, but father to one. My sister was the only object on the face of this earth that could reflect the light of a dying soul and bring him to life. My mother knew it, I knew it, and we hated him for it - or at least I liked to think she was my comrade in arms. And so it was that each evening Sarg would return from work - Gail would prepare his meals and I would hide in my room so that I would not feel the pain of watching my sister crawl into his lap while he opened his mail. I left my comrade on the battlefield unarmed while all the love that was left in all that was left of Sarg's soul would be poured without measure upon my sister - golden curls, green eyes, spotless confidence and I hated her because of how he loved her.