Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Life With Sarg - Part II

Everything I did disappointed Sarg. He was an intelligent man, but not terribly insightful. He didn't realize what kind of child my mother's lover had created. He didn't know I needed to explore, to experiment. He didn't know I needed to shine on my own terms, and he didn't know how to raise me to be the person I was intended to be. He required only obedience from me, and that was precisely the weapon I used to effect him. It is true that a child will gladly accept negative attention when that is all a parent has to offer. We were mortal enemies, Sarg and I. Though I greatly feared a man who never once raised a hand to strike me, I found myself unable to resist the urge to piss him off at every turn. Not only would I cut off my nose to spite him, I would cut it off and wave it in his face, slinging blood on every surface and person within reaching distance. The Bay of Dinner was an eighteen-year war that no one won. It wasn't an issue of "if" we'd fight, but who would start it. Would I put too much butter on my potatoes, or would my mother have somehow managed to over-cook them? I liked it best when the battles were my fault, but more often than not, I drew the fire away from my mother. She was weak and I was strong - like the Sunday school song.
When I was too old to simply ground, the battles became a series of retaliatory strikes. Sarg sent my sister to Europe in high school - I flunked out of college. Sarg bought my sister a car - I moved out in the middle of the night. Sarg told me to never come home again - I returned in the middle of the night, six weeks later.
Amazingly, Sarg didn't yell. He didn't even look at me. In fact, I was certain after the third day of my return that he would never look at me again. You'd think that would make me happy. It didn't. After several weeks of invisibility, I realized I'd fallen victim to the most mortal of wounds, and it was the worst bullet I ever took.