ON THIS DAY 34 YEARS AGO…
I was born. So now you know that. Here is what I have learned in my three plus decades on this Earth: nothing beats a good pair of socks and you can’t change the minds of people in the moment, but don’t discount the power your words have to resonate later. Okay, so maybe I’ve learned a few other things as well, but those are pretty good.
The week of my Birthday always makes me think of the first time my father was shot, waaaaay back in 1989. As I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing by now, I’m working on a book (Raised By a Dead Man – A Coming-of-Age Story Between Two Shootings) about that a whole lot more that happened afterwards. Almost done. Just for the heck of and because of the timing, I decided to post the first chapter. Check it out if you’re interested:
CHAPTER 1 – BULLETS AND M&Ms
My brothers and I were dancing. Mom was reading a magazine and counting the minutes that had passed since the time that Dad should have been home. He usually came home before dark, but it was January and dark was settling in much earlier and it made her more and more nervous to be alone in the house the later it got. True, she had her four boys, but when the oldest is twelve and, uh, me, there is little comfort to be found there. Plus, we were dancing.
I lay the blame squarely at my own feet. It was my duty as the oldest to lead the way in all things masculine when Dad wasn’t around. I was horrible at it; I couldn’t figure it out. So, like most things that I couldn’t grasp immediately, I just gave up.
Nothing about being a man appealed to me. Sports weren’t my thing and my humor was more of the defense mechanism than the fart brand. Playground fights seemed pointless and girls were more likely to run away screaming than they were to rest their heads upon my single, manly chest hair. Wrestling? Stupid. Wrestling on television? Stupider. I aspired to something higher, I told myself, hoping my default state of being wasn’t to be constantly intimidated, uncoordinated and weak.
And yet, if I had turned out to be a colossal disappointment to my father, I never heard about it.
Thanks to a cassette tape on loan from a friend’s older brother, the 80’s German pop stylings of Trio’s seminal masterwork TRIO and Error blasted out from the living room stereo. Between that and the anti-rhythmic patter of our feet upon the living room floor, the ringing phone could barely be heard.
Boom boom/Here we go again/
Boom boom/And my heart beats/
It was 6:45 p.m. Dad should have been home more than half an hour ago. Any phone call from someone other than him would not be tolerated. Besides, Mom cherished her time to watch us frolic about the house, three of her boys oblivious to their impending manhood and one of them in denial about it. She wanted daughters desperately, but never got any. When she finally did hear the phone, she picked it up immediately…
If you’d care to read the rest, click here.
UPDATED! STEVE OGDEN’S INKS FOR THE THRICE EVIL PAGE 5!
See the full color, lettered page here!
On Tuesday, the Thrice Evil’s origin concludes!
Then, on Thursday, be back here as Swifty and Swifty hash things out and the Star Maidens treat them to the little surprise.