everyone has a story

He taught me how to read people’s eyes.

When I was 8, Scotty took me to the bars with him. I watched him load up on booze and cigarettes. I watched him laugh and lean into all the women. Any of them. I watched him place his hand on their thighs. I watched him back away if they moved his hand. I watched him lean in more when they allowed his hand to remain. I watched him remembering I was sitting at one of the tables with a bag of chips and glass of Coke. I watched him throw his head back and toss the gold liquid from a small glass to the back of his throat before slamming the glass onto the table and standing up.

“Lessgo!” he’d bark.

Sometimes he’d slap the woman’s ass on our way out. Sometimes he’d tilt her head back and kiss her for a moment or two. Always he’d stumble out of the bar while I followed like an obedient little puppy.

We’d go back home where my mother would be passed out in her bedroom. Scotty would go in anyway. Always I’d hear the click of the door lock. Sometimes I’d hear a knocking sound. Sometimes I’d hear my mother yelling. Always he’d end up leaving at some point in the night, only to repeat the same game within a day or two.

He never really did much talking and he made even less eye contact. I don’t know what my mother saw in him. He was always drunk, always coming over at the oddest times.

When I was 12, Scotty showed up one night when my mother wasn’t home.

“Where the fuck is she?”

“I dunno.”

“Well what the fuck, man.”

“I dunno.”

He barged into the house anyway, headed straight for the fridge.

“Where the fuck is the beer!?”

When I didn’t answer right away, he came toward me like lightening. Before he knocked me unconscious, I realized his eyes were almost black and he was looking at me with such rage. Like I had taken all the beer and hidden it. Like I had told my mother to not be home at that time.

I’m not sure how he didn’t kill me that night.

***

Everyone has a story. Mine involves Scotty. Mine involves a shit of a woman I was lucky enough to have as my very own mother. Mine involves learning that people look at you, really look at you and study you. Mine involves learning how to attack without them even knowing I’m going to do so.

Why Scotty didn’t learn to attack like this, I don’t know. I don’t care. What I do know is that it’s so much more satisfying when they have no fucking idea what’s coming. And then bam!, completely blindside them with the unraveling of all your rage.

***

 

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“i want to fly like an eagle”

Scotty was in Ma’s life for a long time, coming by whenever he wanted to get laid. Or maybe when he was hungry… or needed to wash some clothes… or needed to get away from his other girlfriend(s?).

Ma knew this about him; she knew she wasn’t his only lover. But she always opened the door and her legs to him.

One time she did the same for a friend he brought over as well.

I’ll never forget the summer day when I came home from working at the grocery store, and walked in on this strange dirty blonde haired guy sitting next to Ma on the small loveseat while Scotty sat on the couch. There was bottles of Jack and cans of Miller on the coffee table, overfull ashtrays, and the ceiling fan was on full speed.

As soon as I walked in through the front door, Scotty jumped up and swaggered over to me.

“Heyyy,” he sneered. “Can I talk to you for a second?”

I felt tipsy from the stench of his breath.

He grabbed my arm and led me out the patio door before I could answer. He sat down on the steps leading off the dilapidated deck and motioned for me to join him. I wasn’t sure what was going on so sit down I did. He started mumbling about something in his drunken stupor and I turned to look back toward the living room whereupon I saw Ma’s naked body straddling the dirty blonde haired dude on the loveseat.

Mortified, horrified, dumbfounded and befuddled, I immediately turned away to find a cigarette to light.

Scotty mumbled something about how Trent was about to have to go to prison and needed some comfort.

I felt like someone had punched me so hard that I fell to the ground and I was looking up at someone starting to fly into the air before stomping down on top of me.

I would be stampeded to death unless I could disappear.

 

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both trifecta and the daily prompt are to thank for inspiring this post.