abuse

Donovan’s Dream

Donovan wants his franks, man. Donovan’s so hungry, like Donovan’s just a big empty stomach. Got some white bread in the cupboard at home, mustard, some packages of Burger King ketchup, fucking hot dogs it is. A dollar fifty-six for eight franks seems too good to be true, especially for Ball Park Franks. They plump when you cook them. They remind Donovan of Donovan’s childhood, of eating hot dogs at the A’s game with father when still very young. Donovan remembers catching a foul ball with an oily, spit covered baseball mitt that had the stitches coming undone. Donovan remembers being so happy, like maybe that was the happiest moment of Donovan’s life. Later, Donovan had forgotten the mitt underneath his seat with the souvenir ball still folded inside, and father had been drunk and angry because the A’s had lost by fourteen runs. Father had called Donovan the stupidest kid on earth and slapped Donovan a couple times. When thinking of Donovan’s childhood, that’s how it usually ends.

Donovan has a five spot in his pocket, and no more coming in for too long to think about. That kid bleeding Donovan’s money and life away, and that two-timing whore that is the baby mama of Donovan’s son. Donovan doesn’t want to think of any of that. Donovan wants to mow some dogs, but Donovan’s thirsty too. Donovan has enough money for a forty. Forty ounces of Coors is two twenty-nine, so Donovan doesn’t have enough money for two forties unless Donovan puts the franks back, but then Donovan sees that twenty-twos only cost a dollar nine. Donovan does some math and decides this means less money for more beer. Donovan ain’t so stupid now, is he? Donovan grabs two twenty-twos. What a fucking bargain. Donovan buys a watermelon Jolly Rancher for dessert, the last one. Fucking gore-met and shit.

But the line at Day’s Market is un-fucking-believable, and when Donovan has to wait Donovan gets angry. Donovan gets crazy when Donovan’s hungry, man. Fucking reflex, man. Donovan feels like kicking some ass right now. Donovan likes kicking ass. It makes Donovan feel better. Donovan’s gonna open his beer while waiting. Donovan doesn’t care. The beer is cold, man. It tastes as good as a beer can taste.

Donovan wants that beer to last forever, to climb inside that can and go swimming until he drowns in beer. That would be awesome. It is Donovan’s dream, and someday Donovan will make his dream come true.

Coors Banquet (by mikedemers on Flickr – CC BY-NC 2.0)

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Fear

I used to be fearless. Nothing short of my father’s alcohol induced explosions scared me, and those were so scary that it almost made up for everything else. I was fifteen years old and couldn’t wait to reach sixteen, get my license and hit the road. I wanted to go everywhere and see everything. I had planned to steal my father’s car and just keep driving toward the horizon until I found someplace worth stopping, or until I got caught or arrested and eventually beat up by my father again. But fifteen was the year my father left for work one day and never came home.

Two months later we learned that he had been stabbed and killed in a barroom brawl in Houston, and they had no leads in catching the killer. Not that I cared. I was glad he was dead. He had never been anything to me but abusive and menacing. The only time he seemed to notice me was when he had some sort of complaint, some reason to yell and scream and belittle me, some reason to strike and slap me until the tears rolled down my cheeks like I had sprung a leak. My tears and screams just infuriated him more. His favorite saying was I’ll give you something to cry about as he hit me harder. Sometimes I was able to escape and hide on my own accord, but usually my mother would step in like a sacrificial lamb and distract him, and I could escape while he refocused his drunken fury on her.

When I learned he was dead I felt relieved, like some huge, oppressive burden had been lifted. The weight of his anger and abuse was a herd of elephants perched on my spine, and knowing I would never see him again felt like a pardon from crimes I had never committed. I had been freed from my fear, a sweet and joyous relief.

It wasn’t until I hit my own son years later that I realized how heavy the burden truly was, and found a brand new thing to be afraid of.

Day 29: Knockout! (by Anamorphic Mike)