Smoke and mirrors

This is what is keeping me awake. I keep hearing my mother telling me “You owe me a child.” Every time I put my head on the pillow. “You owe me a child.”

I should not have started talking about my family and I should have derailed where I was headed after getting angry at Dagstine.

So let me tell you about my brother, Allan. He was the most social and outgoing of the three of us. But something, somewhere went wrong. I had seen my step father slam my brother Don against a wall. Mike Young liked doing that to people. I saw him do it to Don and many years later to Sovay and finally to me.

Yet, Don was his favorite. Allan became quieter and quieter as the years went on. Both Don and Allan entered the marine corp, even though their father had been a career Navy Officer. Our step father had been a marine. So you can see where the influence was there.

I can only speculate on what happened to cause Allan to become so quiet. I never had to live with my mother and step father. They came to visit my grandparents and that was usually when I had to involve myself with them.

Allan gradually changed from the witty outgoing person he had been into this quiet stranger. Except for when he drank. When Allan was drinking, he was his old self again. I am not certain at what point Allan became an alcoholic, but by the time that he was stationed in NC and coming up to visit me in Virginia, he was a chronic drunk. This led to him being tossed out of the marine corp.

He did two years in the Texas prison system under their three strikes law for DUI.

I did not totally close off my mother until 2004.

In 2004, I got a phone call from my mother that proved to be the last straw for me. She blurted out all the facts to me about what they had done to Allan.

Their house in California had two bathrooms. One of them was connected to the master bedroom.

Allan went to stay with them as soon as his parole/probation (I can’t think of the right word) terms allowed him to move out of Texas.

One morning our mother found him passed out on the floor of the bathroom. My step father took one look and said “he’s drunk again, leave him there.”

So my mother did. The next morning he was still laying there. So my step father allowed her to call 911 about it.

What happened was that Allan was not drunk. His gall bladder had become infected and it exploded spreading the infection throughout his body. The doctors informed my mother that they doubted he would ever regain consciousness. The day my mother was to decide whether to pull the plug on him, Allan came to. However, there was not much left of him. He was pretty much ruined health wise and he eventually deteriorated and was gone.

That’s all I know.

But it haunts me.

I suppose that Don became our step father’s favorite because Don shared the same streak of cruelty that our step father had.

I will be 54 years old this coming October; and yet the dread I have of encountering certain members of my family is still so great that I will never step foot in California again until I know they are all dead.

My hand is shaking so bad I can hardly get the cigar I am smoking to my lips.