Monday, May 01, 2006

Pack Rat

I dug out some old letters from one of the three stuffed bins I have carted around in recycled cardboard banana boxes since age seventeen when I moved out of my hiding place and in with my brand new husband.

People may wonder why I hang on to this old stuff -- ribbons, certficates, programs, trinkets and scribblings -- especially in space-cramped New York City apartments. But then I read these chronicles and thank God I had the presence of mind to hold on. Hold on to the childhood, with all its eccentricities, that stopped short when my dad assaulted my mom the summer before my senior year in high school.

It was August 1988 and I had been dating "Rick", my future husband, for about three weeks. Here are excerpts from my daily journal I kept for him while he was on duty on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower for the U.S. Navy.

"Friday August 12, 19988, 5:45

Day one of your departure...went to Malibu [Grand Prix, where I worked] around 5:00 in my car! It drove pretty good believe it or not, but the drivers' door will not open from the inside. My dad probably messed it up one night when he was drunk or something."

"...My [pay]check was $185 and I was shocked because I wasn't even there! Well, all that money is going towards school clothes, so it is already spent! I am keeping the front door locked the entire time I am home and I refuse to answer it or the phone. I just want to be sheltered from any thing outside of myself."

"Saturday, August 13, 1988...

[Long, rambling entry about going to Six Flags and renting "Evil Dead 2" and "Nuts" with my mom.]

...Well, it's late...2:30 [AM] to be exact, and this makes it ...

Sunday, August 14, 1988, Day 3 of your departure!"

"...Well, I woke up around 3:00 this morning, my father came over and was SO DRUNK. It was PITIFUL! I opened the door & he hugged me & said he loved me, went into the living room, turned off the light & went to bed. Idiot. You better not end up that way."

Around the same time the next day, my dad came over again and all hell broke loose.

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