Nancy writes “HOLIDAYS”at the top of the page

Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, vegetables, stuffing, drinks, china, glasses and silverware landed in the laps of her family, as the tall red-headed woman stormed out of the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel.

She had just turned over the table in a typical temper tantrum. 

Her daughter thought, “why do I have to go home and be with her tonight?”

I couldn’t believe I had no other choice.

I think every abused child understands the concept of terrorism before they know what to call it.

You’re always ready to run.

Maybe psychedelics would have mellowed my mother out.

Taken some of her selfishness and hatred away.

Let her see life from somebody else’s viewpoint.

Stopped the violence.

If I could wish something for her, it would be that she be re-born to a really laid-back couple that lets her blossom without shame or fear.

I floated as loosely in space as a baby tooth.

To have to endure an abusive childhood, to have no way out because you’re just too young to make big decisions, is hell.  But no one stays young forever, and that’s a good thing.

When my grandmother died, my mother got a little flashback of power. 

She started using the voice again.  Like a hit man sticking an ice pick into my ear, all the way through into my brain.

It had to stop.

I said to her, “leave me alone you sick old bitch!”

It was my line drawn in the sand.

My father married this woman, Nancy’s Mom, when she wasn’t more than a teenager, although she had a reputation as a “bitch” that followed her through life.  I don’t think anyone in my family saw much of Arlene, or Nancy for that matter, once my father settled down  in southern New Jersey with my mother and lived what I mistakenly took to be a storybook suburban existence.  I can’t help but think that something was amiss all his life because Dad seemed chronically unsuccessful at finding contentment or happiness in his relationships with women.



3 Replies to “Holidaze”

  1. Nancy and I were friendly when her mother and grandmother were together sporadically in Miami Beach in the early 1960s. I was in her wedding party to Steve up in Hastings-on-Hudson. We spoke off and on when she lived in Manhattan, working from time to time with animals. She was talented, observant and funneled her emotions through her creativity. She survived a lot of crap from Arlene and her abusive grandmother and from her younger brother, Billy.

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