I wanted to be anything other than my father, story of a Kid


Hyderabad: 22 Dec 2022: “When I was a kid I’d hide between the bedpost and the wall and read books about King Arthur. I wanted to be a knight. I wanted to be anything other than my father. We lived under his rule; it was horror. My mother was loving, and strong in many ways. But she wouldn’t leave him. I used to watch her wipe her own blood off the walls. When I was thirteen I ran away for good. I didn’t tell her a thing; I just disappeared. And I know she was hurt by that. I slept in the park with a whole crew of punks and addicts. People in the neighborhood would give me little jobs. They trusted me, and I never stole from them. Because I had honor. I’d rob a leather coat from Macy’s in a minute, but that’s Macy’s. I’d never take a woman’s pocketbook. I’d never break into a deli. No matter how far I fell, my honor never failed me. Music never failed me. And a good book never failed me. One day it was pouring down rain, and I ducked into a cubby hole. There was a copy of The Diary of Anne Frank; just laying there. I was stoned out of my face. And I knew nothing about this little girl. But it’s pouring down rain; there was nothing else to do. So I read the whole thing. She was beautiful. All this horror, but she was surviving. And that gave me strength. By the time I was twenty-five I had my own room, with a hot plate, and a pair of reeboks. I was playing music with some cool cats. I was proud. It’s like: I’m making it. When I finally got clean, the first thing I did was knock on my mother’s door. Hadn’t seen her for twenty years, but she gave me the biggest hug. She told me that every Sunday since I’d left, she’d lit a candle and prayed for my soul. That night she cooked some chicken, which I killed. Then she gave me what was left in some Tupperware. That was smart, because I had to bring back the Tupperware. And I never stopped coming back. I’m 66 now. I’m clean, I live comfortably, I’m financially OK. And I still go to see her every Sunday. She’s 94. She’s half-blind. She can’t hear. But I’ll bring her cake, and we’ll talk. She likes to take my hand, so she can feel my rings. And while we’re talking, I can tell: she’s in heaven. I was able to give her that. I gave her peace.”

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