Family and Relationships
I was still exploring my power to hurt others and was continually surprised by how potent a single sentence could be. I watched my mother’s face waver and then crack open.
(As Explained In A Letter To My Son)
You see that the cruelty of the Happy Vertex is its fleeting nature. Line A plunges downward, line B eventually plateaus, and before you know it, the distractions take over, and you’re thinking about girls, or you take a brief but intense interest in Mazda Miatas. Soon you’ll think about money, nothing but money.
I was dressed and ready for church, waiting while the others bustled about in preparation, when a sudden conviction took hold of me: “I’m not going,” I told my mother.
I imagine them sending me to live with a family that is not my own. I have protected my parents for as long as I’ve been alive. If someone comes after them, I have teeth.
I was not afraid of alligators or snakes. I swam past them with some vague feeling that I was safer in the water with these creatures than on land with the humans.
A low-grade, persistent terror plagued me throughout the summer before sixth grade, because in June I’d found out I was to spend the next year in Rabbi Friedberg’s class at my Orthodox Jewish Hebrew school.
I worked weekend nights and a couple of afternoon shifts during the week. Sometimes I requested more hours just to get away from home. Being away meant I didn’t have to deal with the sadness that lingered in our house.
When my brother was twelve, I found six mice nailed to the wall of the abandoned tree house in the woods near our apartment. He spent a lot of time there. It seemed to me the little mouse faces were frozen in agony. As though they’d been alive when he’d hammered the nails through them.