history of a cynic

What kind of father screams at his four year old?
You tried to fix everything
so, so close.
You went about it in the wrong way.
You hit mom, dragged me by my hair
as I tried to run out of the house
dialing 911.
You locked everyone in my room,
and for a long time,
you cried.

Things… got better.
We moved, and I thought
the fighting
the drugs
the alcohol
had stopped.
I thought… I thought I had my dad back.
But we all know
it didn’t last.

You fought while I wasn’t home,
and eventually, secretly, you divorced.
How couldn’t I know?
I waited in the lobby of the lawyer’s office.

After it was all over, you visited.
Soon, I didn’t see you anymore.
The last time we ever saw each other was on the 4th of July,
do you remember that?
We went to the park and watched fireworks under the stars.
We stopped by your house, and a friend of yours gave me $20,
since my birthday was only a few days away.
You used it to buy gas to take me home.

That was seventeen years ago.
You called one or two times a month.
When I was twelve,
you stopped calling.

Sometimes I think about you.
I always end up weeping,
but you wouldn’t know,
would you?

Me and mom,
we got poor.
She dated a lot of men.
Eventually she found a “nice guy”
they married after two months.
Together they opened up a hunting shop.
Then he got mean.

Once, I forgot to feed his dog,
so he filled up the dog bowl to the top with water.
I had to drink it all in under two minutes,
and each time I failed, he filled it back up again.
He got tired of waiting,
so he scooped out a handful of dog food from
the dog’s other bowl.
I couldn’t go to school for the next two days,
and I got sent to I.S.S.
The school claimed I was skipping.

They divorced.
My mom didn’t get her money back,
and suddenly we were poor again.
I became heavily sheltered.
No internet, no phone, nothing.
Mom sold my treasured library,
which gave me the only joy I had left.

She met another guy.
They married.
He made fun of me all the time,
made me hate myself.
He told me everything wrong with me,
and everything I would never have.
Wasn’t he so right?

I think I have Stockholm Syndrome,
because I still love him like family.
I became Christian against my will.

Hope and dreams are for suckers.

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