- 5 months ago
Bob Dylan taking photographs of the press around him.
- 5 months ago
- 5 months ago
I woke up this morning to a grey and cloudy day, snow was falling steadily, the temperature had dropped considerably. I made some tea and curled up in a woolen blanket to read some tweets.
As I read through jokes, faved cute selfies and words I related to, I came upon a post that left me colder than the frost collecting in the corner of my window. I believe the person who posted it wrote it from a place of compassion and nobility. To sum it up, the tweet basically stated that smoking around and in front of children is a form of child abuse. Now, not for a moment would I disagree that smoking is harmful, and that it can cause damage to a child, damage that is not their choice.
As soon as I read that tweet though, I immediately logged off. I didn’t respond to the post, and perhaps after I tell this story, you’ll understand my aversion to confrontation.
You see the first thing it brought to mind was one of my earliest memories. I was about 5 years old, and my dad was yelling at me to hurry up and get my coat. I don’t remember where we were going, I do remember it was late spring and I couldn’t find my jacket, so I put on my heavy winter coat. This made my father really angry, and he backhanded me hard across the face. So hard, that I fell down the stairs, breaking my arm in 2 places. That’s why that hit, in particular, sticks out in my memory. You don’t forget the pain of your bones breaking.
My father didn’t smoke.
Fast forward now to when I was 10 years old. My father was long gone, my mother had packed us up in the middle of the night and we had left him. My mom had also been a product of abuse, both at the hands of her father, and mine and well, violence was how we did things in our family. I remember this incident because it was the first time I had run away from home. I don’t remember what I did, but I do remember that my mom decided to use a broom handle instead of a belt. After the handle broke over the back of my head (she maintains she never meant to hit me in the head, that she was aiming for my back) I escaped the house.
My mother never smoked.
After the second night of sleeping on the ground in my elementary school playground, a girl in my class told her mom. They came and got me from the playground. We got into her moms beat up maroon Oldsmobile and they took me home. Her mom had huge 80’s hair, she wore a lot of blue eyeliner, and she smoked like a chimney, with the windows up. I thought she was an angel.
For the two days I stayed with them, before my mom found out where I was, I don’t think I ever saw her without one of those long menthol cigarettes in her mouth.
I cut both of my parents out of my life a long, long time ago, but I still talk to Joyce at least once a month. She still smokes, and she’s still an angel.
- 7 months ago