By Monday, Friday's practice is a good dream, and I think I must have woken up from that into a nightmare that is my own reality. It wasn't so bad at first. I spent the rest of Friday night thinking of songs to use in our set for the contest, and I ran through some of my solos, determined to get them absolutely perfect.
I also managed to figure out where we can practice: Taylor said we can use her garage. Her parents wanted her to develop independence so they made the down payment on a house for her before they left to tour the world in their massive RV. She usually just parks her car on the street most of the time, so that leaves room for us to play. In the event that it's hailing and she needs to park her car inside (it does that in Iowa) we can use the spare room in the basement. That would be a tight fit, but that's a last resort, so I consider that problem dealt with. No, what woke me up happened early Saturday morning.
Mom got home from her date with Gerald around 4:30, and since I'm twenty and still living at home, I understand. She's not going to kick me out the house on those evenings because that would be too obvious, and so when she gets home that late I pretend not to notice. I mean, it's her life, and she could have kicked me out 3 years ago when I dropped out of high school.
The problem is that she has more bruises, and this time they're on her face too. I can tell she's been crying when she walks in through the door. I guess she must have seen my face and how pissed I was, because she speaks first. It was an accident. Bullshit, Mom! Why do you let him do this?
He didn't do anything! I just.. I walked into a door.
Must have been a big door, Mom.
I don't want to talk about it anymore, Jack. This is not open for debate. I appreciate your concern, but just stop. Don't worry about it, ok honey?
What do I say to that? He's beating my mom, and she DEFENDS him? What the hell? Man, I stayed home from school because I don't wanna grow up, but if he's gonna treat my mom like this, well, we'll just have to see how very adult I act if this ever happens again.
I hate having no options. I can't just tell him to f--k off, because apparently that's not what mom wants. I can't beat him to a pulp either, because I get a nice little prison sentence in exchange for kicking his ass up and down the block. But if he comes here and does anything at all, I'm gonna kill his ass. Call it self defense or some shit.
I decide that dwelling on it is only going to tear me up inside, whether that be with doubt and second-guessing or with pure, unadulterated hatred for that bastard. The only thing that ever gets my mind off stuff like this is music, and my acoustic is always somewhere nearby in case I have a flash of inspiration or I just really feel like playing music. This is definitely one of those times, and I beat the shit out of the strings, looking for a new riff or lick that expresses my emotions adequately. I struggle for maybe thirty minutes before I finally get annoyed with not finding what I'm looking for: I'm finding myself playing others' songs, but not writing my own at all.
I still need a distraction of some kind and now music is annoying me too because I can't find a riff I like, and I'm tired of playing other people's angry songs I'M the one who's pissed, and I wanna write my own angry pissed-off song, which isn't working right now. I settle on video games shooting people with an AK-47 tends to blow off steam too, and I've always loved Tom Clancy games and Medal of Honor, so with these two games in mind, I head downstairs to the T.V. My only wish is that I could change the enemies from terrorists and German patriots to one man in particular. I settle for remembering that Gerald is at least half German. He brags about that like being born a Jew-killer is something to be proud of. I'm not saying that all those with German heritage hate Jews, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if he did. Damn Nazi
After roughly three hours of this kind of therapy I realize it's almost 2:30 in the afternoon and I still haven't eaten breakfast. I decide that a burger run is in order, and I get back in twenty minutes with a triple quarter pounder and a large chocolate shake to find Taylor sitting on my couch. I gave her a key a long time ago, and Mom would have if I hadn't. I think Mom is secretly hoping that I'll develop the balls to date Taylor and that she can have her as a daughter-in-law some day. I'm trying, Mom, I swear.
And then I notice she's been crying. Good lord, what is it about this weekend? Everyone I care about is sad and I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to about it. She gives me a weak smile and kind of sniffles/laughs: the laugh where you know that if you don't laugh you'll break down in tears. Hi. Hope you don't mind me just letting myself in like this No, no, that's fine. I gave you the key so that you could get in whenever. It's cool, kid. Kid!? Are you trying to score points here or not? Jackass
Ok, thanks. Is it ok if I hang out here for a while? I don't really want to go home right now. Yeah, that's totally fine. I realize I'm still holding my food. Umm, are you hungry at all? I could share some of this, or I could try to make something for you That gets a laugh out of her. A genuinely happy one, too. I did something right!
No, it's ok. I know you hate sharing. Thanks for offering though. And I've seen you cook, Jack. You burn water.
No, that was Sam, after prom, remember? I don't think I've ever cooked anything for you. Sam just said it was me because it turned out horrible and he didn't want the credit.
Sure he did. I bet that's exactly what happened, actually. But no, I'm not hungry.
Ok. It's cool for you to hang out here whenever you want. You're my best friend, period. Are you ok though? You wanna tell me what's wrong?
Oh, it's nothing. She looks away from me now, like she's hiding something. I just don't want to be at home if Derrick comes around. I told him to f*** off, and I don't think he takes rejection well. I saw his car outside last night, just sitting there. So I just don't want to be there. Taylor is available again!?! YES! Woah, woah, play this cool. She just broke up with him, and he's stalking her apparently just, be easy, Jack. She isn't going to want to talk about you and her right now. These thoughts and probably a few hundred others that I can't share are running through my head right now. I'm sorry. Yeah, stay here as long as you want. I'll put your car in the garage so he doesn't know you're here. You're amazing, Jack. Oh, I really hope so. Is it ok if I take a nap? I didn't sleep last night. I was up all night because I was scared he was gonna break in and rape me or something. She giggles. That sounds dumb, I know. I was just scared, you know? Yeah, you can sleep in my room if that won't be too weird for you. I'm sorry all this happened, Taylor. She smiles and says thanks and heads upstairs to my room to knock out for what will probably be a very long while.
No I'm not sorry! Not about her being single, I'm not. It sucks that he's being a dick and a sore loser, but she's here, she's single again finally and sleeping in my room right now! There must be a God somewhere who loves me. That's the only way this could have happened. Now just don't f*** this up, Jack.