Dostoyevsky’s wife had to pawn her underwear to pay for his gambling debts. Me? My mother was a swimsuit model in the ’80s. So, that’s what I had to deal with growing up. It was an emotional deductible on my sudsy well-being, being dragged forthwith by so many just/unjust causes that I was complicit and unaware (at least not cognizant of any breech or lasting imprint this might be leaving on my poor immature subconscious life) that I could not/would not hold on to the last remaining wellsprings of my sink-and-or-swim tamed/untamed youth. Please, bear with me here, as I’ve got hyperbolic holds on my atrophied senses, come hard-won (or easier-lost?) through the beckoned reaches of pinched and puttered times.
Then there we were, my friends and I, meandering through episodes of Different Strokes and Family Ties in the den, on the midnight-blue leather couch that was so covered in scratches and holes that it was pretty much left for dead by my parents who weren’t interested in having nice “adult” furniture again until their progeny had crawled through at least to a decent trade school or moved on to other quarters for good. They had no illusions about our future. None of us were anywhere near the top of our grade-school class, then. Failures from the get go. Yep. And there are sixty to seventy ways to slice our cordially lit situations, but, you know, when you have got a pleading-the-fifth possibility of solutions to a piddling difference/same attitude among us, then, well, what’re you going to do? We watched TV and ate TV dinners. We had our places on the carpet where we sat and stared at the cathode-ray light box.
My parents had multifarious (and possibly nefarious) issues between them for the better part of my formative years. They pitted us kids against each other (I had two siblings — one older by a few years, another just as much younger than I), and they belittled each other to us, and they fought and had it out and made up and all the usual domestic-disturbance type stuff you could find a litany of on any night cop’s report for the week. Nothing too abnormal about it; but it was still abysmal being caught in that perpetual pull-and-shove of it. I am not griping here. We were fine. We got by. We grew up.