Of all the things I could have been but came up short. So many shattered dreams ultimately became my fault. No time to dream. Things aren’t what it seem. My shortcut mentality only registered short term results. Maybe one day I’d find the courage to plan better instead of dwelling on what should have been and make better things happen, my friends.
If only there were a reset button on this liminal time in my life. I would’ve probably pressed it twice.
Voices of Monsters Under My Bed
God must’ve frown upon me. I was born with half; not whole instead with none. My mother thought about having an abortion but for some reason gave birth to me. I guess to have life makes me lucky but I’m the sad product of a mistake my momma wished she never had. Welfare, housing and food stamps came at a price, all at my expense.
Momma was an addict, a dope fiend, addicted to heroine, Newport cigarettes and alcohol. She had an itch for making poor decisions. The scars she left are embedded, burned in my brain. More than often, she would perform disappearing acts, slipping out during the day but mostly at night. Every now and again she would sell her precious body to supply her habit and to put some food on the table. Momma had this love affair for a fast dollar and slick talking men. People in the streets called her a hoe but she was all that I had and all I would ever become to know.
For years, my father was the supplier and scratch to my mothers itch. Together they would often trade stories while sharing the same needles, nodding off with a drool of spit hanging from their lip. I played alone in the corner watching them sleep. The sight of them bumping their heads together and smiling without opening their eyes left a permanent engravment of false love and support. Daddy would send momma out on odd errands which led her to beg, borrow, steal and trick. That’s how she contracted Syphilis, Hepatitis, HIV, and a criminal record shortly after she had given birth to me. I only remember dark shadows of my father with shades of color filled in along the way. He left when I was three.
Daddy was a ladies man, a pimp, and a drug dealer. One day, Momma told me Daddy started a new life. She mentioned he found himself another family with a daughter and a wife. Momma didn’t seem to take it well. She had gotten careless and killed herself from a drug overdose. When they found her and I in the house, they said I was crying holding the blood stained needle in my hand. People say, she was heartbroken from missing my father who left us for the brighter lights of the city streets across town. One thing for sure, my father had taken the monster with him. His new family is now living with AIDS. I heard he’s now serving time, left his new family behind, for a crime he had committed when I was young. I ponder about my baby sister I would never get to meet.
Voices of Monsters Under My Bed
I don’t remember my dad as much as I should. I often wonder if he ever thought about me and if he would ever come and visit. Momma said I look like him. I couldn’t imagine what she was thinking and all she actually would see in me without thinking about him. I must have been a constant reminder of her past, her love, her mistrust and her bitter hate. No letters in the mail from jail. No collect calls to home because momma didn’t own a phone. After momma died I wasplaced in Last Hope Foster Home for boys. Being under the grips of Forster Care I became a prisoner of the state. No photo on the back of a milk carton in search of a missing child. Foster parents could find me in the last room, located sleeping under the last bed against the wall. I bounced from house to house like a tennis ball off a wall. The replacement and attending of different schools. The wrong friends made along the way. The filthy and sated dumpster dive for food that filled my appetite. After while I felt like people looked at me and gave me back, as if I was an item on a shelf. I was the dented can on aisle three. They made me feel rejected not selected. When you’re adopted you don’t have much of any control.
For Halloween one family thought it wouldn’t hurt to dress me up and send me out as a little girl. They laughed while putting red lipstick on me, a dress with matching red shoes. They had given me a purse to put my candy in. I was publicly humiliated and forced to go door to door. I felt like someone’s sick twisted mind fuck fantasy. I was playing the trick as they ate all of my treats. They dressed me like the daughter they never had.
The physical emotional pain I experienced carried over for years to come. The hide and seek games they would play at night under my bed was not meant to be played with a child. The voices in my head. The awful smell and strange sounds coming from under my bed. (Blurred vision) Twisting, turning, poking then probing, hurting me, yelling and telling me all what I’ll never become. The shame I was made to feel. They took away from me what I can never get back. The lock outside my door and the chain that’s wrapped around my mind keeps me trapped inside a room until it was time to come out. I would stare out the window plotting a safe escape. How do I end this-this life? Why does God allow awful things to happen to a child? The faint sound of a baby crying in the next room, from a distance can be often heard.
I can use mommy’s slobbering wet kisses right about now. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be kissed, held with love, with affection and tenderness. It almost feels like the spirit of it never touched me. There’s always a feeling of emptiness as if something is missing. The monsters inside my head never sleeps. I feel them growing, wanting to come out. Voices whispering in my ear telling me things I should do. Harmful, justifiable gestures clouded with headaches that forced me to sleep for long periods of time. The blackouts became more frequent. My chaotic reality of complete disorder and confusion. The beast within finally realized.
I wore passed down clothes with holes. I could feel the air in my underwear. My Forster Parents would feed their children first. I was forced to eat last of what was left. My state check became their life insurance nest egg until I reached the age of adulthood. I was told I would have to be gone during such time, when I became a man. The first chance I got, I ran away. Out in the city streets at the tender age of 15 and never looked back. There was blood stains on my shirt and hands. I think I cut myself on a piece of glass. I followed in my fathers footsteps and became a ghetto prince, supplying ghetto demands by pimping and running drugs. I started at the bottom working my way up. At 15 it was all a dream. I didn’t foresee the nightmare ahead. I was too busy thinking about the nightlife older people talked about. Running errands and stealing cars. Taking the cars for a joyride before the stop at the chop shop. I saved my money and slept on the city trains. I brought a knife (007). Three weeks later I coped my first gun (9mm). I graduated from running errands to stuffing weed into small bags. Then came the scale, the powder, the cocaine, the water and the pot. How cocaine dissolves and disappears in water only to return as a solid. Then placing the product into viles. Soon I’ll be able to open up my own corner drug store.
Voices of Monsters Under My Bed
I may have treated women differently if I had a better experience with them. There’s something about the color red, to this very day, turns me off and rubs me the wrong way. I ran into the streets bitter, angry, and destructive. I learned valuable street lessons like no romance without finance, scared money makes no money and knowing when to quit when your ahead. Living in the streets taught me the importance of having and maintaining a roof over my head. I also learned the value of having an expensive car, the women will stick on you like flies on shit. Strange it was to hear the police wanted to question me about the murder of some forster parents I may have known. They said I slit their throats with a kitchen knife and castrated another. Maybe that’s was what the blood was all about. It’s hard to remember. As the sirens rang out I began to panic. So, I ran. That’s when I heard shots in the air and everything had gone black.
The long ride to Hart Island dumped, then stuffed in the back of a truck. Sea Gulls fly high in rotation forming a circle. The slow ferry boat trip over murky water with a view of City Island reflects as a distance memory. There’s no time to mend the broken fence. No broom to grasp to sweep up the broken glass. It’s too late to try to pick up the pieces, now.
There’s no happy ending to this story. No beautiful girl swoops down to save the day influencing a change in my life. No angel of love paving a way who would kiss an ugly toad turning him into a handsome prince. Not on this day. I suffered with trust issues. I was a bad man who pushed people away; acting like I didn’t need anyone to love. I know exactly where I’m going. I hurt too many people to look up. When the train whistle blow there’s no ticket or baggage needed. You just get on board.
As the rain falls and they lower the wooden box into the ground at Hart Island’s Potters Field Cemetery, along with an issued number. I’m nothing more than a tagged toe wrapped in a plastic bag. I didn’t stop to think I would be telling a story while being six feet under a pile of soggy dirt. Looking back, there was no surprise in my mind I’d end up this way. A final view of the back of my eye lids resembledthe way I lived.