An excerpt from ‘Kookaburra Me’ – Copyright © 2020 by Michael A. Kuch
PLEASE DON’T EVER TOUCH ME
“I’ve had an incurable problem with staring at people …”
Since I was 3 months-old when I was greeted by the first big lie: meeting the impostor masquerading as Jolly Old St. Nick during my first Christmas.
It may have been the best day of my life until 1998.
Better than one summer afternoon five-and-a-half years later when a bloodsucker touched me without my permission – against my will, I had no will, what will does a small defenseless child have? – that would be the beginning of the worst days.
“Of being sexually violated never goes away …”
I pray you don’t know what I’m talking about. It doesn’t lessen or dissipate with the passing decades because time never moves past the moment.
On light days, it shadows my soul when truth is hidden, camouflaged, and wrapped in a sheath of fear – fear so penetrable and debilitating, life is foreign and unknowable without it.
Other days it buries me in a blinding darkness of vacant emotions when I feel nothing, when I am nothing, when nothing is all there is …
WRITING THIS UGLY MESS
Should be a horrible relief … It isn’t.
It’s a selfish idea I can’t ignore any longer. An impulse born in 1967.
It doesn’t help to return the darkest memories where I don’t want them; filling my head with thoughts that take me back to where I’ve been and can’t escape. Sharing confessions … words spilt on pages … a flaming matchstick from a bottomless book of carbon and sulfur and paper – the flame never extinguishes until it feeds and consumes the flesh – burning at the precipice of my heart.
I’m looking for light, not fire, but fire is my only source of light, so I accept the burn as a tortuous precursor to the penance for the sins to come … the Cardinal Sin of lust I was conceived under and The Inferno I will return to.
MY LIFE IS FRAMED
By a disturbance of lies curated by mom and the absence of a cowardice father that never was a dad …
Perpetuated by riding shotgun in her never-ending Bad Karma Road Trip, interrupted by One Inconvenient Truth triumphing over Denial. Massaging Fate has never worked in the absence of Truth. Occasionally, I’ve served as its accepting benefactor, and once upon a lovely delusion, its prized protégé apprenticing under a supreme mentor without equal.
To be fair to her memory, mom deserves credit for nourishing me, though I’m unconvinced it was her intention to be so cavalier with the truth. She was merely incapable of speaking the Gospel when it mattered.
There was a dubious reputation to protect, and that’s what she did. Good parenting never figured in any equation as she toiled with ignorance, confusion, fear, poverty … incapable to build the foundation of a better future and doing the right thing for her children.
Thought beyond the moment …
For if she did, is was accidental, which is far different from living in the moment.
Masterful at perpetrating lies nearly as well as she made perogies and cabbage rolls and borscht. She fed us as best as could whenever she could, but food in hungry mouths isn’t enough because it was never enough; raising her children was our responsibility.
Beyond that moral and legal obligation of her limited mothering, I was self-parenting from the age of six.
An especially skilled liar …
She was committed to her craft and practiced as any pathological devotee would, out of inherent inclination, and to hide the canopy of Lego-stacked lies and delusions with heaps of bullshit to fill in the gaps.
The woman couldn’t help herself. She lived by a pliable motto:
“Believe The Smallest Lie And It Shall Come A Big Truth, And If It Doesn’t, Make Up A New Lie …”
The consequences of failure as derailed fate like it was someone’s else fault and not her doing …
By liar, I mean, mom cloaked the truth when she wasn’t stretching it like a mound of dough flattened by a wooden rolling pin dusted in flour.
She’d spice it up with threads of truth to keep me interested in the game. Its what mom didn’t tell me I call a lie, and she shared nothing until I asked …
A practitioner of deflection and deceit … My beloved dear mentor Mom.
The most complex simple woman I’ve ever known – Unknowable – she had no damn clue to the carnage she left behind in me.
“I never told mom that I loved her …”
Not until after she’d died in a hospital.
Told me that she loved me, not that I remember.
“How shitty of us?”
Poor parenting begets poorly behaved children begets badly behaved adults. The mess was fixable. Neither one of us knew how. Or could bother to learn or find reason.
A sad truth, but at least it was the truth for a change. The ugly truth is on the next page.
Up Next: Chapter 3 – “I Wouldn’t Call It Love …”