Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Death of an Honor Society scholar and star athlete. Birth of a quick triggered thug (My Life-Part VII)

                                             SUMMER 1993

 A lot had happened since March. I finished my Junior year of high school on the National Honors Society for the third straight year. Ended with a 3.7 GPA. Met with football coaches from Iowa, Mich St., Minn, and Purdue. Also met some baseball coaches from all over. California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming to name a few. But I had spent the last 9 weeks of that year in a daze. Even at the height of baseball season, I just didn't care. Sure, I was throwing in the low 90's and finished the season with a 397 BA. But March was BAD.

 Mom was buried on March 4th, Her Mother's birthday (Mammau). I thought I was hit hard, but I never took into account my Father's feelings. After all, I was just shy of my 17 birthday and was the most selfish I had ever been. But the one thing that day taught me, was true loss. An aching of the heart that I had never experienced before. I was the Momma's boy. The youngest child in a family of two girls and two boys. I was the apple of my Mother's eye. I could do no wrong, and I knew it. God Damnit did I take advantage. And all of the sudden it was gone. Just gone. She taught me how to write and play music. She helped me with math. And she cheered for me at little league. And suddenly, she was gone. It devastated me in ways that I never knew possible. Depression, chemical dependence, violence. I would discover it all. But I still had the old man, who was over three years sober at this point.

 I remember going out to Dinner with him one night after school ended. He ordered a Budweiser. My jaw dropped. I didn't think anymore of it other than the fact that he wasn't suppose to drink due to the medication.
But he was an adult and I was a teenager, so what did I know. All I did know, was at this point, I needed and leaned on him. Within weeks, my Father's Dinner beers became much more. By the end of July he was back to whiskey and beer by the truckload. I had just went on my merry way. I was working out and doing my thing. Lifting weights in the morning, work in the afternoon, and martial arts at night. Mean time, the old man was drowning his sorrows in brown bottles after work. Four months had passed since the dirt was dumped on Mom's grave, and the old man was back to his old form. But I was older now. I just did my own thing and he did his thing. Both of us being hardheaded Irishman didn't know how to handle this time. So he went back to drinking, and I buried myself in football, weights, and Muay Tai.

 I remember coming home one night in late July to find a woman sitting in my Mother's chair. She was a repulsive fat hillbilly named Linda. She lived in Cedar Lake Indiana. "Hey kiddo, this is Linda, she's going to help take care of you." That was a polite way of saying, this is the woman I was fucking while your sister took Mom to radiation. Dad was always quite the ladies (?) man. But I soon realized that the old man was spending evenings with this pig while Mom was Dying. That's not for effect, she was literally fucking dying. But whatever. What was I going to do. This woman moved in to take care of me. Soon she was driving my Mom's car. And I was just oblivious. I had so much hurt and pain that I just buried.

 Over the next four weeks, my Father's drinking got worse. He always had little comments for me, but I was in my own little daze. Two weeks before Senior years was going to start, I came home after work. Dad was on the recliner with a beer and a Wild Turkey on the rocks next to him. "Hi Dad", I said as I passed him on the way to my upstairs bedroom. "Hey, how was your day?" he asked. I said, "Good, how was yours?" He replied, "Well since you ask, it was pretty shitty. I've been going through Mom's things." I didn't know what to say, so I stood there in silence with my right foot on the first step. "Just so you know, she would still be alive if it weren't for you." That is seriously what he said. My Father blamed me for Mom's death. "You had to keep feeding her those cigarettes, didn't you?" I didn't say a word. I just went to my room. I unpacked my gear and threw a bunch of clothes in my bag.

 "Where the fuck do you think you're going?" he yelled as I walked passed him again. "I'm going to Erik's house." I said. "Oh yeah, you walk out that door, don't even bother coming back!", he said. At this point I just kept walking pass the old man towards the back door. I knew he was drunk, and he just told me that it was my fault Mom died. So I just wanted to get out of there. All of the sudden I got shoved in the back. I lost my footing and slammed my forehead into the Dining Room table. As I was on both knees on the floor I squeezed my forehead. It hurt so bad. I dropped my head a little bit towards my knees, and I saw the blood start pouring onto the carpet. At that very moment, I had my first psychotic break. I stood up, turned around, and proceeded to motion to my Dad to come get some more. I distinctly remember saying, "Alright MOTHERFUCKER, let's go!" Up to this point, I had never as much even disobeyed my Father. But at this very moment, at this very time, I saw a lot of things. I saw my Mother. I saw myself handing her a pack of Virginia Slim Lights. I saw her bald head. I saw a whore sleeping in her bed, with her husband. And I saw my blood.

 He took about six steps towards me with his right hand cocked back. As he threw the punch, I drew my left arm up. As I blocked the punch, I slid my hand behind his head. While I was doing this, I threw my right hand behind his head as well. I now had my Father in a "Clinch". I proceeded to throw four knees to his drunkin face. When he went down, I started raining down elbows. In the end, My Father went to the hospital, and I was under arrest. I had beaten my own Father so bad that he spent three days in the hospital.

 The scariest part is that I didn't even see him as my Father at that moment. All I saw was a man who accused me of being the reason my Mom died. He was nothing to me. An after thought. The charges were eventually dropped. He eventually married his "one true love". I went on with my thing.

 The last word I ever said to my Father was "Let's go Motherfucker!!!!!". That was 20 years ago. Jesus, Twenty years ago. I have spent my entire life burying this incident. My wife didn't even know this tainted part of my life until about six months before our wedding. It's not something to be proud of. I am downright ashamed of it. But in the last twenty years, I've justified it. "FUCK HIM" I would say. My own Duaghter has no idea that she has a Pampau. My Father has never met his Granddaughter. But who cares? Fuck him!!!!!!!

 The truth is, I've battled with this since I was 21. I have a Father who is alive. Not only does he not exist in my life, but the last time I spoke to him, I was breaking his jaw. I have been planning this post since my last. Taking notes and everything. After all, this year is my biography. But as things work, life has thrown a curveball.

 I got a call from my sister today. My Father is in the hospital. He is 77 years old and going in for a quadruple bi-pass surgery on Thursday. He will most likely not make it out of surgery. It's been twenty years since I've seen him. But I have to let him know that even though I do do not forgive him, I do love him. After all, he is my Father. He gave me life. The least I can do is let his last possible moments on Earth be forgiving, and to let him know that he is loved.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Intraocular cancer (My Life-Part VI)

 The age of thirteen was fucking awesome. I was in the Ponys, which was little league, but with regulation bases and fences. I was practicing offensive line play with my Brother's friend Don (Played 8 years with the Birmingham Bulls). And I was kicking ass at Muay Tai. I remember coming home one day to see my Mom with a sour puss look. But even more shocking was seeing my Father home. "Hey Guys" I said as I made for the stairs. "WAIT", my Mom said. "You need to sit down". So I sat down on the couch.
 Your Father went to the Doctors, and he has some problems, my Mom said. I asked her,"What's going on?" My Dad continued. "Bud, I have Intraocular Cancer". "What is that?", I asked. "I have Cancer inside of my left eye. But it's okay. It can be maintained with medication. I won't even lose my sight.", he explained. I remember looking down on the carpet just befuddled. I always knew growing up that my parents were odd. Odd meaning that they were much older than my friend's parents. Later in life, that whole thing. But I never thought about it in a mortal sort of way until I got this news.
 Now make no mistake about it. My Father was a hard nosed fucking prick. But I worshiped him. After all, he was my Father. He spent more time at the bar drinking and bedding with whores than he spent with me, or Mom for that matter. But he worked his ass off driving that dump truck just to make sure we wanted for nothing. In my estimation, at the age of thirteen. He was a great man. A great Dad with a lot of faults. But a great Dad none the less. So needless to say, the news of this cancer freaked me out. It scared the shit out of me to be honest. All my Grandparents had passed on at this point, but this was the first time that I felt the sadness and mortality of disease.
 I remember looking up from the carpet at my Father. A stoic manly look on my face, I'm sure. But I was fighting back the tears. "That sucks Dad, let me know if you need anything." I said, and then kind of looked over to the Dining room. Maybe just in case I got teary. Then something happened that shocked the fuck out of me. My Dad stood up, came over to the couch, and sat down. He softly grabbed my face and lifted up so that he could look into my eyes. "Listen big guy. I love you. I know I haven't always shown it. But there were other things always going on (Alcoholism). I will be fine and I can't wait to watch you play football, and don't you have a baseball game coming up? " My Father placed his hand on my head and said,"Things are going to be a little different now. Your Mother and I think it will be changes for the better."
 As it turns out, my Father's Cancer was contained within the eyeball. There was little chance of the Cancer spreading. No chemo, no radiation. Just some medication. But for the medication to work, the old man would have to stop drinking carbonated drinks. Which meant soda, and beer. The alcoholic would have to go on the wagon. And he did! And for three years he was like the fucking Brady Dad. 
 At the age of fourteen I was playing my last year of Pony's. My Dad was in the bleachers when I hit a 330 foot homerun. And my fast ball got clocked at 81 miles per hour. He wasn't screaming at me to do better. He wasn't slapping me for hitting a double when I should have been standing on third. He was standing up clapping vigorously. He was proud of his baby boy. Catholic school coaches were there to watch. They had these fancy gadgets when I was pitching. But none of that mattered. My Father was proud of me. But for the first time in my life, I felt like he would have been proud of me even if I went 0 for 4. For the first time in my life, he was just proud to be my Father. I guess this sobriety shit isn't so bad.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A break in my biography.....

 I was going through my blog roll yesterday and something popped out at me. There was a new post from MrsAl. I had known that MrsAl was ill, but never knew the extent. After reading her recent post, I found out she was battling cancer. It's funny when you think about it. Since I've started blogging I've been battling other bloggers over ideology and political beliefs. This wonderful lady has been fighting for her life. putting all political feelings aside, something like this really puts life into perspective. A week ago I found out that a good man who goes by the name Up the Flag was in the hospital. Now MrsAl.
 MrsAl left her first comment on my blog in January of 2012. This is what she wrote, "I interrupt this thread to add additional estrogen to the mix, J.O.B., the pic of you and your Little Princess is priceless."
 Completely kind and beautiful. That's MrsAl in my opinion. No matter what her political beliefs are, she never has a bad thing to say about anyone. 
 This post is a tribute to a wonderful and beautiful woman who goes by the name of MrsAl.

This was a musical post that she commented on. It was right when I started Johnny O'Bloggin's Musical Mondays. She informed me in the comments that her Husband had purchased an electric piano.

She also let me know that she preferred Chopin. Which I completely understand.

 A lovely woman with a fine taste in music. But when I read her post I thought of only one song, and I know she won't like it. But I hope she believes in it.

I know your fear of loss
And your struggles with faith
And how it takes everything that you have to face the day
The virtues you possess now bring you eternal pain
All you have is contempt for a life you can't obtain
All your heroes have failed you
Yet you try and prevail
Face your torment and dismantle your doubt
Refuse this legacy of shame and deceit
Cause the only real truth in your life that you know is hostility
Your world is coming apart
Remain steadfast
Against all opposition
Crushing all limitations
Pure strength through solitude
Discipline and determination
You can't accept what you've been told
Anchored in sin you must reverse your descent
Declare the weight of the world has yet to claim you
And admit that your faults will not restrain you
Glimpses of fate bring light to your despair
Realise hope isn't short of your grasp
Resurrect every dream that you've buried alive
And never succumb to the war that you fight in your heart
Your world is coming apart
Remain steadfast
Against all opposition
Crushing all limitations
Pure strength through solitude
Discipline and determination

 When life looks at you and tells you it's time to go MrsAl. You tell life to go fuck itself. You're not done yet. You will be in our prayers and hearts. Stay strong, you have so much more to give and you can always count on me to stand with you.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

"Sorry Honey, but I don't want you playing. How about Martial Arts instead? (My Life - Part V)

 It was late Summer of '85. I was nine years old and just finished up my first season of little league. After the all star games were over I got bored rather quickly. So I decided I wanted to give football a try. After all, I played with my friends all the time and my Brother had spent the last year teaching me the techniques he learned during his first year of college. So after lunch one day I told my Mom, "I want to play football this Summer". She told me that she would find out when the registration was, and she would sign me up.

 She came home a few weeks later and told me, "Registration is in two weeks for Pop Warner". "Cool", I said. I didn't really think much of it. After all, my Father was all for it. Granted, I was a little nervous because I never so much had even wore pads. But, I played with my friends all the time. And I practiced with my Brother (who I idolized) and his friends. So I figured no big deal. I remember going to the park district for registration. My Mom gave a person all my medical papers and her permission releases. After that one of the men asked me to step onto a scale, which I did. 124 Lbs. he said out loud. Awesome I thought. I remember hearing my Mom talking to some guy about my age. As it turns out, there were weight limits in Pop Warner. I distinctly remember Mom telling some dude that her "BABY" wasn't going to play football with a bunch of 12 and 13 year old kids. The same guy told my mom, "Let Jonathon come to the first practice and see how he does".

 She obviously agreed, because three weeks later I was walking over to a shack on the the practice field at Trinity Christian College where I would be fitted for equipment. As I walked over to the practice field, I saw the other kids, and was not that impressed. I knew they were three and four years older than me, but they weren't that much bigger. we started by lining up in a formation for stretching and calisthenics. As we did this, two coaches walked up to everyone asking what position they would like to play. When they got to me, I told them Linebacker. I just loved the idea of hitting someone, with pads. They wrote on their chart and moved on to the next kid.

  My first ever drill was the three on three. Two down lineman on both side of the ball. A running back and a line backer. I was the linebacker. The coach screamed Hut, Hut. the Lineman engaged. I remember the running back making the move to the right. I paralleled and buried my helmet right into his chest. I think I heard his breath expel from his body. My first hit in pads, and I was addicted. The force, the contact, and the end result was exhilarating. Practice went on for two hours. It included numerous drills with we always feeling like I did well. It seemed like hitting and heavy bodily contact almost came natural. I remember looking at the other kids after practice. They were carrying there shoulder pads with their jersey draped over it. They were carrying them by the facemask of their helmets which was inside the opening in their pads. As I went to imitate them, one of the coaches came over and said, "Just leave all your pads here Jonathon". I was confused, but I didn't ask any questions. When I got to the car where my Mom was standing I told her what happened.

 "I'm sorry Honey, but you're not going to play football this year". "Why not?", I asked. "Honey, you're nine years old. Those kids are twelve and thirteen years old". "But I did good, didn't I" I asked. "Yes Honey, you did great. But I do not want you to get hurt". We got into the car and started driving home. My Mom asked me, "How about that martial arts stuff Honey?" "Sure" I replied in the most sarcastic nine year old voice you can imagine. We pull into a parking lot that says Muay Tai kick boxing. While we're walking in she looks down at me and says, "This is for the best Honey".

 A bigger mistake could not have been made. Thanks Mom.

i am the thing that makes you sick
i am the blame that gets placed quick
detect the crack within your lie
I'll be the wrath of your disdain
I'll be the fear in you ingrained
become the facts that you deny

i can feel this pain is real
i hate deep down inside
and like broken glass you'll shatter
with bloody fists i'll batter
like a ten ton hammer son

I'll be the trembling in your breath
trickle of blood upon your flesh
you'd love to watch me take the fall
I'll be the thing that you despise
cause I'm a be there standing tall


i can't stand or take another day my friend
you could learn a thing or two


Trapped in a ceaseless fever of spite
An unending fit of resentment and anger
Caught in a moment of unforgiveness
In the snapshot of a hate filled second

The speechless flickering of uncomprehending eyes
Dilated in disbelief
Your vacant gaze distorted
Twisted in its accusing glare

Teeth glimmering in emotional rage
Spit of hate suspended mid-air
Bodies strained in fury
Devoured by jaws of despair

One single image frame I wish to forget
Now replayed in succession of millions
The one second I will always regret
My hell found in its reiteration

Held within the visualization
The continuous rerun of my own violence
A fraction of time perpetuated
By my regretful soul animated

Please forgive the evil in me
The darkness within
Ferocious, inherent demon
Adrenaline gland resident

Threatened subconscious snake
Repressed into striking coil
Surfacing that black second
Ascending with the boil