Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Welcome Home Uncle John Day!

When you were thirteen, your Uncle John killed your Dad by accident. What happened was your Dad found out that your Uncle John and your Mom were having an affair, so your Dad tried to kill his little brother, naturally. It should have worked out that way. Uncle John was never much of a fighter and your Dad was a real hothead, ending most of his Friday nights in the parking lot of a bar trying to pound some poor stranger's face into mush for a perceived slight. By dumb luck though, your Uncle John got in one good shove and sent your Dad backwards down the front steps of your house, snapping his neck against the curb where the steps met the driveway. From the bedroom window you saw your Dad exhale his very last breath.

After four years in prison, your Uncle John is coming to live with you and your Mom, to begin the life he wishes he could have had with her from the getgo. The life that could have been his if he had just told his older brother to back off when they both saw her at the town's Carnival Days mixer. He's finally going to love her out in the open. It's all he dreamed about before and after he went to the Pen. And he's never going to ask you to call him Dad.

'Your Dad died at my hand,' he'll tell you when he gets you alone in the backyard tonight. 'I don't expect you to do nothing but hate me for as long as you live, but you better not expect me to be sorry about what I did because that's never gonna happen.'

You'll do all you can to keep from crying. You're seventeen and the man who murdered your father has plans to share your home and lay down with your Mom. Your Dad was a son of a bitch and his being gone meant no more beatings and no more bank accounts being emptied into a bar's cash register. But he was your Dad.

'He was my Dad,' you'll manage to say.

'He was my brother!' your Uncle John will bark.

You'll get up to leave, but your Uncle John will grab your leg and hold you there. 'You better not think about revenge,' he'll say. 'All that'll do is doom your Mom to live all alone. Cause I'll be sent back to jail and you'll be sent to a coffin.'

He'll let go and you'll take off running. 'Run away and live on your on if you can't take it!' he'll shout after you.

You won't run away because that's too scary. You and your Uncle John will eventually find a way to bond when he teaches you how to fight back against all the kids who are constantly beating you up for having a Mom who'll do it with the uncle who killed your Dad. When you win your first fight, he'll let you know that he's proud of you and that your Dad would have been too.

'No he wouldn't have been,' you'll say.

Your Uncle John will know you're right. He'll say, 'What's a dead man's pride matter to the living?'

You'll go into the bathroom and watch your eye swell up and turn purple. It don't matter a goddamn thing, you'll think.

Happy Welcome Home Uncle John Day!