Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Minnesota.


I think I was eight. It was Easter break and my mom, sister and I were going to fly to Minnesota to visit my grandparents. I hadn't seen them in years. I missed them. They were a nice escape from the crap at home. My parents didn't have a lot of money so we took the cheapest flight out there. WE had to take six different planes to get to Minnesota. Because this was a series short flights, we didn't eat. All together it took 12 hours to get there.
My mother was pissed that grandma and grandpa didn’t take time off from work to visit. I didn't care, my aunt Catharine was around and I liked her. My mom and Catharine did not get along. Catharine blamed my mom for taking her big brother away. My mom didn't like Catharine because my mom was my mom and no one was good enough in her eyes.
We went everywhere in the twin cities. Different zoo's, restaurants, amusement parks, and then it got weird, my grandparents were Mormon. My mother was Catholic. I was already an eight year old atheist. I had decided around five years old that it was all fake. I would try to hold in the laughter when the old people started speaking in tongues and rolled around the floor. Anyway, All these missionaries started coming over to visit. They showed us movies, read us books. I was bored. Mom was pissed. "You people are all wrong!" she said. She started getting extremely vocal and rude to them. They were just two teenage kids trying to do what they believed in. She kept telling them they will burn for what they are doing.  Grandma stood up and told mom "Debbie that is uncalled for. You need to knock this garbage off now."
Mom got pissed and walked out.
They pretty much left each other alone the rest of the trip.
On the day we left, grandma packed me and my sister a bunch of snack food for the trip. WE had a layover in Salt Lake City. Mom took us to an airport lounge. My sister and I were told to sit on the bench outside the door. She went in and had a few drinks. She came out in a better mood. Shawntele and I ate our potato chips for dinner. The last flight home was eventful. Mom slept it off, Shawntele played with her doll and I read a book.
We got off the plane. Our neighbor Nancy picked us up. "Is the bastard drunk somewhere?" my mom asked.
Nancy said she'll talk about it later.
We got home and Nancy handed me a rabbit. She told me there was a cage in the backyard for it. I put the rabbit in the cage and went to my room. What the fuck was going on? Why is my neighbor handing me livestock and where is my dad? Why am I being forced to stay in my room? Turns out dad had a heart attack.  Nobody bothered to tell me. I found out when he got home. I asked where he was. He said he had a heart attack and was in the hospital.  That's all that was said about that.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Your Academy


When I was in the Air Force I had a roommate named Charles. I absolutely hated him. He was the anti-James. He was a hard core Christian. He was always going through my crap. I'd wake up and he would be standing by my bed praying. When my friends would come over to visit, He would take out his knives and start sharpening them mumbling loud enough for us to hear about “Taking out any dumb sumbitch that crossed him”. How very Christian of him.
He told me he roomed with me because god wanted him to watch over me. His half of the room was covered in Reba McIntire posters. Mine was covered in Hubcaps, Christmas lights, bike parts and whatever else I could attach to the walls. I didn’t have any girlfriends. He would ask if I was a “fag”. Being from California and not having a girlfriend automatically made me gay in his eyes.
Chuck would invite his church group over for bible study. He ended each meeting with “Let’s pray for Jim.” He called me Jim, another reason to hate him.  
 I decided I needed to get rid of him. We couldn't just move out without all this paperwork bullshit. So I decided to scare him into moving out. I started collecting Serial killer/Mass murder books. I had trading cards. I started a correspondence with a couple. I gave my number to Richard Hanson and told him to go ahead and call collect. After about two months Ole’ Chuck split. He moved out to some Christian housing thing. I feel shitty about it, but he was an asshole.

Monday, March 12, 2012

How to make a first impression.


Ed’s fiancĂ© was coming to visit him. Ed had to work. He asked me if I would pick her up and show her around Fairbanks till he got off work. Sure I said. I pick her up. We go to lunch and get some coffee. She’s a nice girl. Ed’s a good guy. They are perfect together. I asked her if there is anywhere she wants to go. She says the naughty shop. That’s an odd request but oh well if that’s where she wants to go I guess I’ll take her. We drive a half hour out of town. I pull up into the parking lot of the porn store. She looks at me and says you’ve got to be kidding. “Why did you bring me here? I’m not going to tell Ed, but let’s leave.” I said “You said you wanted to go to the naughty shop.”  She said “No I wanted to go to the Knotty Shop.” An Alaskan gift shop an hour out of town. I had never heard of this place.  She told me not to worry that it would be our dirty little secret. That night I brought her to Ed’s. He asked her I had if she had a good time. She said “Yeah, but Jim is a pervert.” She looked at me and smiled. I had to explain to Ed what happened. He laughed his ass off and gave me a beer. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I miss my jacket.


In fourth grade Enoch stole my Destro figure. I brought it to school to show off. No one else had it yet. Enoch was poor white trash. He always had a shaved head. His mom made his clothes. He never had any food for lunch. Enoch was one of the few kids nice to me. We'd play GI Joe or with Hot Wheels. He asked if he could borrow Destro to show his parents what he wanted for Christmas. I let him take it home.
The next morning he had Destro in his pocket. I asked for it back. He told me that he lost mine and his parents bought him that one. I didn't believe him. I didn't do anything about it.

Eighth grade.
I had a black Denim jacket with blue plaid lining. I wanted that jacket for Christmas. It's the only thing I asked for. To my surprise I got it. I wore it everywhere. At that time the Miami Vice and surfer look was in at our school. Not for me. I had my black Converse all-stars, jeans, black t shirts and that jacket. I wrote James Robison in big letters with black marker on the lining.
This kid named David had an older, faded coat like mine. He asked if h could borrow mine one day. He said he'd kick my ass if I didn't. Not remembering the Destro/Enoch, I gave him the jacket.
The next day he handed me his old jacket. It was a size smaller. It was faded. Verne Robison was written with an ink pen on the tag.
This isn't my jacket I told him.
Yeah it is.
He socked me in the chest and told me to shut the fuck up about it.
I threw his jacket in the trash and walked home.
I told my mother that I kept the jacket in my locker. I walked back and forth to school without a jacket the rest of the winter.
I really need to start standing up for myself.