Memoir, Writing

Villains

It was a big house but it was ugly. The house had inky-colored energy and smelled like old-people ass and chewing tobacco. True stench is thick. When you breathed you swallowed the stench. I had a bunch of male cousins growing up and my one cousin “John Boy” burped and I said “That smells so bad I can taste it!” He asked me, “Can you taste my farts too?” Boys were so gross. At six I didn’t know anyone who smelt worse than my boy cousins or my great grandparents. Fact I still don’t.

I had a special place. In Requa, I spent most my time outside, which nobody seemed to mind. Just had to be in by dark. Ish. I searched high and low for my special place. I knew my bedroom couldn’t be my special place since it was haunted. The inky-colored energy repelled me from that place. Rumor had it a woman slowly died of cancer in there. It was a bedroom Dad and I shared. We both had our own twin bed like we were brother and sister and we shared an old wooden dresser, other than that there was nothing in there. No toys. No photos. At night I would make my dad face me and watch for ghosts behind me. And I would face him and watch for ghosts behind him. Problem was my dad would fall quickly into slumber, tired from work at the road department. “Dad! Dad!” I would say, frightened white. “You’re not watching!”

There were a couple of rooms in the big, cold, inky, smelly, sad-memory-house that I wouldn’t even go in. One room had paintings of great aunt’s of mine that I didn’t really know. The one who lived on the hill behind us and talked to herself and the one who pulled her hair out piece-by-piece and the one who got away and never looked back. The eyeballs of the women in the paintings would follow me. Already an introvert, I didn’t want to be around anybody–even if they were just faces of paint. Hell, the paintings had more personality than the real women did. They smiled more.

Two other rooms had things in them that belonged to my great grandfather–I can’t even type his name out. Wayne. There. I did it. The room had Wayne’s things–rocks, stalactites, harmonicas, old newspapers, all disgusting things that I didn’t want to be around. Things I liked fine on their own but with his prints on them made me head in another direction. If only I could run in the opposite direction of him when I saw him. But I was raised up not to be rude. To respect your elders.

I didn’t want to be rude.
I didn’t want to be rude.

I tried to make the upstairs bathroom my special place but great grandma Faith had a big problem with that. I think she was worried I might drown in there, in the deep clawfoot tub. Drown like my father did. Before he came back to life. I didn’t realize the root of her concern until now. Tragedy upon tragedy.

I realllllly wanted my special place to be upstairs, because the villains couldn’t climb the stairs. But it was really just too inky up there. Downstairs wasn’t an option. Downstairs was a quiet battleground. Even when Dad came home from work I wasn’t safe cause the villains were that good. They were sneaky and I didn’t want to be rude.

4 thoughts on “Villains”

  1. I love your bluntness. For example “like old-people ass”. Made me smile.

    How were others in this house? Did your cousins mind it as much as you?

    It seems interesting how “the paintings had more personality than the real women did.” Since I love imprinting (how past family stuff connects to our present day stuff) do you think people were once happy and something shifted with your ancestors on this side of your family? Were the ladies in the paintings really happy or do you know? When did it change if they were happy?

    Maybe I am reading into this too much:) Sorry.

    1. ‘How were others in this house? Did your cousins mind it as much as you?’

      Good point, jumping around there in the beginning doesn’t help. The Cousin John burp scene happens elsewhere, in the back of a car, in another town. But even from over there they knew the great grandparents house stunk, and they minded, everyone did.

      Happy I somehow managed to make you smile through that 🙂

      ‘Do you think people were once happy and something shifted with your ancestors on this side of your family?’

      I’m sure there were moments of happiness..but mainly someone painted them happ(ier). I’m sure they thought everyone else’s life was just as bad as theirs, and that their life wasn’t bad, it was just normal.

      ‘Were the ladies in the paintings really happy or do you know? When did it change if they were happy?’

      I think I answered the first question already (this is really fun by-the-way!) and for the second, they all moved out, started their own families, and led productive, seemingly happy lives. They are my great-aunts and are alive but we are estranged I guess you could say. There is a third painting, a third woman I swear but she is a mystery to me.

      That was a doozie. Sorry. Thank you.

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