It started early…

…My first recollection of “it” was when I was 3 years old, on X-Mas morning, 1959:


Looks like an idyllic scene at first blush, doesn’t it? Mom leaning into the picture, older sister smiling ever-so-slightly, shiny new GIRL’s bicycle and a new record player in the background, hands clutching a new doll; fuckin’ Norman Rockwell, right?

Well, not so FAST, Kids — lemme play Paul Harvey here and tighten my readers up on “The Rest Of The Story”…

Uh-hunh, that’s yours truly, Little Dickie there, footie pajamas, big load in my pants and all — let’s zoom in with our Analyze-Meter, shall we?

We’ll start with Mommy Dearest first. All smiles, right — but EXACTLY how come? ‘Cause BOTH Mom & Dad are on their respective third highballs mostly — I mean — doesn’t ANY proper celebration of The Birth of The Late JC start out with a drink and a toast to the man? It did where *I* came from — and if ONE drink was GOOD, then THREE drinks is — a good START!

Mom put the Pall Mall Unfiltered aside for a quick second, right alongside her drinkie-winkie, so she could step in and try her best Photo Bomb; she was the GRAND MASTER of turning a frown upside down ANY & EVERY time there was a camera in the area!

Dad, on the other hand, didn’t give TWO SHITS about anybody pulling off a “scowl capture” on HIS pug-mug — WWII vet who came back from the Pacific Theater with a .30 caliber Japanese sniper bullet STILL in his forearm; LIFETIME smoker & drinker who had to put up with Mom’s incessant & nefarious efforts to “make him into the man that SHE thought he should be”; drove 90 minutes to work and back EVERY fuckin’ weekday — to NEWARK, no less; in retrospect, I guess I shouldn’t blame him TOO much for being Mr. Curmudgeon. During the infamous “Newark Riots” of 1967, he drove into work and back with a .12 gauge shotgun on the passenger chair of his ’64 Biscayne wagon, but that’s a whole ‘NUTHER Oprah!

And then there’s dear old Sis — she’s the one with the smarmy gloat on her face. Why? ‘Cause SHE is the proud new owner of that shiny bicycle, that scha-weet phonograph that she NEVER EVER let ME play, that Baby-Wets-Her-Britches Doll that she’s clutching with possessive pride — but MOST of all, ’cause yet again, here was proof-positive that SHE was Mommy & Daddy’s FAVORITE…

Then there’s ME — I was six fuckin’ years old before I found out that my name was really “Dick Jones” and NOT “The Mistake”. Back in those days, if you were the dumb-lucky bastard that popped out the hole LAST in your respective “Cleaver Family”, with more than a 2 year spread between you and an older sibling, ever’BODY above the age of eight just KNEW that you were “the mistake”. And in lower middle class America in the ’50s & ’60’s, that meant that you were an unplanned-for fiscal LIABILITY!

So — “Merry Fuckin’ Christmas, Dickie-Do — now here’s YOUR present — a 3rd-hand piece o’ shite plastic guitar that I snatched outta the pawn shop window on my way home last night, paid for with the money I had left over after my Fifth of Seagram’s Seven Crown & carton of Marlboros purchase; pay no attention to that big crack across the front of it — whaddya want for 59 cents?”

I’ll never forget what Sis said to me after the X-Mas festivities were over with; exactly 90 seconds after she opened HER 152 presents and I got my unwrapped Roy Rogers six-string — the one with the big crack across the face from some John Belushi/Animal House “smash the guitar on the stairwell” re-enactment in ITs recent past: “See — Mom & Dad like ME better!” Like *I* needed to hear THAT news-flash from HER!

But the “cherry on the Sundae”, following the obvious look of bewilderment on my face in this shot (“Uh — this is IT, Mom & Dad? This is MY X-Mas present?”) was Dad’s “send-off”, as he walked outta the house to go spend the rest of HIS day & night drinking & playing poker with his pals, were his parting words: “ONE more SYLLABLE about your present, and I’ll take you back to the orphanage where I GOT you from, and get another one looks JUST like you!”

It started early…


One thought on “It started early…

  1. To this fuckin’ day still known as “THE MiSTAKE” my own-self. Only difference being that no one except my own-self has the stones to admit “IT”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s