My father and I never got along, so when my parents' divorce was finalized and he moved out, I was somewhat relieved. After that day, my mother turned into a different person. She was liberated, a free spirit, and every day turned into an adventure.
Just four short months later, she met Michael, and I must say, he wasn't your average person. He had a long history of alcoholism and drug abuse, which he claimed he was then over. That then led him to his story (which he found funny) about dropping out of high school. I asked him if he ever considered getting a GED, but he responded with a snotty, "I don't need any of that trash," attitude. He acted as if he was aware that he was going nowhere in life, and that he was just a lazy waste of space. And I frequently wondered why my mother continued to talk to him.
As time went by, Michael appeared on our doorstep more and more. He stayed on the living room couch for days at a time, as immobile as a garden gnome until he felt the needed to use the bathroom. Every once in a while, he would mutter insulting half-sentences to a passerby. And still, my mother let this continue. She actually seemed rather amused about the situation.
Michael insisted that he go to all of our family gatherings. As we drove through town to get to the parkway, he would scream things out the window to people on the street. If you were black, you were “Snoop Dogg,” and if you were Hispanic, you were told to go back to Mexico.
I vividly remember him making fun of my friend’s shoes, saying they were even too ugly for a homeless man, as soon as she walked out the door. And it wasn’t until then that I had enough of him. I finally built up the courage to confront him about all of the things he had said in the past few months. I tried to remain calm in doing so, but all of his racist and homophobic remarks came back to me in a whirlwind of fury. Instead of telling him all of these things, I screamed them in what sounded more like a three-year-old’s temper tantrum than a civilized person’s standard statement. He yelled back at me in an incoherent deep voice as I ran upstairs to my room, being sure to slam it just loud enough to make the whole house shake. And just when I thought I had ruined my opportunity to stop him from being the bigot he was, he went home.
He called my mother the next day to tell her he wouldn’t be stopping by the house anymore. He claimed I was too obnoxious for my own good, and that he couldn’t handle someone of such naïve character. He also recommended I get kicked out of the house; his main argument being that he was living out on streets at 17, and it would be good for me to experience life like that.
And even though the words we exchanged with one another were extremely hateful, I’m happy with our current situation. Michael started dropping by again, but his visits are now rather short, and I do what I can to be in my room until he leaves. So I guess we both won this one.
If anyone wants to read my other writings, they can go here or here.