Generation Zero

I have no father, except my Father in heaven.  Well that sounds a bit pretentious, of course I have a father, as mentioned before, I am human of course. However, he stopped existing in that role by his own choice, a long time ago. For the most part, my mother too.

Emancipated at sixteen years old, a victim of teenage parents, I set off into the world on my own. Victim, that’s harsh, well what else do you call it?  Them (20 & 18 when I was born,) were already divorced of their year long marriage after the birth of my older sister.

Being a self-domesticated species, humans have evolved to lengthen the time we rear our children- the longest of all the species, as we are the height of evolution on this planet. Eighteen years is ‘normal’ (though stories of 40 year olds in basements are not rare,) and there is a lot of variety, some parents taking their roles quite seriously.

It’s important too, families, that is.  Thinking of birds, I imagine the family unit as a persons first flock. The place to learn how to fly together and follow each other around. The place where we learn morals, ethical codes and social behavior, as passed in each unique family.

Everyone agrees what is right and wrong without variance, correct? Well, no… there are different opinions, different situations, and a smorgasbord of available options. From domestication to civilization, we have managed to create a common set of rules (yet, depending on the age you speak and in what part of the world, there is still an evolution occurring. Kingdoms rise, powers fall, and the world goes on.

A room of dozen strangers, will usually show each person behaving as they did in their families- many can often recognize a ‘middle child’, or the baby of a bunch. Yet as soon as this new group is together (with their various ‘starting’ positions,) a new flock has been formed.

Some people, most people, all people? Want to be in the center and I think that is pretty natural to want to be surrounded by family and friends. So when everyone starts to walk one way, there is an innate instinct to follow along.

The family I was born into had a certain way to go, and one I did not agree with. My father had molested his daughters and convinced them not to report and did his best to gaslight everyone else. Certainly, he wouldn’t do that. I remember the day I learned, December 21, 1994.

Six months after I had turned 16, being raped on that day. It took another month or so until he found out, and I was scared and did not know what to do.  I was so glad, and filled with anxiety, when he found out- now my protector was here.

A discussion at the kitchen table, him and my rapists best friend, my second step-mother. Here should be decisions of right and wrong. Yet, that is not what happened. See, I don’t think the world really works on ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ at all. Mostly, people (again, by natural instinct,) want to protect themselves and stay in the center of their flock.

If you’re in a flock of three and the two birds you’re following turn in opposite directions, what are you to do? Which one turned correctly, which made the error- time to make your choice to stay with the flock you choose.  My father choose his wife and decided the crime against me was less important, certainly he didn’t want the tension between his wife and her friend that a prison sentence might bring.

I still remember the look in his eye when he asked me “well, she didn’t hurt you did she?”

Yes, actually very much yes, I was hurt.  Though not nearly as much as by him.  That was the day that I learned not to stand up for myself and that generally, as long as they don’t hurt you, people can do what they want- if they have a big enough flock.

Except I was wrong. Six months later, when my sister had admitted what he had done to her, she told the story of what happened and how it ended, his apology and a question “well, I didn’t hurt you did I?”

The moment the words dropped my mind clicked and made the connection and from that moment, I knew- my father was rapist.

And he is the only father I have. No, I do not wish him happy this day.  This day, like the last 29 years, I hope my absence burns a hole in him, so that he might learn of his own mistakes and might have to opportunity to repent. If anyone knows David Neil Alexander from the Brooklyn, Michigan area, feel free to give him a call and ask if he has yet.

I am glad I left when I could and I am glad I choose not to follow that flock- my own family. So where does a solo bird go?

Well, one more amazing things about birds, they have a compass inside of them- biologically and magnetic.  Well studied, they are able to fly a straight line and navigate with easy, a built in full glass panel. Fly straight young man was the voice I heard.

Going to my grandparents house that night, my uncles were there to get me drunk and high, and my anger went deep down inside. Oh, another flock I had found alright, and my behaviors were considered okay.

They weren’t. Pretty tragic really, with the acceptance of my family I was out of school by the end of my junior year, eventually moving into my own first apartment above Virginia Coney Island, and later that summer to go off with the carnival.

Oh, I could tell a thousand more stories and still have more bush to beat, yet I think the essence of this is that I stopped paying attention to flocking birds, as each as surrendered it’s compass in preference of the group think.

To be circular, I sometimes wonder what it would be like, to be young again with the knowledge I now have, or to have been placed in a different family, yet in either case I would have avoided the experiences that have built up my core beliefs. I wouldn’t be me and I might not be able to see as well as I do now, had not been given those circumstances.

At my age (damn, that sounds old and pathetic,) I would hope that I’m done now. I’ve figured it all out and I’m ready to sit down and type out the answers to life – and I will, once I get there.  Honestly, I think I have enough data now- between being raised as child, then raising my own.  To look at my older son, his parents 18 & 20 when he was born.

Not much good I did to avoid the repetition of that cycle. Yet now, what a perfect comparison for contemplation. It will likely take the remainder of my life to put into words all that I could, yet the process is slow for me- as I’m just learning what I should say.

See, many will read the above with a jaw dropped to the ground. Yet I have found that if you don’t call out what you know is wrong, you begin to think it might be right. Before long, you won’t notice it at all.

I can’t do much for the past other than reminisce and try to pull the good from the bad, yet going forward, what I see is what I say.

Today, was restful. Up early, downstairs for breakfast & tea, while watching some tv and doing 30 minutes on the foot shock machine, then back upstairs showered, dressed and back down by 9.  I almost skipped breakfast, my stomach just feeling weird and queasy, yet I made myself eat. My legs felt strong and very sore. I spent the morning doing floor exercises, stretching and using the foam roller.

Beside the relief it gives the muscles, just rolling my body across it in any position is an exercise in itself, balance and core. Took care of a few things, yet no where near as productive as yesterday, I think I had used up a two day burst of strenght. By the afternoon I thought of taking a nap, and did eventually, after more stretching and massaging in bed.

Clumps of cooked together spaghetti noodles is exactly what it feels like up and down the outside edge of upper and lower left leg. Driving my fingers in, pinching and twisting, rubbing and rolling with my massage roller, eventually I did roll over and take a nap.

Just a quick hour or so and I was back up. Starting to feel as if I was being too lax for the day, I decided to go for a walk on the east route I’d measured- it would be the hardest up the ‘big’ hill on Ganson Ave. To the top of the hill and a left on Waterloo then return would be my mile, yet at the top I still felt good.  Just up ahead a bit more is Loomis park, that had just reopened last week with its new playground equipment.

No where near as nice as the adult playground equipment in Jal, NM, was my first impression yet, this design is nice too. Eight tenths of a mile there, I rested at a picnic table when I got there, then walked the lap of the park stopping at each exercise machine. I was really impressed with myself with the pull up bar there. Usually I hang on my bar at home before any pull-ups, here I went straight for them and had six or seven real quick pull-ups, mechanically fast. Another station had a low bars for more pull ups too.

I suppose I could have take a picture of each station, and might the next time I’m there- I think this is going to be part of my new routine. Walking every day is good, and the machines there are pretty ‘light’, not the place for a body builder workout. As light as it is, I may see if I can walk up there again tomorrow, and the next day.. a full ‘light’ workout (the machines roughly cover all the body parts) and a mile and half walk doesn’t sound like to much, though I should probably wait and see how I feel tomorrow.

On the way back I decided to stop at the store for a beer, two actually.  Reaching for a Labatt, I stopped and thought of how long I’ve had the taste for that brand and where it came from, then shifted and picked Budweiser. Odd, I don’t even remember the last I drank, I’m not sure if I have since I’ve been back in Michigan, or while I was in New Mexico.. I remember drinking at the Texas state park, so maybe it’s been five months?

One beer with dinner, a nice single size frozen lasagna and then sitting down to type. I almost couldn’t eat at all, even small bites made my stomach turn. Tomorrow is Monday, my first day at the new ‘job’, not sure how long it will take- yet the plan is in the works. Barring something unforeseen, if I keep moving forward, I will be a published author soon.

The first book will be easy – a straight copy and paste with no editing – everything I wrote on this site in 2022. Then, two more I have planned. One before to explain how exactly I got to the point of happiness and joy. That one will be pretty easy too, really just a memory trick to get he words on a page- telling a story again that I already know.  The third book will start this year, 2023 forward, a book of what I’ve learned. That will be hard. And will need some editing. 219.3k words so far this year and I’m sure at last half could be cut.

The night ended with a text from my son to wish me happy this day. It worked.

Time to rest.


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