Thursday, February 26, 2009
The Goat Man
My sister's first boyfriend was a real scary dude who talked a lot about being visited by the "goat man" who had the face of a skeleton and was out for blood. It didn't take a degree in psychology or even watching the "special episode" of Different Strokes (you know the one where Arnold and his friend are left in the care of a pedophile who bribes them with liquor and gets them to play naked together on the bunk bed set that he conveniently has in his garage -- red flag! red flag!) to realize he was being sexually abused by his stepfather and no good would come of it, in fact much evil. The mercifully short-lived boyfriend grew up to do things like catch rattlesnakes and hand them to drunks down on the Brazos River. One man died this way, too out of it to make his way to the death hut that is Palo Pinto General Hospital (not the best track record -- most of the people I knew made their way in, but like infamous Roach Motel ads, they did not come out).
When you're traumatized, part of you is dying (quite literally I believe) to tell the story. The other part believes you will die if you tell it. Hence the Goat Man. Our secrets won't stay buried and yet we can't help but try. My sister's dog Ginger often takes her bones and buries them so she can play a little game of hide and seek later, a delight to be savored, money found in an old coat pocket. But what about the rattlesnakes, the rats, the horrors? You can play a little game with those as well. It's just not nearly as fun.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I say what I want to say and do what I want to do. There's no in between. People will either love you for it or hate you for it." Eminem
Drinking memoir suggestion: Passing For Thin Frances Kuffel
Benedictions and Maledictions
Thanks to the commenters who felt I might have given up enough for Lent this year! I'm still working on a plan, but perhaps a gentle one. As to Lana's comment (and Chris), I live in a highly Catholic section of Detroit, and people still looked at me strange every Ash Wednesday when I taught and one kid asked if I fell asleep on a newspaper which made me laugh. (the idea of actually waking up early enough to read a newspaper hot off the presses, that is).