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There are many types of people in the world. Some are good and others are, well, not good. Unless one has a divine background, we all have to deal with our demons. Many manage to keep them under control while others do not. This is why we have jails and penitentiaries for those who cannot control their demons. This constant inner struggle is a part of life. I should know. I have struggled with my demons early on in life. That’s right. I admit that I had to struggle, too.
Yes, I really wanted to kill someone!
I came from a small family that consisted of a Mom and a Dad. I also had a younger brother and a younger sister. At the time of this article, my Dad, Mom and sister have left this earthly life. All three were victims of cancer. As far as I am concerned, all three left way too early. My sister was just 23 and a half years old. She left behind a beautiful baby girl who was only 4 years old at the time of her Mommy’s death in 1987. Dad was the next to go in 2012 and Mom joined them in 2015. Needless to say, I was completely devastated when I experienced their deaths. I was even more traumatized to actually watch my parents die. It was nothing like the movies. There was no real preparation for it. It happened and I had to deal with it. So, I did. Then, it happened again.
All during my grieving, I felt more anger than sadness. Yes, I was sad, but the anger overcame it. It still does to this day. At first, I really did not know WHY I was angry. All I knew was that I was ready to rip a Mack truck apart with my bare hands. I was THAT angry. It took me a bit of time to figure it out, but I found the reason for my anger. His name was Bostic.
Daddy lived by simple rules in life. He was an easy-going individual who truly enjoyed his family. Before my siblings came along, he used to put me in his MG Roadster back from the way early 60s and just go for a ride. Many times, we went to a car club where I learned how to appreciated the engines of cars. I was around these cars so much that I was able to identify the numbers of cylinders a car had just by listening to a vehicle roll down our street. Other times, we went to Lemans-like road races just to watch these cars race. I enjoyed it all. Even to this day, I had a need for speed. That is why I became a bike racer for 15 years of my life. It was also because of Daddy that I learned to drive a stick shift. I watched Daddy drive that MG and later a 1965 Mustang 2+2 and pretended that I was driving and shifting just like he did. One day, he grabbed my left hand and had me shift the gears with him. It was such a thrill. I just could not wait to get my own car that would have a manual transmission.
Daddy also got involved in all of my activities much like Mom did. When I was just 8 years old, I joined the Cub Scouts like most of my buddies did. Mom volunteered to be a den mother for a few years. We had den meetings at our house which got us ready for our monthly awards assemblies at our grade school. Daddy surprised me one year. At one assembly right after I got my award, they announced that Pack 381, my pack, would get a new pack leader. I was pleasantly floored when I heard the news because it was my Daddy who would lead all eleven dens in our pack. My Daddy was a scout leader!!!! I was so proud of him.
On another occasion, in my later years after I became a teacher at a local Catholic school, Mom again volunteered to be a teacher assistant. She would come to the school every day to help out at the school since my first niece, Jasmine, was now a kindergarten student in my school. For a few weeks later of that school year, my fellow teachers began to complain about the fact that they had to each cold lunches all year long because the principal would not spring the bucks to get a simple microwave oven. Me? I spent my lunchtimes walking to the nearest deli in order to get a sandwich. One day when I returned from the deli, I was sitting at the table with my fellow faculty members. Soon after, Daddy arrived and he was carrying a big box. He put it on the table next to the coffee machine, unpacked it and set it up. It was a brand new microwave oven!!! Apparently, he went shopping for one at a nearby Sears and purchased a unit for the faculty to enjoy their lunch. Yes, he was that kind of guy. He never asked for repayment because the teachers’ happiness was all that he wanted.
He and Mom did so many things for us. We are still grateful for everything that they did. That is why it was so painful to watch them experience my sister’s death. Even though I could not actually feel THEIR pain, it was very easy to understand what they and Jasmine were dealing with in her death. It was not easy. That is when the demon started to make itself known.
For many years in my life, the demon was present, but I never knew it. I thought that it was just some emotions that I had deep inside of me. No! There was something there that would not let me go. It gripped me and tried to get me to do its will. In fact, its will became my will. I wanted to cooperate with it, but something else told me that to do so was very wrong. And I only felt this beast present and active within me only when a certain word was mentioned around me.
One of the rules Daddy tried to get me to follow was that the ONLY friend I had in life was a dollar bill. I even asked him if he had any friends. He would always tell me NO. And even though his answer was always in the negative, he always treated some people like they were his friends, but he would never use the terminology “friends.” I once inquired about the status of Bostic the Bastard. Daddy referred to him as his “brother.” I honestly resented the fact that Bostic felt that he was on the same level as my uncles Randy, Conrad and Gene. No, Bostic was no uncle of mine and I was greatly happy that he was no blood relative of my family.
I remember one of many occasions when I felt the need to honestly murder this man. I remember my sophomore year in high school. I had joined the school band and signed up to learn and play the trumpet. I joined the band in September and was playing in my first concert that following May. I never expected to play like Dizzy Gillespie, but I did my best. The band teacher enjoyed my effort. He even commended me for doing what others were afraid to do. I left that concert with my head held high until I got back into the car for the ride home. Daddy drove. Bostic sat in the front passenger seat while I sat in the back seat.
“You stink,” Bostic said to me. “You are horrible,” he concluded.
Daddy joined in because his pal started it. “Yeah, you stink. You should be playing like Clifford Brown.”
It was at that point that I so truly wanted a nice, long kitchen knife so that I could have plunged it deep inside the left side of his rear shoulder blade and just twist it until his heart stopped!! That’s right! It was that moment when I discovered that I wanted to murder no one else but Bostic. All during the ride home, all I could picture in my head were images of me reaching around his throat with the same knife and cutting his throat until I decapitated him. Although Daddy was a safe driver because he drove for the U.S. Post Office, I wanted to get into just one accident so that I would have a great reason to take my feet and push his head as hard as I could into the dashboard of the car upon impact just to watch him die right in front of me. Yes, I really wanted to kill him that much.
That moron had no idea whatsoever as to how much I despised him. There were days when I just wanted to walk up to his pudgy face and just choke him until I saw the last breath just creep out of his body. I wanted to twist his neck like a stubborn bottle cap. If had to climb a ladder, I would pretend to hold it steady for him and just as he reached the top, yank it away just so that I can see his pathetic self come crashing down to the surface of the Earth. Because he lived nearby in the next town, I wanted for him to walk in front of my car just one time so that could gun my engine and run him over just so that I could tell the cops that he stepped in front of my ride. Of course, I would have needed $15 just to get my car washed after hitting him, but it would have been well worth it. Yes, I actually dreamed of the many ways to kill him. My soul was THAT dark because of him.
When that SOB frequently showed up at our house, it was not a pleasurable moment. His very presence brought an evil that I just could not describe here. My Dad was a normally likable individual who had an open heart for everyone. When the freeloader showed up, however, Daddy underwent a metamorphosis that I don’t even think that he noticed. Bostic managed to get my Dad to act like him — street trash. Daddy took on some of that pig’s ways especially when it came to drinking and smoking. It seems that misery, or should I say Bostic, enjoys the company. I really did not care if Bostic the Bastard wanted to smoke. I would have lit a cigarette for him and then thrown a gallon of gas on him just to put out the cigarette. I would have taken great pleasure in watching him burn to a crisp. Bacon would have been jealous of him.
Daddy originally started smoking lightly, a cigarette here and there. Soon thereafter, it started getting very heavy. He went from a casual smoker to a heavy smoker. There were ashtrays all over the house. Sometimes, most rooms including the bathroom had two ashtrays as well. I remember washing dishes one day and I ended up cleaning more ashtrays than dishes. There were cigarette butts everywhere, but I just wanted to put my foot squarely in Bostic’s butt. Even Mom started smoking and eventually, my brother and sister did too for a very short time. I was the only one in the hose who never had a smoking track record. But I can only trace this nasty habit back to that ass.
The other nasty habit that he introduced to our household was his incessant drinking. My Daddy never used to drink like he did when that fool showed up under our roof. Daddy ended up drinking alcohol as much as I drank water. It was that bad. Keep in mind that I am not calling him an alcoholic. No. Daddy was not a 24-hour a day alcohol drinker, but he did do so when the jackass showed up. There were times when he would show up and go to our basement bar where Daddy played bartender and the insipid waste of human skin would be his customer. This would usually start around 7 PM and last until the early morning hours. At times, I wondered if Bostic’s wife just puts him out and tells him to just not come home. Great! Now, I had to deal with this putrid individual.
Bostic was only married. He never had any children. Who would want to be a spawn of Bostic anyway? At some point, he and his wife separated. So, she was a bit smart, but they eventually reconciled. So, she lost her mind again. Poor lady.
At other times, the fathead would take my Daddy to bars and drink there. I was really worried for Daddy because he always drove both of them to these gin and whiskey joints. Going there was no problem. Coming back was the problem because he always came back intoxicated. I never prayed so hard for his safety in my life. I remember one evening when he came back stumbling in the doorway and never regained his balance until he slept it off. Then, there were the vomiting sessions. He had to get to the toilet and just puke literally for hours on end. All while Daddy was home puking his guts away, I was hoping that Bostic, the bane of my very existence, was throwing up blood in a most desirable way at his own house. Just the thought of him made me want to puke. I would have gladly bought Bostic as many drinks that his body could readily hold and then kicked him repeatedly in the face when he collapsed. Then again, putting cyanide in his beer would have been just as nice of me as well.
Just being around Bostic caused Daddy to take on obnoxious behavior that he normally would not do. I distinctly remember all sorts of comments that Daddy made in the presence of the Brainless One that he would not ordinarily make. In fact, there were many occasions when the Idiotic Influence wasn’t around and Daddy had apologized for what he may have said. It was clearly evident to me at that point that Daddy was dealing with a demon within himself. It was a demon that thrived on the appearance of Bostic. When he wasn’t around our family, our atmosphere was extremely cordial. When he was around, it was caustic. Bostic had to go!!!
There were times when Daddy would get out on a nice spring or summer day and cut the grass. The Fathead would sit on our stoop and watch Daddy do the lawn. I quietly walked up to our screen door while I was in the house and thought for a minute.
If I had a butcher knife right now and could quietly sneak up behind this idiot, I could stick that knife right into his back and kill him right now.
Unfortunately, he also heard me when I was standing in the doorway. It ruined my chance to kill him, but I counted on other times. I wanted to kill him and I just could not find the chance. I wanted him dead and I was looking forward to death taking him away.
I knew where his abode was located. I wanted to just get a rifle and sit outside of his home. I had gone to many amusement parks and headed straight to the rifle range where I excelled at hitting targets, especially the moving targets. To me, that mobile duck was Bostic. That bull’s eye was Bostic. Everything at that range was Bostic and I managed to shoot everything. If I had an actual rifle, I could have (and would have) shot Bostic right between his shady eyeballs. Unfortunately, I could not get ahold of a rifle. So, I thought of other means to eradicate him.
The mere sight of Bostic made my blood boil. I simply could not even stay in the same room with him. Everyone one who resembled him reminded me of him. I can think back to a movie called Private Benjamin which starred Goldie Hawn. No, Ms. Hawn did not remind me of Bostic, but the actor Hal Williams did. To this day, I still like the actor even though he reminds me of Bostic. Not Mr. Williams' fault. There was another actor who I saw on the TV show called The Rifleman. For the life of me, I simply cannot remember his name. Although the actor was white (and deceased), he, too, reminded me of the twerp. It was like I just could not get away from that horrific image.
Bostic also possessed a stupid laugh. It was the kind of laugh that made me want to reach into his throat and rip out his vocal cords. Yes, it was that irritating to me. Nothing he laughed at was funny to me. It sounded like a creaky wagon being towed down a quiet country street. Perhaps drowning his pathetic behind in a vat of extremely hot oil would have done the trick.
I am not one for fads. I am a firm believer in what appeals to me. I do not try to imitate others in terms of fashion. That being said, I remember when Richard Roundtree starred in the Shaft movies, a New York detective who had his own set of rules when it came to fighting crime. It had a cool theme song and a huge following. Shaft dressed in a leather coat, had bling and slick language. He was a hip cat. Many guys (except for me) tried to imitate him. Guess who was in that group. Yep, Bostic and my Dad. It was the bastard's.....er......Bostic's idea for both of them to dress that way and cruise the area's gin mills. With that attire came the foul attitude. Whenever I saw my Dad dress that way, it hurt me deep inside. That was not my real Daddy. That was something emerge that wasn't really him. In fact, I was willing to bet that he was not happy dressing like this either. I should know. Daddy and I had a similar style of dress. It was relaxed and comfortable. It was whatever For me at the time, it was a nice t-shirt, white socks, jeans and sneakers. Even now, jeans are still a major part of my casual wear along with my winter work boots. A polo shirt now replaced the t-shirt of yore. Daddy dressed the same way. He wasn't Shaft. He was my Daddy. Bostic wasn't Shaft, but an "s," "h" and "t" are involved in the spelling of the name I had for him.
I had to endure this emotional pain for a few decades. I never confided in anyone because there was no way for me to safely explain it. It did make me re-examine my life and the standards I live by. Yes, I have friends. What is MY definition of a friend? Well, thanks to Bostic, he helped me to define what a true friend is. To me, a friend is someone who is honest and brings you UP to a much higher level than your own. They do not bring you down. The hold you to a much better standard because they want you to truly be a much better person than you are. I stepped back and looked at the real friends in my life. They put up with my silly behavior and bad jokes. I do the same with them. We smile and support each other the best way that we can. We take the time to really know each other, what hurts us and what inspires us. When the storm arrives to wipe us out, they don't abandon me. They stand beside me as I also do with them. We listen to each other and never judge each other. And when we see each other slip, we get each other back on track. We simply do not take advantage of each other and our predicaments. I truly love and admire each one of my friends. Most of them are my high school buddies. I have known two of them since we started kindergarten. I know that when life kicks me in the guts, I can always pick up a phone or knock on a door and a real friend will be on the other side.
I had a nice celebration on February 5, 2000. Why? That was the day Bostic croaked. He finally kicked the bucket. I was so happy. The demon inside of me would no longer be that active in my life and, for the time being, had no reason to resurrect itself again. Yes, there have been other trying moments where it would again show its ugly self on my soul, but it was never intense as it was when Bostic was alive. He tried to destroy the bond between my Daddy and me, but he failed.
I went to his house to console his wife and to make sure that he was really dead. He did assume room temperature. That was awesome. It was official. I would no longer get this angry again. I would not even go to the funeral home because it would have resulted in me spitting on the body. I did get a memorial program. It had his ugly face on it. I just need to buy myself a dart board.
There was a story where it has been alleged that legendary singer Frank Sinatra once urinated on an enemy's grave. If I had "My Way," those flowers, if there were any on Bostic's grave, would be well irrigated by now. I'd see to it quite often.