When my father left, my mother spent several months in a very dark state. Spending most of her time on the couch, and being emotionally unavailable, I still don’t know exactly what was going on with her. She basically just checked out of life for a while, and completely shut down.
I guess after so long, she made the decision that it was time to move on. She really didn’t have many dates, she met Bob through Mitch’s mom, and they are still together to this day, and have since gotten married.
I have always liked Bob, and we always got along, but back then I was more preoccupied with my own life to really get to know him. I didn’t have any resentments towards Bob, and I was glad to see my mother moving on with her life.
I went over to his house a few times, he had a pretty substantial yard, and also had a small pool. I remember once going over there with Mitch, and climbing up on the pool fence so I could jump off of it into the water. Bob came out and politely asked me not to do it as it could jeopardize the integrity of the fence. I agreed, but as soon as Bob went inside, I was back on the fence.
This was probably one of my first times at his house, and I realized pretty quickly that I may not have made the best impression. Another time I was there I asked to use the computer, and while I was on it it crashed, and it appeared to have been a result of my actions.
I think I always tended to assume the worst, so I came to the conclusion that Bob probably didn’t like me. In the back of my mind I usually assumed most people didn’t like me, so it was easy to convince myself. Bob never had kids of his own, and I think he was excited about the idea of being involved in a family. The time frame wasn’t the best for that.
It was around this time that my family all started finding their own individual directions. In the usual fashion there was not much communication, but at least everyone was trying. My sister began spending more time with Nathan, and my mother was building her relationship with Bob. I was still focused on my life on the computer and trying to meet new people, and figure out who I was.
When my father left, he struck a deal with my mother. He would leave the house and the car, and in exchange he would pay no child support. This left my mother in unfamiliar territory, as my father had always provided money for the family as a truck driver.
My mother landed a job at a doctor’s office just down the street from our house. She was doing some sort of accounting, but was only working about two hours a day. I really had no concept of money, as it had never really been taught to me. I assumed if she had a job we were okay.
The Doctor’s name was Dr. Barton, he was an older man who had been practicing out of his house for years. His wife had severe schizophrenia, but as I got to know her I found she was the kindest woman you would meet. They had children together, two of which went on to be very successful, but one still lived at home, and also had schizophrenia.
Mrs. Barton definitely stood out, she would wear a winter hat, stalkings and rubber boots. I couldn’t help but notice she had a substantial mustache, and often went around town dropping things off at people’s doorsteps. Once she left a grocery bag full of crab apples on our front porch.
Later in my High School years one of my friends and I had an idea to mess with her. We tied one of my cats up in the front yard, and placed a baby monitor next to it. We waited for her to pass by and began talking through the monitor, in hopes that she may have a conversation with my cat.
I don’t recall exactly how this little endeavor ended, but it just reminds me of where I was at in my life. Despite the fact that she was always nice to me, I still felt inclined to try and make fun of her to gain acceptance from others, and to somehow make myself feel better.