I am going to get a little personal in my next few posts. They may make some people uneasy (my family) and others understand why I am the way I am. I hope you enjoy, and if you have questions, I am an open book, just ask.
I grew up my whole life in the middle of a warzone. My parents fought constantly during the day. By 9pm they had normally figured out their issues, and would end the rest of the night talking about life and what they had been through in Nueva York. You could tell that they loved each other, but their relationship was really fucked up. It kind of always was…
My father met my mom when he was 17 and she was 12. She lied to him about her age, and my mom is not one of those people that you second guess, so my dad fell in love with a little hood girl from Loiza. A little hood girl that happened to be dating the drug dealer/shot caller for her urbanization. He didn’t take kindly to my father coming from Carolina (a rival town) to try and hit on my mother and push drugs. The way my mom tells it, she wasn’t checking for my dad, but she felt sorry for him. I don’t know how much truth there is in that. The shot caller for Loiza got tired of my dad coming into the neighborhood and he put a hit on my father. He happened to mention it in front of my mom and she felt some guilt. She flirted with my father just as hard as he flirted with her. The day that the hit was supposed to happen, my mother found her brother (who happened to be the sheriff of the town) and told him what was going to happen. He responded with inaction. He felt that scum should kill scum. My mother felt that it was up to her to save my dad. She found him in the neighborhood park sitting on the kiddie slide. She noticed the car coming with the shooter that was told to take my father out. Without thinking, my mom ran and jumped in his lap and kissed my dad. The shooter couldn’t hit her; she was the sheriff’s baby sister. That wasn’t the kind of heat that they wanted. My dad thought he had finally won her over. He had no idea that my mom had saved his life. That is, until the kiss was over. She grabbed my dad and walked him to his car. She told him he couldn’t come into the neighborhood anymore, but if he was going to try and see her, he would need to wait at the store on the corner of the block and have someone else go get her. My dad did this for a solid 2 years.
Rumors eventually got around that my father was married. My mom didn’t want to believe this because he was always with her. She felt that it was impossible since he was staying with her in her older sister’s house. She never questioned why she couldn’t visit his town. She accepted that he must be telling her the truth when he denied any knowledge of a wife. However, my mom was no one’s fool. She was tired of the rumors and decided one day to get the answers she believed were out there. She had one of her friends from Loiza drive her out to Carolina and drop her off. When she got there, she started asking people on the street if they knew where my dad lived. My father’s best friend knew my mom and her reputation for fighting. He tried to throw her off her mission to find this “wife” my dad allegedly had by walking her around town. He was hoping that if they walked long enough, she would get tired and want to go back home. Unfortunately, He walked her right into my father’s first wife. The way my mom describes it, she saw an older looking lady reach out her hand and lift her face to get a look at her. (I always imagine this to be the same way that the step mother looked at Snow White.) My mother says that the lady said she was pretty but much too young and introduced her to my father’s toddler son. My mom couldn’t believe it and was heartbroken. She asked to be taken back home.
That night when my father arrived, my mother asked him about his wife and his son. He explained to her that he had to marry the lady because he got her pregnant, but he assured her that he loved her and no one else. My mother attacked and beat my father with every ounce of strength in her body. She told him to leave and never come back. You would think that this would be enough to let go, but my father came back every day. My mother hated and loved him for it. She would parade other guys in front of him, throw things at him, and on days where she couldn’t hold back her true feelings, she would insult him and scream until he would leave to avoid seeing her cry. My father loved her and refused to give up. Eventually, with some counseling from her mother, my mom let him back in.
When my father was 22 he asked my mom to move with him to New York in order to escape the island. My mom left without permission from her family and they set out for a new life on the mainland. While living in New York, my parents stayed with their cousin Kato. He happened to be the leader of Kato’s Nunchucks, one of many New York gangs running the streets of the Lower East Side. My father took up with the gang activity. For the most part, my dad did small jobs working as a mule. Eventually he started slinging. He was a tad bit ambitious and overstepped his boundaries. He crossed into Hell’s Angels territory and they didn’t like that too much, so they fucked him up and put him in a coma. While my father was in a coma, my mom watched several members from the Hell’s Angels gang go in and out of the post office that was located on the first floor of the building they lived in. One day, she dropped a flower pot on the head of one of the members from the 11th floor. It is safe to say he didn’t survive and it was labeled a freak accident. My mom, well she gave not one fuck.
When my father got out of the hospital, Kato had a plan to get back at the Hell’s Angels, but they needed his help. The plan was to have my father drive in front of the dive bar that they hung out at and have him burn rubber in the streets (this was a form of disrespect.) Once it caught their attention they would come outside to find the person pissing on their territory and try to attack. What was waiting outside wasn’t just my father on a bike, but Kato and crew would be waiting to shoot them as they stepped out. Did this work? Yes. What happened? A lot. People died and debts were owed and my parents just couldn’t pay up. Immediately following this attack, my parents flew to PR because they were being hunted. They left in the middle of the night and left everything behind. (I legit had never seen myself as a baby until I visited my grandparent’s house in PR when I was in the 1st grade.) Puerto Rico fared no better future. My father had a sister living in Atlanta with her Marine husband. Somehow my father convinced her to help him out. We ended up in Atlanta.
My mother HATED Atlanta. She felt that she was trapped in a land where she had no one. She didn’t really care for my aunt because she felt that she was always preaching to her. (After meeting my aunt when I was in the 4th grade, I know that my aunt was just trying to help.) You can’t get the “street” out of people that defined what it meant to be from there. Atlanta was too quiet for her taste. My dad loved it. He just wanted to do better for both her and me. It wasn’t something that came easy. Overtime, my dad started selling drugs again because money just wasn’t coming in as fast as he wanted.
To be continued…