CHAPTER 5: 1993 • The Family Affairs

CHAPTER 5: 1993 • The Family Affairs

Family became a world I would no longer believe in on an island in Northern Michigan, in the summer of 93 when I was just 13. My life was no longer just dedicated to practice, I had a new job to manage. The family.

Our dad lived up at the cabin on Drummond Island, Michigan fit the entire summer. My brother and I spent two weeks up there while our mom stayed home to work. He met a guy who was spending the summer at the resort and his wife was back home too. They just so happened to have a boy my age and a girl my brother’s age. Joe and I were 13 and old enough to babysit Jessie and Andrew who were 11. It was like playing house in real life. You kids are on own. Here’s some money and you’ve got bikes to get anywhere you want. The nearest town with groceries or movies to rent was 4 miles. We had to plan our trip accordingly. Once it was dark we would never make it home. There were no cell phones and no rules. Stay alive and keep your brother and sister alive. Once we got home with our Icee freeze pops and Bagel Bites, we with settle in to a cabin as dusk neared. It was either a climb through the rock quarry up a 100 foot cliff up to our cabin or a mile walk through the dark black bear inhabited woods. Two options that didn’t work so well with flashlights. Our dad’s wouldn’t be home until 2Am after the local bar, Chuck’s Place, closed.

I was just learning about what these feelings were for boys as Joe and I had to prepare our beds on the living room floor at their cabin our cabin. The other kids in town would stop by and stay till midnight. It didn't matter to us, we had no curfew. Our only priority was not getting eaten by bears, so we slept wherever we were when it got dark outside. I started to develop a crush on joe who slept next to me ever night for two weeks. I also really liked our neighbor, James, who would enter the cabin through the fire wood box.

I just remember that moment that was supposed to be so special. The first time a boy wanted to kiss me and I have no idea who he even was. Maybe 16 year old from the local high school. We were standing in the hallway of my parent's cabin. It was dark with a glow coming from the window in the bathroom. My hair smelled like Pert's Plus and Pink Floyd was playing on the stereo below the moose head. It was a moment I wasn't ready for. I didn't know this boy for more than an hour or three. There weren't even feelings to go with that moment. But I turned and walked away. Nothing else happened. If it had been Joe or the neighbor boy, maybe it would have been different. I just wasn't ready for that first kiss.

AND THEN IT WAS OVER.

Love, romance, fairy tales, the happily ever after...DEAD ON ARRIVAL.

That very same week I climbed in the van. Joe and I were directing a video shoot with my brother Andrew and his sister Jessie. The seats were down and there were blankets and two wine glasses, one with lipstick. I just knew and I had a feeling I knew who it was. The blonde bartender at Chad's Place where our dads were until last call at 2am. Our mom came up that weekend and they got into a fight. There was a lot of screaming and crying when our dad got into the car drunk to drive us to the bar. I really don't remember much after that. I was dropped off at another cabin for the Girl's Cross Country Camp and my dad's Boy's Dream Team took over the cabin. When they returned with their video of Karaoke, there she was waiting tables and the boys were just singing Benny and the Jets.

But that was just the beginning of my new life. The one that would never believe in marriage. Sooner or later you're going to find out there is no Santa Clause or Easter Bunny. Just a load of crap parents feed their kids for what exactly? To scar them with a tradition that one day they will find out you lied to them about the harsh reality? Love and marriage is bullshit and I wasn't about to Married with Children.

So you'd think my dad's affair, or alleged affairs, would be enough to destroy a teenager. Nope. My mom was having an affair too. She told my dad to pack his bags and get out. As I celebrated my 14th birthday on September 8th, it would be the last time my family would ever sit there to sing to me. A new man was coming to the table to be my father.

As the years went on my anger built. It consumed me to the point of feeling no sadness. I was seeking revenge and I had no trust. Everyone was a competitor. I had to beat them or get my heart broken.

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