“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
~ Sun Tzu
My son was gone.
I was screaming his name over and over, echoing through the vast rooms with high ceilings and shiny old oak crown molding. I was running down every stair case, looking into every room, searching…..scouring what was easily 25 old, Victorian style rooms. I yelled his name so many times that I was hoarse. My through scratchy and tired, my heart pounding with each gasp.
“Jakob!!!!!”, I cried,……..nothing. “JAKOB, WHERE ARE YOU???!!!???”, I bellowed down with each step. No response.
I don’t remember why I was looking for him. I know I was angry, but I have no clue as to why. He wasn’t answering me. He knew I hated that. I always told him that if he hears me call his name to never yell, “What?”, back to me. He was to come to where ever I was in the house. I knew he was mad, so that is why he wasn’t answering me and it infuriated me more and more. I was so angry, yet frantic…searching….”Jakob!”……”Jakob!”…..”JAKOB!!!”…..
I found him on the first floor. There must have been five or six staircases that I remember going down. I didn’t recognize the house either. I was a house from a faint childhood memory that I may have been in once when I was a little girl. Jakob was so angry that he would not even look at me.
I kept screaming, “Why didn’t you answer me?”….”What the fuck is wrong with you?!?”…….”I am going to kill you for this one!”…..yet, I don’t know why I was mad or what he had done to set me off so badly.
I had my hands around his throat, tightening my grip while he tried to yell….”Please, mom…..PLEASE MOMMY, DON”T….” I would stop and say, “This is what you get for acting this way!!!!”…..”This is what happens when you don’t answer me!!!!”. He fell to his knees and I stopped. When he started to speak, to ask me what was wrong with me….I started choking him again……”How do you like this?”….”Huh?”…..”Are you happy now?”….”Are you glad you didn’t answer me, that you IGNORED ME???!!!???”.
Then all I heard was a crack. I knew instantly what I had done. My arms fell. They hit the floor like lead. I was sobbing, ….NO…..NO….NO!!!”….What have I done?!?!”….”OH God PLEASE NO!!!!!!!”, I echoed the entire house. Then, his face faded away….. I was holding a screen…I think it was an iPad, cracked with the Apple on the front fading because I knew I had broken it….or him….
I just woke up sobbing. I am inconsolable. Why the fuck would I dream of killing my child? He is my life, my love, my legacy.
We went to IKEA today. It was Jake, Owen, Sami, Jayden, Seth and Jill. We met Robin and Miles, Jake’s best friend, there. It was such a long, exhausting day. If anyone has ever been to an IKEA, especially with one child, let alone five, they know exactly what I am talking about. Jake and Miles were running around the store, getting food in the cafeteria…..just goofing around as usual. He wasn’t especially bad…he was just bored and being 12 with his best friend. Robin had to leave early, so Jake went with them to sleep over Miles’ house. I miss Jake so much when he sleeps out. Sometimes I lie and say something like, “Oh, not tonight honey….we have a lot of stuff to do tomorrow.”, just so I have him home. He is my baby.
About two hours after he left the store, he called me. I had his iPod in my purse, so he wouldn’t lose it while he was running around. He asked me to bring it over to him. I told him I was still here, at IKEA. He was angry. ….”What?”, he said in a disgusted voice. “I thought you would have been home by now.”….. You could tell he was mad. He was huffing and deep signing.
I said, “No, I told you it was going to be a long day and just because you forgot to get it before you left is not my problem…..There is no way I am….NEVERMIND!”, I screamed. “I don’t have time to argue about this! Too bad!”…and I hung up. It was getting late. I was tired, frustrated with 4 kids and Jill was the same and getting on my nerves as well.
I spoke to Jake earlier, about 8:00 or 9:00 PM to say good night. He was fine…having a good time. We didn’t even mention the iPod discussion. It was long over and forgotten.
I know why I was holding a cracked, broken iPad now. I don’t know why I would ever have dreamt that I would have strangled my son. Truth be told, I wanted to strangle Jill by the end of the night.
I woke up screaming, crying, inconsolable. I wake up this way at least once a week. I have vivid nightmares of semi-real life events. They alway end badly. I sobbed and yelled, “No, no, no, no…” so many times, I cannot count. I was coughing and throwing up. I was still asleep for the most part. After about 3-5 minutes, I started to realize that it wasn’t real….I had dreamt the whole thing. Then, I was truly a wreck because I cannot fathom that nightmare. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that I dreamt that I killed my son….and for a reason I cannot remember….not that there would ever even be a reason to kill one’s child.
It was 1:15 AM. I called Jake sobbing. I said I was sorry for waking him and I had a horrible nightmare and needed to hear his voice. He was fine. He said he was still awake…that he couldn’t sleep. I don’t believe that, just because he sounded like I woke him up. He kept telling me to calm down and he was okay. He knows about my nightmares. I calmed down a little. I told him to call me in the morning so I could come and get him as soon as possible. He said okay. I kept telling him over and over that I loved and missed him so much.
I can’t even see the computer screen as I write this. The tears and just running down my face…my voice is scratchy and I feel like I am getting a cold. I didn’t even put my glasses on, so there is probably more than a dozen typos in this story. This true story. I write my dreams down as soon as I wake up or I would never remember the detail. It would never be as raw as it is now. When I go back to sleep and wake up later and come to read this, just as I have done countless times before, I am dumbfounded. I can’t believe some of the things I have dreamt and the sadness or violence of them.
I don’t know what to do with this information….why would I have strangled my son to death in my dream? I am calmer now, but still upset and crying. I love my son so very much is physically hurts at times…..my heart aches.
I guess I will be Goggling dream meanings after this…..or do I even want to know?
Before I spoke, I studied him. He looked familiar, as in a long time childhood friend way. I grew up in a small Italian, Catholic, white, family-oriented town. Everyone knew us. He looked like one of the guys……like the kind in the earlier part of the movie Goodfellas. He has that younger DeNiro look, wearing a buttoned down Cuban style shirt and pants. His hair was slick and dark…. and he had a cute, sweet smile…..like he was flirting with you without even trying. I felt at ease with him. I didn’t know why….I just know I did.
I had this vision, just for one minute, of him speaking to me in a deep Italian, rough and tough guy type of way. I gazed all over him with that sly sweet smile, glancing at me for 15 seconds and slowly glancing away. He was just giving me a little when he knew I wanted a lot. I could not break my stare and it was obvious, but I did not care. I never cared about asking for what I wanted or telling someone how I felt, good or bad.
I think it was the whole image that intrigued me. The badge…..the voice…his demeanor, look and stance….it all added up to an intoxicating combination….and I was drunk. For those briefs moments that were only seconds, I was transformed back to a teenager. I was almost giddy, yet acting just as seductive without saying a word.
I remember thinking how I wish it could all be just that simple again.
No responsibilities….bills…kids…nothing. Nothing to worry about except how I was going to start talking to this guy. Just like in high school. When you were dying to go over to that one guy your father told you never to even think about seeing. He was the dangerous teenager your daddy warned you about….and the more daddy told you no….the more you wanted it.
He pulled out his wallet, only it wasn’t a wallet. It was a roll of money with a thick rubber band around it. All hundreds, fifties and twenties….just like my old neighborhood guys had. I don’t know why he did this. He was fingering through the cash, as if he was counting it, but there really was no need to. There wasn’t a store for at least a mile around here. It seemed odd to me, but unwantingly sexy. My family had money. I never wanted for anything, but money was never something I considered where a guy was concerned. I had the best sex ever with some of the most broke-ass guys. Go figure.
I finally spoke.
“What do you need all of that money for?”, I simply stated.
“It’s bond money.”, he replied, tilting his head slightly with that sweet and sly smile that I could now not do without. He took out a pack of Camel no-filters and flipped one into his mouth. He lite a match still the the pack and proceeded to light is cigarette and blew it out. He put the pack and matches into his back pocket. He noticed I was smoking before.
“Do you want one?”, he softly offered.
I don’t smoke Camels. I prefer Parliment lights….always have for years, but I wanted a reason to get closer to him.
“Sure”, I replied in that same soft voice. I could be just as coy and flirty without trying too, if I wanted to.
He started to walk over to me. He was only about twenty or so feet away. There was no other noise except for his footsteps. It was the middle of Lake county. No buses, trucks and only the occasional car. I was getting nervous, but didn’t show it. He walked slowly and methodically….almost deliberate. It seemed to take forever. He smiled the whole time…he knew what he was doing. There was a method to his madness and he knew how to use it. He finally made it over to me, took out his pack of Camels again and I looked down. I stopped breathing for a second.
He had more that just a pack of Camels in his hands.
As I blew the smoke out of my less than pink lungs, it hung in the humid air right in from of me, like a cartoon balloon wanting to tell me something. He pulled up in a white truck, newer than most…..asked me if there was a leasing office, since there was a For Rent sign out in front. That sign must have put up and down a half dozen times since we moved here in August of last year. It was really a no brainer. No credit or background check, five-hundred dollar deposit and seven-hundred and seventy-five dollars a month for a three bedroom, one bath duplex…..eight units total for rent, most were occupied for the time being. You would never get this much space in the heart of Orlando, so we opted for just inside of Lake County…Sorrento. I was happy to finally have our own place after a few months of staying with Ted’s brother, wife and kids. Leonard was extremely laid back and not much bothered him. His better half, Crystal was extremely meticulous and had some wild mood swings. Other than walking on a few eggshells…and the fact that our travel trailer was in their backyard hooked up to the house….it was bearable. They did have a great pool, which was a Godsend for May, June and July.
I said, “No, no leasing office.” I wasn’t going to get into a full on conversation with a guy out in the middle of nowhere. He then asked if we had a groundskeeper. Again I said, “No, no groundskeeper”….landlord lived in Georgia….she’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell” type of landlord. He thanked me and returned to his truck. He didn’t strike me someone looking for a place to live. He was going through some paperwork in his truck. So, my curiosity got the best of me. I asked him what he was looking for.
It wasn’t the first time someone had come here to ask about tenants. I did a sex offender search online when we first moved here. There was one in the next duplex. I never really got to know him…not that I really gave a shit. He had been convicted of lewd and lascivious acts and battery on a child under 16. I made my older son Jake study his face, told him to stay away from him and let me know if he ever approached him. Little did I know that my husband of eleven years would go over there that next Saturday and confront him. The guy could have been no taller then 5’9”…weighing about 100 lbs. Ted just flat out asked him.
“Do I have anything to worry about with you and my kid”? I was watching from the front door. The guy was about 22 or so and scared shitless. I would be too if Ted confronted me. He was a huge man. 6’3”, but all chest and arms and covered in tattoos. His hands were easily twice the size of mine. No knuckles….lost those years ago in drunken fights and barroom brawls. His skin was a reddish-brown. Al those years of construction work outside had burned his Blackfoot Indian skin. He wasn’t full blooded Indian, but enough to have the skin. Short sandy blonde hair with a block shaped head. I don’t mean that in a mean way, it’s just the shape of his head. Very good looking…and loyal to a fault. Even after all these years, some with doubt, I never regretted marrying Ted three days after we met in 1998.
I later learned people called him Chris, but he was John Callhoun on the Florida Sex Offender Search. There were two or three other kids with him. When you’re pushing forty, a twenty-two year old is a kid to me. No one said a word…stunned silence I guess. He finally worked up enough courage to talk.
“No, no, no….there’s no problem….it was a mis-….uh….I was with a girl and her parents…..”. He said he was nineteen when it happened. He was dating a fifteen year old girl. Her parents supposedly went nuts and had him arrested. I’ll never know the real story, but I would never need to. They all gave Ted a wide berth as he just slightly smiled and said, “Good, so were on the same page”?
Yea…they were all over that page. The proverbial “I will beat the living shit out of you and you will be found in the trunks of ten different cars” page. I later learned that he lived there with a few roommates and their girlfriends. How he had a girlfriend of five years, I’ll never know, but she was of age…although extremely young looking. He was supposedly an uncle to his roommate, Kenny….even though he was younger than Kenny by about six years. Through marriage they said. Kenny turned out to be not so bad after a few more casual meetings outside while walking to the mailbox. He knew the landlord personally and let us know if she was coming to town so we wouldn’t have to see her. I have never even met her until this day…and that’s fine by me. Everyone is late with the rent at some time or another and so were we. She loved her fifty dollar late fees. Hey, when you rent to anonymous people, you essentially get what you pay for. Inconsistency.
I walked over to the guy in the white truck and he spun around with a huge file and some sort of badge around his neck. I looked it over, but could only make out the word “Recovery”. He was a bail bondsman. He showed me a picture of a Latino-looking type guy and asked if I knew him. He had an address for him that was off by a few numbers and one letter. I said that he lived here, but I didn’t know him, per say. He then proceeded to show me three pictures of other people….their driver’s licenses. I confirmed who they were and that they lived with him in the third duplex over from me. The mother, father, girlfriend….all in that same file. I didn’t even notice all of their names except for the father. It was the same as the guy he was looking for. That’s why they call him “junior”, I thought.
Then my big mouth got the best of me…again.
Rebuttal and my Response Follows:
From: alicia bobulinski <email@example.com>
To: Alex Senape <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Kelly Wildinge <email@example.com>
Sent: Tue, April 27, 2010 12:45:17 AM
Subject: Show me your
Alex, I am sorry you feel that way.
When the people from England came here, just as the new immigrants are coming here, they also are looking for a better life. The English however felt they discovered an new land, I think the Native Americans were not looking to be discovered. The English didn’t bother to learn their language they just proceeded to massacre and lie to them. But hey the strongest survive. The Mexicans as we are now called then some were married to the Indians, but the English said we were savages just as the English said about the Africans that were brought here. The English people justified the slaughter, the cruelty the inhumane treatment of the non-white by saying that they (English) are better than the other people of color.
The new wave of immigrants came here and if they were healthy they could stay, there was no legal or illegal to it. Every new wave of immigrants by the third generation have forgotten their original language. There are many Latinos who no longer know how to speak Spanish. The Cubans are a little different, because of the political understanding between the U.S. , and Cuba, they just have to touch the U.S. Solid and they are parolees for a year. Then they begin the process to become citizens if they want to. So get angry at this government for their agreement with Cuba. Maybe they know they really messed the poor people up.
Remember that 1/3 of this country was Mexico’s, which in part was won and in part was stolen. The “Americans” were really Mexicans because they had taken an oath to be Mexicans so that land could be given to them. So these English traitors turned on their country, but this must be ok, because it seems that the English like to lie as they did to the Indians. After the Treaty of Guadalupe was signed it was rewritten to suit the English, but this must be ok, right, sort of like Bush/Chenney did with the Patriot Act.
There had never been a legal or illegal status to coming into this country. Papers were only asked for around 1948. It is not breaking a crime to come here with out papers, it is a civil offense. But why would you know that. The asking of papers was in part because the U.S. Government said that the Mexicans were raping the white women and bringing in Marijuana. Marijuana after all is just so horrible, as we know, because the “white” man said so, right Alex.
Now the U.S. Government knew about this recent influx of immigrants because they conducted a study before they passed NAFTA. It knew the people would lose their ability to work as they had done for generations, they knew people would go hungry, but hey the RICH don’t care. NAFTA/CAFTA has only hurt the common man and the RICH get richer. Maybe you should read a little more about the history of this land. This land is no ones it belongs to God, we are only stewards while we live.
The majority of the undocumented pay taxes with their I-TIN # but get nothing back. Even if you are a green card holder you have to have had it for 5 years before you can get social services. You may not be racist, but you are naive if you think that, that has nothing to do with the hatred that is going on. Look at your own people, the RICH ones, the corporations who are responsible for all this suffering that is going on. You want to live in a land where the police can ask you for your papers then go ahead and do nothing. Maybe you think that it is ok to go down a path where thing like what Hitler did is ok. As for me this is my land too, my ancestors didn’t sale the ocean blue, and this time we will fight back and maybe fight like the “whites” the English did. Alex now the “brown” people, maybe next the yellow or black then maybe those with tattoos, come on Alex open up your eyes. This fight is for the right of common man to work,
just like you and I. Divide & Control that is what guides this country.
Well, I am not sorry for one thing I have said.
Your rhetoric on this subject is not only uninformed, but off topic, as well. When people have no legitimate defense against a valid point or argument, i.e. Illegal Immigration, they always resort to a different subject. In this case, all of the history you have recited. The point I was attempting to make, which you so blatantly missed, was that of simply breaking the laws of this country….The United States of America. I will never understand why people come to this country, legally or illegally, and complain about our laws. You knew the law here on many topics, I assume, before you arrived. Who are you or any other immigrant to challenge the constitutionality of America? Have you ever been to Washington D.C.? Have you not read the constitution? The Bill of Rights? I don’t recall see any Juan’s or Jose’s on the signature page. You say it is because the “whites”, as you now refer to me, had “stolen” the land from the Mexicans.
I refuse to debate the history of who won what war and who battled whom.
The bottom line is that all of this happened in the past. None of us were even born. It has NOTHING to do with the Illegal Immigration problem we face today. Yet another issue you feel the need to bring up instead of trying to keep up with the current issues of today. Your remarks on Bush and Cheney do not even deserve a response. Yet again, another departure from the issue at hand.
These are the main reasons for the tremendous influx of illegal entry into the United States by the people of Mexico: Poverty, joblessness, poor judicial conditions, the lack of true democracy, guilty until proven innocent, (the opposite of a democracy like the US or Canada.), and poor schools. The poor are treated worse than in the US, there is a lack of government benefits for the poor and housing is insufficient. There is pollution of the water, terrible violence, and crime. Well, yea, I would want to leave too. But who’s fault is it that these condition exist? Not the United States. If America is such a God awful place that reeks of racism and bias toward immigration, then why are you here? There are approximately 196 countries in this world. If you do not like the laws here, you and all other legal and illegal immigrants, are free to choose another one and see how well your attitude is welcomed there. I’ll even list them alphabetically for you, if you like.
My husband can walk up to any construction job site and see that every single person working is Mexican. They are undocumented and illegal. They will work for $5.00 less per hour than most skilled carpenters will and that is what General Contractor’s want…..invisible people. No Workman’s Comp or benefits….no one will go running to a lawyer if they are hurt on the job for fear of being deported. They make money only to be sent back to Mexico to help their struggling economy. All the while, it takes the food out of the mouths of my family. These are not jobs my husband or any other construction worker won’t do….they are jobs being taken away from hard working American people. My husband IS the common man. He has the right to work and THAT is being stolen from him.
This was nothing but a good old fashioned debate, but you made it personal when you referred to me and my family as “whites”…..MY own people….the RICH? Since when are MY people RICH? Last time I checked, I didn’t own any corporations. This “white” woman was just RICH enough when she was helping to feed your family when you needed the help. Us “white” people were just A OK to drive your grandchildren to and from school. You didn’t mind us “whites” then, did you? And what did I get?….Not even a phone call since….AND ESPECIALLY from you ungrateful daughter. What a slap in the face to me, my husband and the many others who helped your family when you needed us the most. You said we were “angels”…..I guess that was wrong, as angels are “white”.
You talk about my hated toward Mexicans, yet all I hear from you is how the “whites” were so awful toward the people of Mexico. How could you possibly speak so vile about the “whites”? You married the whitest guy I have ever met. Bob plays Santa Claus every year for Christ’s sake.
I guess this “white” woman is just another racist who refuses to sit on the sidelines and watch this country disintegrate in front of my eyes. Funny how I never once referred to you a “mexicans”. The last time I checked, the “brown” people have already revolted and America has already changed to accommodate them. And the tattoo comment….really? You have nothing even remotely intelligent or intersting to say that I would even care to listen to.
As for Divide and Control…..well, you can thank our new president for that.
For myself, I should have never fallen for your “pity me” attitude….your false religion while you referred to me quietly behind my back as “whitey”. You seem quite capable of holding your own….and holding a job. You are not the person I thought you were. I don’t recognize the person I heard from today. You really have it down pat….I thought I was smarter than to fall for such a con artist. That is the only thing I have learned from you.
Never trust anyone until they have earned it.
Don’t try to lecture me on how I know so much more now. About how you are glad I wrote what I did…why? So you could school me in a lame ass history lesson that has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Illegal immigration. Say it three times. I know it’s a tongue twister, but do your best to keep it apart from my new “learning experience”. It was so very kind of you to send this to all of my other friends. Too bad you’re too little to late….you’re ignorance is on Facebook, MySpace and my personal blog.
It happened last night. It was inevitable. I knew it was coming, like murky grey clouds hanging over my house….the electric smell of a storm brewing. I had avoided it for almost a year. I kept thinking to myself….just one more year, a little more time, I am just not ready yet. We were sitting outside on the balcony. I inhaled a long drag off of my P-Funk and blew it away from him, as always when he would come out with me. The smoke just hung in the air like those cartoon bubbles above characters heads….just waiting for the silence to break. Then he asked….
“Mom….is Santa Claus real?”
I stopped breathing for a second or five…all possible answers flew through my head like a swarm of locusts on a crop.
“What do your friends say about it?”, I questioned back quicker than I thought.
“They said he isn’t real…that your parents do everything…so do all the kids in my class.”, he responded. He was matter of fact. Just as if he were telling me what time it was.
“What do you believe?”, I quietly said.
“I think he’s real.”…..And there it was. The answer I didn’t want to hear. He is going to be nine years old in exactly one month. I found out when I was about seven or so. Now what? I was so happy I squeaked by last year with answers like, “Do you think I want to stay up all night and put presents together?”….”Why would you think I would do all of that…I’m tired.” I refer to myself in the singular only because in the past eight years there had not been one Christmas Eve where Ted had been awake long enough to do it all. I was Santa all these years.
Jake is extremely mature for an eight year old. People don’t give him enough credit for how smart he is or for how much of the real world he does understand. He’s in third grade, reading at a fifth grade level….and a math genius. How do you lie to a genius?
So I did the dirty deed.
I explained it all. Santa…St. Nicholas…why people created the fantasy of such a person. A person with incredible influence and power over children. How does a child get over the fact that it is all a lie?
A lie is something you tell someone to hurt them. A lie is meant to be cruel….the fantasy of Santa is not a lie….it is a way of making children understand the concept of giving. It helps them to understand how to treat one another….how lucky we are and how unfortunate others may be. It is the reason we feed the hungry, house the homeless and drop our change and dollars into those red buckets every year outside of Wal-Mart.
He wasn’t upset. He wasn’t sad. He asked one question. “Well, if Santa and Mrs. Claus aren’t real, then who I was talking to on the phone last year wasn’t real?”
Ummm…yea….here we go…..
“Well, they were real people, just not Santa and Mrs. Claus.”, I answered.
“Then who were they?”, he asked.
“Your aunt and uncle.”, I said timidly.
“So, they lied to me.”, he responded…so quickly and with a shred of anger.
I proceeded to explain how it wasn’t really considered a lie, as it was not meant to hurt him in any way. It was merely meant to keep up with the illusion of the Santa myth. (I didn’t say that part ver batim….I skirted around that one as much as possible). At this moment, Ted came in from walking the dog. I proceeded to tell him the entire story. He didn’t react as I expected. He was extremely angry that I didn’t “consult” him before telling Jake the truth about Santa. Really?
I mean fucking REALLY?
Three months ago Jake asked the sex question. I “consulted” him on that one and he proceeded to simply say….”Oh no, you got this one.” and threw his hands in the air. So I took it and with the maturity that Jake has, he handled it just fine, matter of fact, not really even surprised at all. He just said, “Oh, ok”, and shrugged his shoulders.
Ted was so enraged about this life altering decision I had made that he went on and on for over an hour. I defended myself, Jake told him to knock it off…that he was just fine and to “get over it”, which I found completely hysterical.
After Jake fell asleep and Owen was bathed and finally in la-la land too, I proceeded to give Ted the silent treatment. For someone who says that I talk too much and to leave him alone during an argument, he cannot stand the silent treatment. It kills him. He tries any and everything to get me to give him some sort of response…none of it worked.
About 11:00 PM, Ted got up to go to bed. I simply said, “Ted, if it will make you feel better, I’ll give you the Easter Bunny and the fucking Tooth Fairy…..ok?”