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Son, siddown there an' lemme tell ya somethin'…

Posted December 28th, 2013 at 10:21 PM by Nick

“Hey, Jean and I are gonna go down shopping. You don’t want to come, do you?” my mother asked, in a happy tone.
“Naw, I’ll be fine. I’ll hang.”

They rushed around the house, going upstairs, downstairs, and back, but seemed to idle, not leaving.

“Hey, how about I go with you, mom? I’m not really, doing anything, so…”

“Sure! In fact, I need you to go instead of your sister. I’ll tell you when we get in the car.”

So I went searching for my socks under the bed, but I couldn’t find them. “Where could they be? I took them off last night…” I thought.

“Mom, I can’t find my socks!”

“Just use some of mine out of the drawer,” she yelled from the kitchen.

“Okay, but do you have any non-thin slinky socks?”

There was a silence.

“Guess not,” I remarked, putting on her black dress socks from the Army.

We walked out the door, and a chill hit my body, from head to toe.

“Grab the case of Coke from the trunk, okay?” she asked. I obliged.

I deeply wondered what she’s wanting me to go for instead of my sister. Then, as if by magic, I realized she’s probably sick of my sister talking her ear off, and we were probably going to go to Pueblo, so my mom didn’t want to hear it on a two hour drive, her feeling sick from not eating and working 12-hour shifts on a forklift in a warehouse.

As we drove off, she spoke up to me.

“Listen boy, and listen good. I want to tell you something, and you damn well better pay attention,” she scowled, ensuring I didn’t think she was joking. “To your father, you didn’t hear this outta me. Got it?”

“Okay…” I said meekly.

“This… is something I don’t want your father to know that you know. God only knows what he’d do if he found out I told you.”

Suddenly, something in my mind snapped. This… was about Joey. Something must’ve happened to him. The immediate thought of his potential suicide came racing into my mind. I prepared myself for it so I wouldn’t be shocked.

Joey had ran off from our house two weeks ago after a knock-down drag-out fight with my father and his girlfriend, Robin. The day it happened, I had just opened my eyes in bed on a Saturday to hear Robin moaning and complaining about a missing pack of cheese. Joey comes out of his room, saying “is this about Marshall’s (my) pizza, ‘cause I didn’t touch that.”

Robin exploded in her normal psycho fashion. My dad came down the stairs and tried to even out the argument, acting as a mediator between the two. He calmly tries to rationalize the situation, and throughout the entire 50-minute escapade, Robin is angrily cussing Joey out while my dad talks to him. Eventually, my dad gives in and takes Robin’s side, arguing for her. He made a lot of off-the-wall comments, demeaning him in all manner of ways, saying he treats us (the kids) like dirt (which he doesn’t for the most part, and by the way he's a damn basket case that suffers from AIDS and depression), and that he doesn’t do anything worthwhile for the family. One thing leads to another, and Dad decides to up Joey’s rent from $450 to $700 a month, and a few minutes later is straight up evicting him with thirty days notice.

After things cool down, Joey leaves for a walk like he does a lot of times, but after the night he doesn’t show back up. He left his laptop, books, bed, his dog Jackson… everything behind. After remembering all that, my mother let it out; it had an unexpected sting that I really wasn’t expecting. Joey had killed himself.

In mild shock, I asked, “How’d he do it?”

“From what the detective said, he had an amphetamine-liquor contraption (basically some of his pain medicine with straight liquor). I talked to him myself.”

“Where’d he do it?”

“Under the Santa Fe overpass on the way to I-25 and my work. Where no one could find him.”

There was a long silence. Nothing had really sunk in for me yet. My brain was still logically going through the motions of the events.

About 20 minutes later, we were in K-Mart in Pueblo. That’s when it sunk in for the first time. Phrases like “he’s not here to talk to you anymore” and “you’ll never see him smile and laugh again” just struck my heart like an axe. Imagining him where he died made me tense up, and made my heart go to my throat.

Typing this made me cry. I’ll just end it saying it wasn’t just my ass of a father and his ***** of a girlfriend that made him do it, although they were the trigger. He was suffering from renal failure caused by all of the pain medications he was on for AIDS, and he had to come off of all of them for kidney surgery. Another thing: About 7 months ago he quit being an alcoholic, and tattooed the words “Novus initium” on his left arm and the date of when he stopped on his right. It made me sad that he died with his vice.
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  1. Old Comment
    █▄ █▄█ ▄█▀ ▀█▀'s Avatar
    I..this...this is so unfortunate...
    Posted December 29th, 2013 at 12:13 AM by █▄ █▄█ ▄█▀ ▀█▀ █▄ █▄█ ▄█▀ ▀█▀ is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Joey's my paternal uncle, the older brother of my father by three years. He lived with us since February 2013, and spent a month with us the November before.

    My maternal aunt refuses to talk to my mother for merely sharing some crude comments my dad and Robin made about him after he died. (They were friends in high school, same class.)
    Posted December 29th, 2013 at 3:26 AM by Nick Nick is offline

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