I’ve spoken at some length about the brutal treatment I received at the hands of my parents. They were coarse, uneducated people and I won’t judge their actions, which I know were based more on ignorance than malice.
It’s not surprising, then, that anytime I was able to escape their clutches and spend a few hours away from them was highly cherished. I would frequently try to spend the night at friends’ houses and every once in a while, I got lucky and was allowed this privilege.
When I was in fifth grade, I was a guest of my friend Jason Poponovich on several occasions. Many of his Greek customs were strange and foreign to me. I could barely stomach his mother’s cooking and the odor that clung to his father made my eyes water, but compared to what I endured at home, it was paradise.
One thing that Jason Poponovich had going for him was that he was really spoiled. I was insanely jealous of all the toys and crap he had. Like most spoiled assholes, he didn’t give a shit about his giant pile of stuff – not until someone else showed an interest in it.
His room was littered with broken Transformers and Go-Bots. If it was in the Sears Christmas Catalog, this piece of shit had it and probably broke it and didn’t give a rat’s ass.
Take, for example, the G.I. Joe aircraft carrier. This thing was six feet long. I didn’t even bother begging Santa Claus for it, because I knew I would never receive something so awesome in a million years. Jason Poponovich had two.
The reason he had a second one is because he decided it would be cool to slide one off the roof and see what happened.
Guess what happened? If you guessed “it broke”, then you win a prize! What’s the prize? Not having to be me. Congratulations!
Well, my good buddy blamed the whole thing on yours truly and then his parents got him a new one. I’m pointing this out because I need you to see that he wasn’t just spoiled, he was an asshole.
So, maybe because I was always playing the unwitting fall guy, Jason told me that I wasn’t allowed to use his Commodore 64.
In case you don’t know, the Commodore 64 was the ultimate video game machine of the 1980’s. It was far ahead of anything like the Atari 2600, Intellivision or even Colecovision. It had the best graphics and the games lived up to those same high standards.
So I would sit there and watch while Jason would play with it. No matter how much I begged, he wouldn’t give me a turn. He claimed that his mom said I wasn’t allowed. When I asked her about it, she actually backed this prick up!
OK, fair enough, you don’t want me using your computer? Fine. But don’t fucking play with it right in front of me!
It was torture. I challenge any of those Guantanamo Bay whiners to try and top what I endured.
Imagine: you’re 10 years old. Your whole world is video games. Your parents hate you and would never spend money on clothes or food for you, let alone toys. And here comes this rich bastard, who had everything I always wanted and he just sits there waving it all in my face!
Unfortunately, this was before I met Chad Robuckle, because I’m sure I could have just introduced these two and Chad would have taken care of the rest, but I was still a few years away from that encounter.
I can’t stress enough how this has damaged me. For every girl I’ve dicked over, every friend I’ve betrayed, every employer I’ve left hanging: this is why.
I don’t trust people on a very basic level. I believe that all human beings are capable of hurting people the way Jason Poponovich hurt me. I’m just waiting for you to do it again. You may tell me that you love me, but all I hear is, “Let your guard down asshole, I dare you. You do and I’ll be right there, waiting to fuck you good.”
I am broken.
You might think I’m being cynical or overly dramatic. Listen to my story and decide for yourself, because everything came to a head in Midland, Texas, on October 14, 1987.
I had been walking the land, adrift in a sea of despair, eating a glass and nails milkshake on a raft of misery when I wandered into the yard of some inbred hicks.
I noticed a baby crawling around by herself. A baby just hanging out outside? No adult supervision? “Welcome to Texas,” I thought.
She ambled over to what looked like a well. She stuck her stupid baby head inside it to check it out. She teetered on the edge. Her diapered baby fanny practically taunting me.
“C’mon, gimme a push, no one will know!”, said the evil voice inside my head.
“Hey, does this baby belong to anyone?” I said outloud. I looked around. Nobody answered.
Finally, it was too much. Whatever moral misgivings I had were quickly overpowered by my desire to push a baby down a well. So I did.
In reality, I just gave her the tiniest little nudge. Then I took off running. I barely even heard the splash!
I instantly regretted my decision and the thought occurred to me that maybe I should go back to the house and find someone and tell them what had happened. Luckily, I came to my senses and realized this was a really bad idea.
I figured someone would eventually notice and the baby would be fine. Which she was. So relax. I don’t want to hear your bitching about what an awful person I am. I’m the victim here, let’s not lose sight of that.
I didn’t want to be like this. I was made to be like this. First my parents, then stupid jerks like Jason Poponovich.
If I had grown up with rich parents who loved me, I wouldn’t be walking into strangers’ yards in Texas in the first place, but if I had, for some reason, I sure as hell wouldn’t have pushed their baby down a well.
Anyway, “apology accepted”.