Life is messy. Married at 19 foregoing the Navy or college for no other reason than a misplaced sense of responsibility. One love, one lover, one and only through sickness and health til death do we part. Stick by her though she’s barren and we adopt.

Her maternal needs satisfied, I become disposable. Replaced and displaced no longer involved with our children every day. They called him Dad and I was an every other weekend inconvenience to them.

Hurt, lonely, craving love and acceptance I latch on to the next person to show interest. A relationship founded on a broken heart can not withstand the turbulence of life. We fell apart. Confused children not understanding why someone was there for more than a year and then never again.

Adopt children and adopt their baggage. Victim turns victimizer, predator. Therapist appointments, saving face, spiteful ex, mentally ill child. Go back to college.

Age 30, in college, living in Mom’s basement. Being 20 ten years too late. Child support, divorce court, bankruptcy, and repos. Who am I? A father. A student. A single man living with mommy. Ugh.

New love. New people. Renewed purpose and self image. Good for me, good for my children. Me being sought after. It’s been so long since I was a rabbit in a greyhound race. New marriage. New life. New opportunities.

Children’s baggage spills over and law takes hold. Fines and restitution through juvenile court. Juvenile detention. Years of income displaced, gone.

New wife but can’t reproduce. Dollars line doctors pockets but no baby made. Prayers seem to vanish like farts in the wind. Everyone says it happens in God’s time. My time is running short.

Age 40. Disabled. Broken and broke. I tell her to run. Find someone who can give her what she needs. Alas she stays to suffer with me. I love her. As messy as life is, somehow it almost seems worth it.

–The Twisted Cripple

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