Damaged People – An Introduction

Damaged People is my book-in-progress.  I'll be posting a chapter or two every week until it's finished.  It's a true story about damaged people. Not all damaged people. Mostly, me and my mother and some others I met along the way. But if you’ve been at all damaged by the world, you might relate. I’ve always been interested in how life trans ...Continue Reading
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Chapter Seven

My mother wasn’t a physically affectionate mother. She didn’t hug or kiss much and sure as hell didn’t breastfeed. But she adored me through language. Even today, we are close in this same way. I haven’t seen her for years in the flesh, but we speak everyday over the phone. Her presence is almost ghostly. Like a guardian angel with an actua ...Continue Reading
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Chapter Twenty-Five

When my mother started to date, I nearly lost my mind. I couldn't understand why, when my mother had a night off, she wouldn’t want to spend it with me. My mother dated married men, mostly. I remember one of them, a broad shouldered guy from Texas who used to bring me stationary and stamp collections. My favorite thing to do at this point was ...Continue Reading
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Chapter Eight

It’s one thing to care for an infant- someone you can dress to the nines and think your own thoughts while holding their loyal warmness near to your heart at all times. It’s an entirely different phenomenon to love that same child when they realize they can jump off dining room tables hurl miniature airplanes at your head and ask questions all ...Continue Reading
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Chapter Twenty-Six

And then I met Katie McKeever. The new girl in third grade. Katie McKeever was perfect. She didn’t walk, she did back handsprings. She received ovation after ovation not only from her peers but from teachers, some of whom would take their lunch breaks just to watch her on the balance beam. It was at that moment I knew I had to be a gymnast. Unfo ...Continue Reading
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Chapter Nine

So there I was, in my playroom, placing the final block atop the biggest castle I’d ever built, when all of a sudden I heard… nothing. That’s right. It was the very first time this ever happened. And I turned around and saw… no one. I was… alone. I ran, panicked, and found my mother in the kitchen on the phone smoking a ciggie. I’m s ...Continue Reading
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Chapter Twenty-Seven

I really tried to make use of my talents, my inventiveness, my specialness. I asked my mother if I could start a mineral club, but she told me there were no gems in Cleveland. I asked if she could take me on an audition for a musical so I could be seen and heard in my own light, but she said all those people started dancing lessons when they were t ...Continue Reading
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Chapter Ten

My poor mother. She had no idea that if you’re going to be your kid’s whole world, you need to remain so until the child gets so sick of your presence, they healthily run off into the world at high speeds to pursue their true interests, while you stay at home and learn to crochet. That’s why if you’re going to devote your whole life to you ...Continue Reading
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Chapter Twenty-Nine

Then one day at school, I went to the bathroom to cry and there was an older girl in there with a 5th grade-style plaid uniform reading porn in the bathroom stall. Well, it wasn’t really porn. It was Judy Blume’s Wifey but she thought it was porn. And she asked if I wanted to hear a grown-up story and I said ok. And it felt good to be read t ...Continue Reading
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Chapter Eleven

I remember the day we left my father. I was standing in the hallway watching my mother and father yell at each other. I remember there was blue carpet in the hallway. And my mother was shoving blue towels in a suitcase. My father was begging please don’t go. And then my arm was nearly pulled out of its socket and down the stairs and into my mothe ...Continue Reading
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Chapter Thirty

I always felt on guard around my grandmother Eunice. Maybe because of all the critical things my mother always said about her. Or maybe it was because Eunice had me walking around the house with books on my head when I was only five. (“It’s never too early to learn how to walk correctly.) And was always correcting my diction. (It’s never too ...Continue Reading
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