Wednesday, January 13, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 12:55 AM

Originally Published 2005-05-24 01:27:40

John told me yesterday that my mom's eldest brother said that Pops was a different person before a head injury when I was young. I remember the story, but I must have been shielded from the trauma of the actual event, becasue I really can't remember it. I must've been about three at the time.

He was painting a second story home exterior and the ladder broke. He had a subdermal hematoma and refused the drill-holes-in-your-skull treatment. Then, as luck would have it (!), he was struck by lightning on a Yosemite camping trip a year or two later. (How the f*ck do you get struck by lightning in a forest full of 50 foot trees? Was he holding up a metal rod or something? For godsakes...)

But anyway... this got me thinking that maybe that's why he has no moral code. He supposedly held down a job before then, worked full time, got a steady paycheck, etc.

I've heard Corban say that his mom had said similar things -- that he was always a little out there, but at some point he totally lost it. That she noticed it around the time he first sent my mom to the hospital.

So, maybe that's why my mom stayed so long. It's easier to make excuses if there's a real physical reason for doing so.

And, maybe, that's why my grandfather keeps bailing him out. Maybe he assigns the accident blame for my father's behavior and takes responsibility on some level for that accident. Like the parent of a retarded child might completely resent the burden, but nevertheless keeps on being a caretaker.

It might also explain my impression that the man used to be brilliant but lost it somehow. I just attributed it to drug usage, but a dramatic head trauma might actually make more sense.

I just can't help wondering... if that's what it was, and all these people knew about it, why did no one ever tell me? I mean, sure, I was acting out a lot by the time someone would've thought to share it, but no one could have looked at me as anything but innocent at 15 or 16, could they? It wouldn't have made me less angry, it wouldn't have made me feel more loved, and it wouldn't have changed the reality, but at least it would have been a crutch for me move forward on my own with.

I'm supposed to have dinner with my mother on Wednesday. I wonder if I can ask about it without upsetting her.

Would you ask?

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