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rifke

team bougatsa
I'm in a good mood today. No more weepy bunny (at least for now). I hope my literary muse doesn't go away. It was in full attendance when I was in the grip of emotional Sturm und drang.

Actually now that I think about it, I'm kind of sad my sadness went away--it was really good!! I hope it comes back.
 

Light Housework

Hunchback of Solow
Subscriber
CHAPTER 4 Mike

I stole a hat from Miracle Mart, and walked through Alexis Nihon plaza with it on. This kid, Mark, said "Cool hat!" I told him how I got it, and we both went into Miracle Mart to get him one. He acted mighty suspicious, which alerted the store detectives, and we were nabbed, and brought into separate offices for interrogation. They demanded I tell them my name. I did, but they didn't believe me. It went on and on, and finally I got this idea I would give them the last name of the boy I'd stolen the boots for, Danny. They were triumphant and smug, thinking they'd caught me lying and had forced the truth from me, and that now I'd be in trouble with my parents.

They had the police come get me then. They put me in a cell and phoned Danny's mum. In an hour, she showed up to claim her fake daughter. As soon as we left the station, I went back to Miracle Mart, took another large bag from behind a cash register, and filled it with every item that had been confiscated, and I walked out nonchalantly and headed to Danny's with his boots, my hat, and a pair of muk luks for me (booties covered in fake fur).

I didn't go straight to Danny's though. I met a guy called Mike, in Alexis Nihon Plaza. He was 16. I was 12, maybe 13 by this time. We went to a bar and I had a tequila sunrise. I sat there in my new hat with Mike who was trying to seduce me. We then went to his place, an apartment he shared with his gorgeous foster mum, Donna, and her cat. There he came on strong and succeeded in seducing me. Later I went to Danny's.

While I was living at Danny's with his mum and his two younger sisters, I did a break and enter, through a dilapidated back door to a house in Westmount. I pulled down a bookshelf in the kitchen because I got a bad vibe from what I perceived was the father, judging by his file cabinet. It seemed he was a single parent to a teenage daughter.

I took a fur rug, and some records, and brought them to Mike's place. Pretty soon, Danny's mother found out that I had a boyfriend, Mike, and I guess she took that to mean I'd rejected her son, so she turned against me, accusing me of calling her daughters retarded, and sitting on me. She was very obese.

Somehow, I lived with Mike, without Donna realizing it, or not minding the fact. Mike once kicked her cat clean across the living room, which doubled as his bedroom, and the cat wound up slamming against the wall. Another time, Mike beat on a kid named Darryl, who was submissive to both Mike and I. We did a nasty thing to Darryl. We talked him into stealing a roll of money his mother had saved, and spending it on a bus trip to Toronto, where I spent $200 of it on a pair of leather boots.

The police could smell us a mile away, and nabbed us, taking me into a room without Mike or Darryl, where they tried to make me admit that Mike was having sex with me, a minor. I refused to admit it, and they stole my boots.

Poor Darryl. One time, Mike put a powder into my coffee. It must have been something like PCP, because I was out walking with a few people, and planned on flying off the roof of Mike's apartment building when I got back there. In the meantime, I rushed to Darryl, and began to rough him up. I felt his jacket rip, and that snapped me out of my trance. I asked myself what the f*** I was doing, and immediately apologized to Darryl. I realized then that I wasn't in my right mind, and that flying off the roof was also a crazy idea.
 

Light Housework

Hunchback of Solow
Subscriber
CHAPTER 5
VANKLEEK HILL FOSTER HOME

Eventually I was placed in a foster home with Mike's foster mother's parents. They wooed me with talk of riding their stallion. After I said yes to living with them and moved in, and I asked to ride the horse, they told me to ride their donkey, Ali. They never did let me ride the horse.

Ali did not want to be ridden. He tried to rub me off against a fence. I was determined to ride him though, and made him take me into the small town and down the main street. The next time I tried to ride Ali, I mounted him, and the stallion kicked me off, square in the center of my chest. He didn't hurt me. He only forced me off Ali, onto the ground, on my butt. I sat there watching the two of them walk triumphantly away from me.

Lisa, the foster parents' youngest daughter, blamed me for a limp Ali developed. She was snobby toward me from the start. Eventually she told me that the reason she snubbed me was because I smoked. Their middle daughter Karen tried to be kind to me. She set me up for a few dates with a friend of hers. We went to a Dairy Queen, a drive in, and another time played cards at his house. I didn't have any feelings for him. I didn't hate him. I felt neutral about him. Later, in school, a girl called Cathy asked me permission to date him and I told her sure, go ahead. She was an avid soccer player.

I got invited to a Christmas party, and the foster parents had to drive me there and pick me up afterward. The girl who invited me was really open minded, and invited interesting outsiders. There was Steve, a fellow foster kid that I had a crush on. He was with his girlfriend, a French girl, but he told me to give him a kiss. So I did, a full on French kiss. Steve was stunned.

Facing the cold foster home atmosphere afterward, and school, where a certain boy always followed me around chastising me for god knows what, was too much of a contrast to the friendly vibe of the party. I could no longer stand the snobbery of Barb and Lisa, or the constant verbal abuse from the boy at school, so after getting off the school bus that morning, instead of heading into the school, I walked to the highway and hitchhiked back to Montreal.

Somehow I found my friend Mona, and she had another girl with her named Cathy. For some reason, Cathy disliked me from the start. We went to a room someone rented. There were four girls including me, and Cathy's boyfriend all staying there. There was a bathroom in the hall that we'd all cram into, us girls.

Someone brought me to a young man's apartment. He told me that I could go lay down on his bed and that he wouldn't bother me. I did, and he did bother me. He came up behind me and raped me. I saw him in a restaurant after that. He joined me. I left, disgusted. Because I'd been raped, I considered myself too dirty for Mike, who was in Shawbridge, a home for problem juveniles. I stopped calling him.
 

rifke

team bougatsa
How frick does one write a memoir? It's turning out to be puzzling.
well i can tell you for sure that you've got to do more than just enumerate all the sexual and sadistic encounters you've had in your life. you've got to provide your own thoughts and insights beyond just "this persons a sadist, this persons a sadist, the world is full of sadists who want to have their way with you".
 

Light Housework

Hunchback of Solow
Subscriber
well i can tell you for sure that you've got to do more than just enumerate all the sexual and sadistic encounters you've had in your life. you've got to provide your own thoughts and insights beyond just "this persons a sadist, this persons a sadist, the world is full of sadists who want to have their way with you".
Yes that's a good idea. I'll include my "home spun philosophy".
 

Light Housework

Hunchback of Solow
Subscriber
After cleaning it up some, here is Chapter 1 and the beginning of Chapter 2

I was adopted at two weeks old, by a couple who already had another adoptee who was 4 years older. Anne, I’ll call her here. She became jealous of the attention I got and tried to kill me several times. Once, by electrocution, once by drowning, and another time with a baseball bat to the bridge of my nose. Our parents weren't emotionally intelligent enough to pick up on that. Also there’s a pattern of people (and a pet) dying shortly after befriending or complementing me, and I suspect Anne killed them. I suspect too, that she set up a little girl at the elementary school in St. Eustace, Quebec, to get chopped up in an industrial sized snowblower. Actually, now that I think of it, she did try to set me up in the path of that very type of snowblower.

She is 4 years older than me, and I was a lonely kid, and looked up to her, so she had an influence on me, and one day she encouraged me to build an igloo type of snow cave. It just happened to be smack dab in the path of the snowblower. Her timing wasn’t ideal, obviously or I wouldn’t be writing this. She didn’t encourage me to build the cave in the backyard, or the front yard. No, it was on the street. It was her idea to build that snow cave, and she energetically encouraged and guided me to build it. In hindsight, I know she was salivating over the idea of me getting chewed up in that huge machine. I think was she that lasciviously told me about the little girl at the elementary school that died in the machine. It all makes sense now, decades after the fact.

She looks completely normal. I believe she was born indigenous, but I don’t know what happened to her up until the age of two, when she was adopted by our parents. I think she was in an orphanage until 2. Maybe the orphanage was a residential school. That may explain why the psychopathy. She has always kept a steady job, has a husband and two daughters. Not me. I was diagnosed with all kinds of mental illnesses. I used to steal from big chain stores when I was a kid. Then I grew up and became a stripper for 7 years, but she’s the real psychopath between us. She was always portrayed as the good child, while I was the black sheep. In reality, it’s a different story, but she could be your coworker, sister in law, etcetera and you probably wouldn’t know how dangerous she is, until wham.

The only warning signs, aside from the attempts on my life, were that she used to sit on my head, sandwiched between gym mats, until I’d feel lightheaded, and once when I was sick in bed, she kept picking up the extra phone to stop me from being able to call my friend. Later, years after she attempted to take my life, she attacked me over initiating a fireplace. More about that further on in this book. The last time she sat on my head, I warned her that I wouldn’t be responsible for how I’d react if she did it again. She went ahead and did it, and I punched her in the mouth, and split her bottom lip.
____

I had a picture of myself sitting between an ‘aunt’ and ‘uncle’ that suddenly and mysteriously disappeared, and I suspect they were my biological parents. Ken and Nora. Nora’s face was horse-like, and Ken’s was monkey-like. Together I think they make my face. I don’t know. I look cozy with them in the photo. I remember ringing their doorbell one day, and no one answered, and later I was told nonchalantly that they’d moved. I tried a little, to find my biological parents, but it’s never been a priority. Maybe that will change.

_____

The baseball bat to the bridge of my nose, happened when I’d been climbing down the stairs to the basement of the house in St. Eustace, Quebec. As I stepped down the stairs, I saw my sister in the doorway below, just her bare tanned shoulder and her long silky dark hair. She had her back to me. I thought that she must be reading there. Next thing I knew, whack! I couldn’t see for 5 to 10 minutes. Anne (I will call her in this book), said “ I didn’t know you were there.” She must have heard me coming down the stairs and swung the bat when she thought she could break my nose and shove the bone into my brain. She claimed to have been practicing her swing.

I didn’t tell anyone about it. No one really ever talked with me, so it never came up. My little mind couldn’t contemplate the horror that my sister was trying to kill me, so I just distracted and cheered myself, with TV, Archie comics, candy, and jumping on my friend Steve’s bed. The candy dependence began with a gift from dad:

One day, mum told me to go greet dad at the front door. I did, and that was the only eye contact I remember ever having with him. His eyes seemed to register that I loved him, and he was very happy at that instant, but then he brought his hand out from behind his back. In it was a brown paper bag, with candy in it. I wanted to tell him that I didn’t want the candy, that I wanted more eye contact, but I didn’t have the vocabulary, so I acted happy about the candy so as not to hurt his feelings, and I went down into the basement, sat in front of the TV, and got high on the sugar.

Anne's attempt at drowning me happened in the pool at a hotel on our vacation to Florida. She held me down in the deep end, under her. At first I thought she was just joking around, so I humored her, staying down without a fight. I watched her face, which was above the water. There was a big smile on it.

Eventually, my lungs felt like they were going to burst into flame. The pain was excruciating and mounting by the second. I then struggled, to let her know that the joke was going too far. At that point, her elbows locked to ensure I’d remain submerged below her. The pain insisted that I fight. To warn Anne of what was to come if she didn’t relent, I began to dig my fingernails into her ankles. I saw her big toothy smile vanish as she let go of me. She had a lot of murder mystery books. They must have taught her that her would-be bloody ankles would have given her away.

Again, I didn’t tell anyone what Anne had done. I never really talked with anyone. I guess that’s why today, I value sitting on a park bench with friends chatting, getting things off our chests. I don’t think any of us would suffer in silence if talking about our issues will help ease the pain.

The electrocution happened when I was in the basement, under the stairs, where I had a pretend house. A lamp was missing, so I went to Dad’s work table and retrieved it. I noticed that the three pronged plug was missing half it’s rubber, exposing the metal prongs. I didn’t know enough about electricity to realize the danger of wrapping my little hand around that plug and inserting it into the wall socket.

I plugged it in, and couldn’t remove my hand from the plug. My legs were convulsing underneath me. I called for Anne, who was in the trusted position of babysitter. She came bounding down the stairs and stood watching me as my legs continued to convulse. I just happened to have a friend over, the only time I remember ever having one over. What great timing. Stephen. He gave Anne ample time to do something to help me, and then he must have realized she was just going to watch me die, so he came up behind me, grabbed the bottom of my white t-shirt, and pulled me off the current.

I suspect Anne cut the rubber off that plug. There’s a pattern. Other attempts to kill me. Other deaths, the timing of them. Dad's death just when he was embarking on getting to know me. Then there was Pete, our canary’s death, just after I got the only meaningful compliment mum ever gave me, for bringing out the best in him. Pete and I got along really well. I’d open his cage door, take my shoes and socks off, wiggle my toes, and Pete would fly down to the floor and chase me around the apartment in Ville de La Salle, Quebec. He also would sing along to a record we had of birdsong.

It was after that compliment mum gave me about bringing out the specialness in Pete, that I came home one day to find mum and her boyfriend John (This was after dad died, of a sudden heart attack I find suspicious.), in the kitchen with Pete in a small basket on the table, unable to hold his head up. He had a bright red gash on his pale yellow head. I screamed, or rather screeched. John put him in a warmed oven. I guess I buried him in the backyard. I was told he flew into one of the clasps that hold the living room mirror to the wall. Now, looking back, seeing a pattern of deaths that occur just after I begin to get close to someone, I think it must have been Anne, who put that gash on Pete’s head. The suspicious deaths include dad, Pete, Nan, and eventually even Mum.

Dad asked me one day, if I wanted to go horseback riding. This was the only time I remember my dad speaking to me. I said yes. The next thing I remember is being at a ranch, dad being on a horse ahead of me, at the beginning of a forest trail, with many other riders on horses. My horse stopped, and wouldn’t budge (though I think I poked it a little with a hair pin), and dad’s horse continued on without me. The rancher came and led my horse back to the ranch, and led me into a room with a big fridge. There, he told a young woman to keep me occupied with pop and chips.

After an hour or two, some man sitting on a bench with two other men said with his Quebecois accent, “What happened, your father fall of a horse and die?”, and slapped his hands on his knees like it was hilarious. Next thing I know, my Godmother, Inga, drives up and says “Get in.” I do, and she proceeds to drive away from the ranch. I said “Where’s dad?”. She didn’t answer, she just looked ahead at the road coldly as she kept driving. I then yelled insistently “Where’s dad?”. She answered deadpan, “He’s dead.”, and kept driving, as I heard myself wail.

Today, having put two and two together, I suspect that Anne used her elaborate chemistry set she got for Christmas (or maybe her birthday), to poison Dad with a sandwich or something. I mean the timing; just after he begins to try to spend some quality time with me. Pete, dead, after mum compliments me about how well we got along. Nan, dead after she starts getting me to sing for her. And eventually, even mum would die of a mysterious illness shortly after she finally decided she liked me and sent me a Walkman. There’s a pattern, so I suspect Anne didn’t just attempt to kill me, but may have attempted and succeeded at killing several others.

_____

There was a logbook that dad wrote in, about his cub scouts. I could tell by reading it, that he was a sensitive caring person. All that thoughtful writing about his boys. Also, there were voice recordings on cassette tape, of him reciting xmas carols. Not singing them, but speaking them, and I liked his voice. These items were only shown to me after his death. He was never mentioned, and the recordings, both written and audio, were never to be seen again.

Nan would get me to sing the song from the movie The Sound of Music, Edelweiss, in the living room on Harrigan street in LaSalle, Quebec. I remember her giving me a nickel or a dime, after I sang for her, and how flattered and grateful I was for it. Soon afterward, I was told Nan was changing a light bulb in the kitchen, stood on a chair, and the chair collapsed under her. She broke her hip, and she was flown from Quebec to British Columbia, to a hospital in Kamloops. Anne flew to visit her, and Nan died soon after the visit. Part of a pattern. I wonder if Anne loosened the screws in the chair and then loosened the light bulb.

Before nan died, Anne was saying she was racist, and mum was saying she was selfish. They didn’t explain why they were saying such things, and I suspect that they just didn’t like her because she was emotionally intelligent (though not educated emotionally enough to see how vicious Anne was), and same with dad.

Decades later, Mum would send a Walkman across Canada to me, seeming to finally miss me. Soon afterward, Anne called to say that Mum had swelled up from her breasts down, and the doctors couldn’t figure out why. I got to talk to mum over the phone. I asked her if she was scared, and she answered yes. Next thing I know, Anne calls me up, and tells me mum died. We both wept audibly. I remember marveling at how her wailing sounded just like my own. But there’s that pattern again, of the timing of people’s deaths, being just after getting close to me (or trying to).

____


From the time I was eight, mum was alone with my sister and I, as dad died “of a sudden heart attack”. One time, when I was 11, I played a terrible prank. I felt sorry for a bunch of kids because they seemed bored, so I looked around wondering what I could do to cheer them up. I saw a sprinkler, and an open car window, and decided to put the sprinkler in the car.
 

rifke

team bougatsa
you might as well call your book "a catalogue of all the ways in which i am a victim" because that's what it's reading like. it doesnt have much meat.
 

Light Housework

Hunchback of Solow
Subscriber
you might as well call your book "a catalogue of all the ways in which i am a victim" because that's what it's reading like. it doesnt have much meat.
There are 52 pages so far and I'm not sure it's all about being a victim. It's true that most of it is, probably. It's not a cinch to be objective about it. I'll have to look at it with fresh eyes, but if it does turn out to be mostly being a victim, then it does.
 

rifke

team bougatsa
There are 52 pages so far and I'm not sure it's all about being a victim. It's true that most of it is, probably. It's not a cinch to be objective about it. I'll have to look at it with fresh eyes, but if it does turn out to be mostly being a victim, then it does.
a memoir should not read like a point-form biography. your memories or experiences should be carefully selected and should be couched in some present day context wherein you're looking back at certain moments of your life with more insight or understanding or resolution, otherwise what is the point. no one wants to read about someone who was a victim over and over again and for whom the only thing they can take away from their experience is that "people are sadists".
 

rifke

team bougatsa
or it should be exploratory in a way, a spirit of "im writing this to try to figure things out", a sort of literary mathematics. im not getting that either. you write like you know it all, and yet you offer no wisdom.
 

Light Housework

Hunchback of Solow
Subscriber
a memoir should not read like a point-form biography. your memories or experiences should be carefully selected and should be couched in some present day context wherein you're looking back at certain moments of your life with more insight or understanding or resolution, otherwise what is the point. no one wants to read about someone who was a victim over and over again and for whom the only thing they can take away from their experience is that "people are sadists".
Maybe my manuscript will evolve into "understanding and resolution". I'm hoping for 200 pages.
 

Light Housework

Hunchback of Solow
Subscriber
or it should be exploratory in a way, a spirit of "im writing this to try to figure things out", a sort of literary mathematics. im not getting that either. you write like you know it all, and yet you offer no wisdom.
I'm trying to write just the facts, to begin with at least. The bare bones.
 

rifke

team bougatsa
also you shouldnt start out trying to shock people. that's just going to turn people off. it's a very simple rule: dont start out with things that people arent going to understand or may not believe. build up to it. the same way a homeless person when begging for change shouldnt ever tell someone he hasnt eaten in days but simply that he hasnt eaten breakfast. no one wants to be shocked right off the bat, before they've developed any familiarity with the person or subject.
 

Light Housework

Hunchback of Solow
Subscriber
also you shouldnt start out trying to shock people. that's just going to turn people off. it's a very simple rule, dont start out with things that people arent going to understand or may not believe. build up to it. the same way a homeless person when begging for change shouldnt ever tell someone he hasnt even in days but simply that he hasnt eaten breakfast. no one wants to be shocked right off the bat, before they've developed any familiarity with the person or subject.
It's urgent to me to tell about the murderousness of my adoptive sister.
 
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