Ryan’s Journal

11:17 AM
Toms River, NJ

Two days ago, I found out my father was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. He was always a heavy smoker, but stage four lung cancer is a shock to our whole family. My father and I, haven’t spoken to each other for the last five years; I had to hear the news through the voice of my crying mother. He told my two sisters and my brother the news sometime last week, but they didn’t tell me shit. Even though he told them to keep it from me, my mother couldn’t hold it in any longer. I’m saddened by the news, but I’m not going to cry about it. My father is an abusive piece of shit. I’m the first born, and my siblings had it easy in comparison to what he did to my mother and I. Still, there is some strange resentment from them towards me. What the hell did I do? Is it because I never came back home for their bullshit Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners? I don’t know why my mother decided to stay with him after all the beatings and emotional abuse. When I became older, I figured it was because of the money he made — and the fact that my mother never finished college and didn’t have a trade, or anyway to sustain a family of four children on her own. My father was an aviation mechanic for thirty years and always made good money, along with doing gunsmithing on the side. He did take care of a family of five, and we never went to bed hungry — and always had good Christmases. Anything would set my father off, and the nights he came home intoxicated, my mother and I knew he would become abusive. She would tell me to hide in the closet in my room, and I would hear her wailing from being beaten. I hated him then, and I hate him now. Fuck him. When he dies, I might not even show up at the funeral, though it may break my mother’s heart. I love her, but I don’t know if I can do it. I’m seven years older than the second oldest sibling Laura. Her version of my childhood is revisionist bullshit. After my father suffered a heart attack, he slowed down significantly with the drinking and the abuse, so my brother and sisters didn’t go through what my mother and I went through. They don’t know a goddamn thing. I have this underlying anger in me; I tend to take things too far. If someone hurts me, I want them to hurt one hundred times more; then I want them gone.

Since my high school days, I’ve liked fighting, and really inflicting pain on any perceived enemies. Once, I broke this kid’s jaw in two places; he had been teasing me, and trying to bully me for weeks — I’d had enough. When I came home that day ,I thought I was in for a beating, but my father was proud of me, and even allowed me to drink half of his six pack of cold beer. My mother, just stared at me with tears and went back into her bedroom. I think I was sixteen years old at the time. One day, I was walking home from school, and the kid’s father approached me, screaming and swearing at the top of his lungs. I told my father about what happened, and the next day he went looking for him. when he found him, he told the guy he would kill him if he ever came near me again. Years later, I found out that my father stuck the barrel of his .45 Colt, into the guy’s mouth. From what I hear, the guy urinated on himself. Though he was protective of his family from other people, he was the monster who constantly beat my mother and severely damaged my mental health.

After I graduated high school, I left home and never looked back. My mother sent me to live with her sister, in Toms River, New Jersey; one state away from my hometown of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. In Toms River, I learned a trade — and ironically became an aviation mechanic like my father. All my other siblings finished college, and my sister Laura received her Master’s in Finance. She met some guy in college, and they got married. I rarely speak to my siblings, but I accept it as part of my reality. I have one niece and two nephews that I’ve only seen a few times; that fucking bothers me. I’ve never married, because I don’t think I’m the marrying type, but my girlfriend Melissa has been with me for five years now, and I love her. Lately, I’ve been going to therapy and working everyday to purge the anger out of my system. Melissa’s been supporting me, and she’s such an encouragement; the tears are falling right now. I love her so much. Signing off for now — I have grocery shopping to do. Melissa is eight months pregnant, and it was so unexpected; but a beautiful surprise. I don’t think my daughter will get to meet my father; I don’t know how I feel about that right now. The oncologist told him he has roughly six months left. Damn.

Imminent Destruction

There must be no safe space for them;
they must not be allowed to strike again.
They must be burned in the fire of the pain of their victims,
and have their ashes taken away by the wind.
History must only mention them in the context of, Never Again.
They must be condemned, and the womb they were conceived in.
They must be forced from their secret places in the darkness of the early morning,
and be left as sustenance for ravens, before the appearance of the red sky of the evening.
They must experience one thousand times fold, the torment of their victims;
left to contemplate their fate, shaken, by the sounds of their own breathing.
They will not be mourned in their leaving;
no beautiful floral arrangements;
no carriages with black horses, with blinders waiting;
no tears of elderly women, with silk gloves in black veils grieving.
In their final moments, the terror of their destruction will be upon them.

The Darkness of Secrets

The womb of past secrets is stretched in agony,
longing to give birth to what is long hidden and unspeakable;
but its child is stillborn and unmourned,
because dark whispers do not make it past closed doors,
to tell accounts of what was — and the pain that still lingers.
Vengeance is dreamed of, and always tingling on the tips of the fingers.
The heart refuses to fully heal, until there is a reckoning of monsters.
They can no longer live in hiding, plotting; planning.
They must be drawn out, and utterly rooted out by their victims, limb by limb;
even the blood, bone, and sinew of them must not remain.
Nothing shall be left of them — not even the whispers of their names.
After they inflicted anguish, torment and pain
nothing again, ever again, was the same.

A Child’s Eyes

I am a child of the night
Hear my growls of hunger
See the pain that I suffer
Witness the eyes that have 
Seen what can never be unseen
Hear my cries 
Look into my soul and see
The dark secrets that 
I withhold from my mother
See my tears and the hurt 
That I daily suffer
Witness the pain inflicted
By a real life monster
Who causes great harm
And nights of insomnia 
Record my dreams of 
being a bird in flight
And escaping the torture
See the scars on my mind 
And on my soul
Witness the physical and mental
Trauma that takes a double toll
See the land of peace
That my mind has devised
Where there is no more pain
Only love and clear blue skies
Hear the screams that awaken
Me at night
The bad dreams, the fear, the fright
See my Christmas list to Santa for toys,
And for the suffering to go away
To be accepted by my peers at school
who tell me I’m not wanted,
And exclude me from their play
See my poverty and the laughter in class
From boys and girls of a different class
Feel my anger and feel my pain 
Feel my sadness walking home in the rain
See my ideations of not wanting
To be here anymore
Looking at cars go by 
Wishing I wasn’t poor
See the feelings of pain
And revenge that I hide
That I’ve never told, and eat me up inside

This cold cold world is no place for a child
I’m sorry I have to go; the street lights are on
Mom says I have to come inside.

The Final Scene

Cold winds pierce through her black veil. She stands there alone; all the other faces of sorrow have departed. She stands there and looks down upon the remnants of him, as the cold and howling winds blow against her. She has not cried. She has not shown any emotion. Her face is solemn. The winds continue to howl as her black dress and veil are pressed against her from one side from the violence of the winds. The grey skies open and cold rain is released. Still, she stands there completely still. Her eyes are fixated on him as she continues to stare. She does not morn for him, for he was the cause of her pain and suffering. She had endured the torture for over thirty years. The beatings and the abuse; the endless suffering; the wailing. All he has left her is torturous memories and a dark void. She doesn’t shed tears because his death is her life. She is numb from the many years she has endured. The sorrow in her eyes is for herself, because of all the wasted years of unhappiness and heartache. The tears of her soul are for the stillborn child she conceived in agony; the wounds and scars of her abuse visible for all to see, as she cried out in pain. He had blamed her for the loss of the child and had become even more violent and abusive, even as she lied listless in bed for months. He hit her violently time and time again, as she lie there numb and in silent tears. The pain of losing her child was a pain she could not fathom and had never felt before. Tears streamed down her face, as she prayed to the heavens day after day. Now, as he lie in a wooden box, no life in him, she is emotionless. The winds pick up in speed and the howling is louder; it is cold and the rain is coming down in torrents. She is unmoved. She removes her veil and black satin gloves and throws them onto the top of the casket, in an act of finality. She takes a rose and places it next to her heart for the child she had lost. Without looking back, she walks away as she empties herself of his memory.

Hunts Point Blues

She walks in the night’s shadows, soliciting customers as they pass by. There is a sadness in her eyes; a profoundly deep and troubled look, that only the streets could fathom. The years have passed by, and her once radiant beauty has turned into a weathered face, and aging body. The streets are cold and unforgiving, as it takes of her essence and leaves her destitute with no assurance of life or future happiness. She is lost in a world of drugs and alcohol as she sells herself to feed her addiction. Her heart is heavy with sorrow and her story is one of pain and turmoil. She stands under a street light and lights a cigarette. She inhales deeply and allows the nicotine to enter her lungs and invade her bloodstream. Her eyes show no emotion as she stares into the dark night. Eyes that scour blocks and alleyways for signs of imminent danger, while at the same time keeping a keen sense for potential customers as she makes her rounds on a summer night in Hunts Point. She can feel a piece of her soul leave her every time the undignified exchange takes place. After the deed is done, crumpled and dirty bills are given, while more than flesh is taken. Still, the night goes on, as shadowy figures move about on the rough and gritty streets. She seeks out other peddlers of the night to make another exchange, but this time she will pay for the euphoria she seeks; it has become a part of her now. She relies on it to make it through the night. The days wane and the nights are long. It lies dormant during the day, but it is in the night, that the streets are awakened with activity. The sordid cycle is repeated again and again; Faces disappear and are never seen again. The years fade away like leaves in the wind. Some familiar characters can still be seen walking on dark blocks, as the sound of crushed glass can be heard under foot. A look into their eyes, and the soul can be seen. In a moment’s notice their story is told.

Anna’s Story

Her plight is suffering; her plight is pain
A seemingly incessant and perpetual rain
She is misunderstood by those she knows
Who dismiss her sorrow and deride her woes
With arrogance they laugh at her secret plight
If they only knew her struggle and fight
She has suffered in silence for many years
She has kept her secret and hidden her fears
A woman abandoned by those she loved
Abused and traumatized; Deprived of love
It has taken a toll on her precious mind
For her mental health has been in decline
Her treatments and therapy have never helped
So she lives with the anguish inside of herself
She self-medicates to numb the pain
This is a story of sorrow;
Anna is her name.