A Short Story

A Short Story
Written by
-M. Taggart
Non Fiction

A Short Story

 

It was her birthday. She wanted to talk. A lot. I like to listen, but had planned on reading a book. I ordered a Guinness.

She told me she was lucky to make it. She was now 60. She didn’t say the number out-loud, instead she faced me and asked me to count her fingers.

For the next half hour I listened to her story. She had lived in foster care, had been abused, physically and mentally, found herself at 18 with a vicious tongue and lost herself completely in her twenties.

She had attempting suicide multiple times. The last attempt landed her in a coma and in the hospital. During the explanation of her life she bounced from age-to-age and from addiction to health. By her mid-thirties she had once again found herself and had stopped drinking. She also stopped using drugs.

She found both again and lived another round of almost not living. She was homeless for a time. She vomited feces while she was dying. She woke up on a Monday, put her make-up on, and lived.

I didn’t bother trying to read my book. I wanted her to finish her story. This happens to me often when I sit at the bar. I don’t mind. When I don’t want to talk, I stand in the corner, alone, with a book and a beer.

She is very kind. Full of love for life and happy to have not died during her attempts to end hers. She told me this while pouring her new beer into an empty pint glass. Her eyes widened as she started a new chapter of her story.

Slowly, I entered small facts about myself into the conversation. “You lived in Turners Falls, MA?!” she replied? “No, I went to High School in that town. And Turners was a border town to my home town.” “No wonder you had anger! There’s nothing there!”

That wasn’t the reason I had anger. I love that town.

She knew the drug houses, the homeless issue, the violence, the left over edge one has after spending any length of time in that region. And here we sat, in a pub located in Maine.

She asked if I was familiar with Greenfield. “Yes. Greenfield is where I was in one-too-many fights and also where I spent time in jail.”

She told me she lived in the woman’s home in Greenfield and that’s where she got clean. It took over a year, but they were amazing to her and saved her life.

I told her I wrote a short story that had much to do with the small town mindset of that area. And there we sat, enjoying our lives in the now, talking about the past. About the very town where I’ve lost friends due to addiction and violence. The very town where I found love for the first time and where I learned driving alone late at night, with the windows down and radio off, was a form of freedom that I was only just beginning to understand.

 

-M. Taggart

Odd Walking Thoughts

 

The frog hopped along walking sideways with thoughts, asking the young boy to please share his, ‘it wasn’t me. i’m not much anyway, but if i were, it wouldn’t matter.’ the frog stopped hopping, ‘what matters is you. you don’t know this yet. i pray you will.’ the boy stepped along remembering. always remembering.

-M. Taggart

Straight from the heart

Have fun with your life, or someone else will.

I live my life a very particular way. As a child I learned how blocks of time could be stolen by others. Others with negative agendas. It was up to me to learn to remove these toxic peoples from my life. I prefer a pinch of sunshine in my water in the morning, no matter how many toxic individuals cross my path. If you are dealing with toxicity, remove it. Simply walk away, cut them off, and move on. Find a support system for yourself, such as others who have experienced similar scenarios, and speak out-loud the abuses you experienced. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are worth it. Because you are. And please, go have some fun!

Cheers,

Matt

A treat, a bath, and a sleeping child.

How can anyone abuse a child?
I picked Gavin up from daycare.
He told me he was a good boy today
and that means he gets a treat,
and a bath. We always give him
a bath, but he lingers on the thought
about how being good means getting a bath.
Gavin was sound asleep when I pulled
our truck into the garage. I managed
to carry him into the house and lay
him on the couch without waking him.
Gavin being asleep means he didn’t take
a nap. When I took his rain boots off,
sand spilled all over the couch cushions.
I smiled and pet his head. “Gavin, it’s time
to eat dinner and take a bath.” I said sweetly.
It’s easy for me to be sweet to him. I love him.
He didn’t wake. I told myself not to write about
this, but my body walked up the stairs and sat
on my chair to write about it. Now though, I
need to stop the writing and wake Gavin.
He really does need a bath 🙂

-M. Taggart

Yes. That’s Gavin. He loves Dinos.

Odd Walking Thoughts

I knew about a thing as I put it somewhere. The cat ran. Quickening my thought steps I remember an awfulness that is now put in another ‘where’ so we can again listen to more of the rain. I can still hear the vibrations of the truck coming when it was never wanted.   -M. Taggart

Poem-

Our own suffering saved our sanity.
Handing to us an elevated sense of self,
as we watch clouds curse evening hours.
Isn’t it all a lovely affectation;
the abuser smiling fondly
within their crowd.

-M. Taggart

Evolved

Some of you may know that for the first three years of Gavin’s life, I was his primary care giver. Never have I hit Gavin. I don’t believe in hitting as a form of discipline. I couldn’t imagine inflicting that mental and physical distress on a child.

Now, he has fun, three days a week at daycare and is enrolled for Pre-K. However! Every morning I keep him 🙂 I play with him, I read to him and I make his breakfast. I ask him, “Gavin, what would you like for breakfast?” Lately his reply has been, “I’d like an english-muffin with peanut butter and chocolate, big-big strawberries, raspberries, apple juice, and a water. Paleaseeeee.” I drink coffee while preparing his breakfast and watch as my little Gavin plays with his dinosaurs or sea creatures. Or, a puzzle. Or anything. I love spending this time with him. When I was his age, I had no father. I made it very clear to myself and anyone listening that I was determined to be there for Gavin. Always. To be his primary care giver for the first three years of his life was a blessing.

And now, when I pick him up from daycare (we call it school because it’s much like a school) he smiles SOO big and yells, “That’s my Dad!” And man…..man does that feel good. It’s simple. I’m here to be a loving, supportive, husband and father. Writing is a bonus that I am ragingly thankful for.

Often I think of children who have been tortured, abused, and manipulated. I was that child. I broke the cycle. We all can break the cycle, if we are aware and want to. Mental illness is a subject I take very seriously. I believe that we, as humanity, have barely begun to truly understand how deep, or to understand how many levels concerning mental illness there are. I believe there are forms of mental illness that have evolved our human race. I also believe there are forms that are evil. I think it’s important for the broken children who have been abused to understand they are not the evil ones.

They are the evolved.

 

Matt

see – DID

It’s cold.
I need to talk about what happened.
Fingers typing aren’t always me.
Please though, come.
The floor again is open.
Eyes that shouldn’t be are.
Don’t fade, please not that.
We’ll do the best we can.

 

It’s good to see you.

Odd Walking Thoughts

We saw it during a snow storm. The face smiled at us and whistled a friendly thing. We hadn’t known many things friendly. We were alone again. Standing in the storm with the rest of the normal we knew. Only, there was something in that face which told of another way. So, we searched on, carrying Hope as our witness until fruition of proof shapes itself no longer around metallic rage.

-M. Taggart