Chapter 2

At age 19 I had decided to not go to Humboldt State for a second year, so I was living at home with my father. That was probably a big mistake. He and I never had a good relationship, so living with him and his psychotic new wife who wore about two layers too much make-up at all times was a nightmare. He married her about two months after getting divorced from our mother. Fortunately Kimo and our two sisters lived there also, and we could all agree she was crazy, especially compared to our mother. We all thought our father was absurd for letting himself get roped into marrying her. He always seemed to be a step behind what everyone else knew, and could never admit it. She clearly was a man eater, and he was a victim in denial. She made horrendously big scenes crying and screaming like a child demanding attention. One night she threatened to kill herself, or him, with a big knife in her hand right in the living room. She was screaming, and, as usual, Dad put all his energy into trying to stop her and pacify her.

She used tons of scent pads in the laundry. When she made popcorn it was practically swimming in butter. One day I was very angry and I took the box of scent pads and threw them behind a pile of wood in the back yard. I felt sad and foolish even as I did it. Later my Dad found it and confronted me, saying, “Did you throw this box of stuff in the back yard? Is this how you express your anger?” He was red and shaking and seemed on the verge of violence. “Is that the best you can do? She’s doing all she can. Why do you have to hate her? I’ll tell you what, why don’t you go find your own woman to do your laundry for you?”

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