My brain exploded with an inner vision of brilliant white light. I could not recall if this was normal. I felt numb. Only dull surges pulsed at my fingertips while they caressed the arm of my chair. My thoughts raced back from oblivion like a huge breaker rolling onto the sand. I could not figure out how I had arrived at this singular point in time. My head was suddenly flooded with a million thoughts. I lacked the ability to concentrate on any of them. They flashed as if they were being shown by a slide projector on cocaine. Why was this happening? An early childhood thought began playing like a filmstrip in my head. It started out as a faint thought beside all the others. It began getting more intense and more centered. After a second, that's the only thought that remained.
I was probably eight and my sister was twelve. My mom had invited a lady over for coffee. We had very few visitors. Our house was not well maintained. My mother was a large, overbearing woman. My father was continually sick. In fact, I have very few memories of him not in bed. We lived in an old Victorian house in the south Boston neighborhood of Fort Point. Our neighborhood always smelled like rancid water and trash because of the channel a few blocks away. That smell tickled my nose, even now, like an annoying smelly feather from a sea bird. From what I recall, our visitor was dropping by to talk to my mother about our lack of attendance at school. My mother had decided that my sister and I no longer needed to attend. I did not argue with my mother. The lady visitor entered our house and I can still see my mom walking her into the dark, cluttered living room. The lady's face was filled with shock over the mess. I remember my mom swinging the bat and connecting with the back of the lady's skull. She dropped to the floor with a hollow thud.
My mother called my sister and me into the living room. She was talking to us, but I could not follow what she was saying. She handed us hammers and pointed to the woman. I can remember having great remorse for her; not wanting to strike her in the head. My mother insisted or be beaten. So I hit her. I barely swung. My sister took to it more readily than I. My mother ridiculed me for being a sissy. She called me names and angered me. I swung harder. The blood from the hammer dripped onto my small hands. This image was burned into my brain. I could not have sex, go to sleep, or eat a sandwich afterward without seeing that image. Finally my mother pulled us off. I was glad it was over. My sister seemed to be depressed over stopping. My mother felt the lady's neck and said, "She's still breathing. Help me drag her to the basement door. We'll give her to Uncle Bubby." So we helped drag this poor, half dead woman to the top of the stairs. Then my mother stood her up and kicked her down the wooden stairs. I heard faint gasps as she hit the dirt floor. My sister and I were forbidden to go to the basement. In fact, it was kept locked up most of the time.
The basement housed my mother's youngest brother. He suffered from multiple mental disorders, alcoholism, and an acute form of pica. The latter was the most disturbing to me. My sister and I would watch him sometimes by lying on the floor and peering down the large iron heating grate. He would drink heavily all day. At dusk, he would dig handfuls of dirt from the floor and eat them. The basement floor was riddled with small holes from his digging. He would look up at us sometimes and smile. His lips and few teeth were stained mud brown. He was an ugly man and his laugh was hideous. I had frequent nightmares about this man in our basement. He was the boogey man to me and there was no escape from him. Only the thin wooden door protected me. On this occasion, my mother forced my sister and me to watch this spectacle. Uncle Bubby approached the unconscious woman. He had a cheap bottle of whiskey that he was chugging from. He knelt down beside her. He smelled her like a dog. He licked the blood off her face with his disgusting muddied tongue. I had to shut my eyes. I can remember the rotting death smell for several months after that day.
Another white explosion raged through my brain. All of my thoughts were pushed out to oblivion. Once again, they raced back with full force. My body was numb. I smelled almonds. What was going on? My memories flooded back. They were more scattered and fleeting. No single thought was at the center. The thoughts were like a deck of cards flung into the air and landing randomly all over the floor; some thoughts covered partially by other thoughts. I did see Diane's face in all the mess; the sheer look of horror when she found out my secrets. I could see her crying from the grave emotional pain I had inflicted. She thought she knew me. She had absolutely no idea. I even felt a twinge of remorse. She was probably the only person I had ever cared about at all.
I did care about my father but he was too sick to care for me. Later on I found out my mother kept him poisoned to the point of near death for years. I felt remorse when I killed her too but also a huge sense of relief. How dare she keep my dad from being a father...controlling bitch! I tried to protect Diane from my debauchery and I did for a long period of time. That night, the game was over. She had found the mementos, and pieced it together. She knew. I felt a horrible, sickening feeling as I strangled the life from Diane's body. She went quickly and I threw up all over her body when I finished. I didn't have any peace after that one. The thoughts then raced again. The long trial, the media flash bulbs, and the shouts of "ANIMAL!!" and "FRY HIM!!" rang in my head.
Another white, hot flash hit my brain. I saw nothing. My body felt light as a feather. No more pain. I heard a man's voice, "He's dead. The last jolt finally got the sick motherfucker..."