Thursday, March 22, 2012

Good Morning!

 

HagMorning

This is the little face I’ve woken up to all week, although when I first see it it’s crinkled up and crying at me from the other side of the crate. I’m going to refer to him as Hag on here. Mainly because that’s his name.

Hag came home last weekend, earlier than we’d planned. This was his mom’s first litter and she decided she was done with nursing puppies and their sharp little teeth. One of his brothers was the unlucky recipient of an overly emphatic “get away from me.” Needless to say the breeder weaned the litter early. Poor little guy was a cute one too, we almost chose him instead but he was a blue and they can have issues, besides, Hag has the personality traits I was looking for and the blue boy was a bit shy. Once the pups were doing well on solid food the breeder called us to come get him. We picked him up 2 days shy of his 6 week birthday, and it’s been quite the trip.

He’s very much like a human newborn at this stage, noisy, sleepy, he’s on a 2-3 hour schedule, he focuses mainly on eating and pooping, and let me tell you he’s got that last one down pat. Boy, does he. The biggest difference between Hag and a human baby is that he can motate his little self around faster than I can and unlike an infant he does not stay where I put him. By the time my babies reached the “I’m faster than Mommy” stage they had achieved a certain level of language understanding and recall capability. Him, not so much. On the up side, I have a leash and he likes treats so much that he learned to answer to his name and how to sit this week. Major accomplishments considering he…well, you’ll see. Another bonus is that I can pop him in his crate and take off for a while and no one will get their undies in a wad. Except him.

This week has been a shit storm. Literally. He may not have had a good mom but she did give him a parting gift, and he’s been sharing copiously. I carefully scoped out the breeder and cultivated a relationship with him before entering into a contract for Hag so since he’s become ill we’ve had excellent daily communication via email, text messages and phone calls. He’s got the situation covered like any responsible breeder should, although as was stipulated in the contract I did have to haul him back up to get looked at and medicated rather than going to my local vet. Fortunately the storm is subsiding, but the sleep debt keeps building. Someday I hope to talk to him about things other than what emerges from Hag.

I had planned on writing up my thoughts on dogs and defensive situations but you’ll have to wait because my brain is mushy from this:

HagBellyNoP

1

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mother Hen

 

I read a blog called Chickens In The Road. It’s written by a kind, generous lady in West Virginia named Suzanne McMinn. She’s built a great community there. She’s big on independent living skills, cheese making, canning, bread making etc, and had to relocate her farm late last year so she is starting anew, working her tail off to build a commercial kitchen so she can offer workshops on her farm again. If you’re interested (her bread recipe is the ONLY one that works reliably in my kitchen) keep an eye on her because she’s just finished funding her kitchen and I believe she’ll be offering workshops in a few months. She’s also a columnist with the Charleston Daily Mail and in a past life was a successful Romance author with 20+ books under her belt.

Today she made a post exposing just how little joy her life has had for the past few years. What really got to me was this line:

“…I was afraid he was going to destroy me from the inside out. It was writing this website, ironically the same thing he used against me to mock me, that at the same time saved me. Every day, I got up with a mission to write perky, positive, informative, inspiring posts. I wanted someone to live the good life–even if that someone couldn’t be me.”

My hat’s off to her, because she succeeded.

The comments are absolutely flooded with women saying me too, I’ve been there, giving little glimpses into the hell that their lives have also been. It astounds me at how many of us just duck our heads and endure. Suzanne left, and he still torments her, the jerk went to their old farm and stole the stove that was donated to her commercial kitchen. She’s not a fainting violet, when someone stole her work she went after them and got what she deserved. I believe she’s pursuing the theft of the stove through legal channels, but who knows what he’ll be inspired to do next. I’m sure this isn’t the only thing he’s done to her since she left, but I hope it’s the last.

She’s never heard of this blog, and wouldn’t connect it to the name I use there, but I am asking that you go to her site, look around, read her posts, and if you have anything to say that you add your voices to her comments. She could use the support, and maybe a more aggressive perspective would help him think before he does something else.

Update: She recovered her stove, but I don’t believe he’s done with her yet. Jerk. I feel fairly confident in saying that some advice on cheap ways to secure her house and farm would be appreciated. They would have to be cheap, cause like most farmers she’s flat broke.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Last Post

 

While I was looking around at handguns (I even went, alone, to gun stores!) I had seen a few Garands for sale locally. I had lucked out and found a good source for textbooks so I had extra money from my grants and loans. One day after class I walked into the gun store by myself and said I’d like to see your Garands. They showed them to me and I found one that was in good condition that I liked very much. A ‘50’s era International Harvester with new furniture. I pulled out my debit card and said I’ll take it. He took my info and my card and ran the checks and I walked out with my very-own-all-mine-I bought-it-my-own-self rifle. I was nervous and sweating and exited the whole time he was doing the processing, and I couldn’t believe I passed. They were going to let me have my gun! On the way home all I could think was what have I done? OMG I have my very own gun! Whoa, how did that happen? It’s all MINE!!!

Garandgal2

That right there was the most empowering thing I have ever done. I bought a gun. Me. I didn’t ask if I could, I didn’t have to argue and fight and plead, I just did it. My husband didn’t even know until I walked in the door with it, and I was hesitant to show it to him on the irrational fear that “they” might change their mind and take it away. I’ve done the deed several times since then, buying the kids their rifles and picking up a mosin-nagant, but there is always that little seed in my mind saying this time they’re going to figure out it’s you and you‘ll get denied. When it comes back approved that big relief and the little thrill of I did it! still feels so good. At our last gun show I bought my version of THE gun, a nickel plated Rock Island 1911 with pearl grips, just like the Colt my daddy had. I held out for years to go back to the gun store that turned me away but I can’t afford the trip nor can I afford a Colt. I’m okay with putting my own spin on it. It shoots nice, and it’ll sure look good in my daughter’s collection some day.

Garandgal1

I know my story is a mess, skipping all over the timeline, confused and repetitive and unrefined, full of doubt, contradictions, a rat‘s nest of stream of consciousness tangles, but it’s about as linear as I can force myself to think in regards to the events. I thought about editing, refining, fixing, but it’s not broken. Refining in this case would simply be an attempt to make it nice, and it isn‘t nice.

I do know why I wanted to tell my story. I realized I wasn’t so much respecting the girl’s privacy as repressing my own feelings about what happened to me. And yes, I was not raped, I may have fought my ass off and won and in the process saved all of our lives, and no matter how much I don’t want to think of it and no matter how many times I said no, NO, I’m FINE over the years, it did happen to me. It was bad. I was attacked and victimized, both during and after the incident, and I am a survivor. My life was in danger, and I could have gone to jail for what I did. But I didn’t do one damned thing wrong.

With all the work I’ve done on mindset, knowing that I am extremely valuable to my family and I am worth every scrap of effort to protect, and I really do believe that, and knowing with every fiber of my being that I am prepared to kill to protect my family and myself, I still have to tell myself I wasn’t wrong back then. Doing my level best to maim and kill those bastards was exactly the right thing to do. I have a difficult time wrapping my mind around that, even now. To the last vestiges that remain of the innocent I was back then it sounds wrong, we’re taught to be kind, turn the other cheek, don’t hurt people. That works in normal society, in normal situations but I think you’ll agree that self defense situations are about as far away from normal as things get. As much as I was their victim, I have victimized myself all these years over this incident. I think I’m ready to be done with that, too.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I <3 Guns

 

How I got to this point was due to my second and current husband. He is the son of a retired 35+ year career federal agent. When he was growing up guns were as matter of fact in their house as flatware. And they had more guns than they did forks. When we moved in together in 2002 hubby had a rifle, a shotgun and a glock. The rifle and shotgun were okay, I even admired their pretty stocks, but the glock was an ugly and sinister presence and I wanted nothing to do with it. He didn’t argue, he just kept it put away except when he was wearing it.

After a couple of years I was no longer afraid that it was going to go off if I opened the drawer it was in or hugged him while he had it in his shoulder rig, but it was still distasteful. Then he had to do something for his ccw requirements and I had to go with him because we only had one car and I had errands, so for the second time in my life I went to a gun store. They had a range that he was using and he said do you want to shoot it? I said um sure I guess. I was so nervous I started sweating. I managed to make it go bang without hurting anyone or anything, including the target, and I hated it. It’s an older .40 model, it hurt my hands and the noise scared me. But, while I was waiting for him to finish up I looked around and in the case they had THE gun. The one I wanted so many years ago. Just like my dad had. It was gorgeous. I kept looking at it and the man asked if I wanted to see it. Oh, no! I couldn’t. (What’s wrong with him, doesn’t he know that I’m not allowed??) Hubby finished up and we left.

After the kids were tucked in I asked hubby what kind of gun was that? He hadn’t been paying attention but he was able to tell me that I was looking in the colt case. Ok. The sweet man went out of his way to go to the gun store later that week and figured out what I was looking at. My dad had a big, shiny, full sized Colt 1911. I looked it up online and discovered that guns have a rich and fascinating history. Over the next few years I read about them occasionally, learning about Browning and Colt and Kalashnikov. Guns were pretty cool. Maybe. 

His time in the military over, we moved back to his home state and I saw some of my f-i-l’s extensive collection. I developed an interest the old military surplus rifles and hubby did too. He brought home the first one, an 80’s era IJ civilian copy of an m1 carbine, and I fell in love with it. He really wanted it for himself, but he said I could have it if I would learn how to fire it. (Snort! like I needed his permission! OMG where did that thought come from, could I just have a gun, if I wanted one? No, I‘m not supposed to, I’m not allowed, remember?) I thought about it and swallowed hard and told him I would, but that he’d have to go with me. Gun stores were for men, I had learned that lesson well. So, I went to a gun store for the third time in my life. The guys there said hello, to ME. They asked ME about MY gun. They showed ME things. Not hubby, ME. My opinion not only mattered, they were interested in it. Hubby is a smart man, he stepped back and let me find my own way in the gun world. I had tried so hard for so long, only to find out that all I had to do was move to the “ass backwards” south to be accepted.

When I tentatively told him that I think I want a handgun, hubby said you can use mine. When I said no way I hate that thing (glocks are still ugly and downright mean in my opinion) I want my OWN! He said, okay, let me know what you decide on. I looked and looked and when I picked up my Springfield it just hugged my hand. I rented one (they let me rent a gun? All by myself? Yippeeee!!!!) and the 9mm didn’t hurt me. It was FUN. So he bought it for me when tax return time came, even though he wasn’t happy that I chose a 9mm platform (he’s biased for the heavier calibers) and he couldn’t really get why I had to have the more expensive stainless steel slide model. Because I like the way it looks. Function is important, not looks. I told him it functions just fine, I’ve already tested that with the black one, but I will be happier if I have the pretty one. He had that look on his face. If you have a spouse you know which one I mean, the one that says it ain’t happening. The guy behind the counter (my favorite gun purveyor) spoke up and said if she likes it she’ll be more likely to carry it. Hubby wisely closed his mouth and opened his wallet. The one condition he insisted on was that I get my ccw. It took two years before I was ready for it, ready to stand up and let go and say out loud in public that I can, will, and am prepared to kill another human being in self defense. I don’t have to hide any more.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Freedoms

I have a divide in my mind, life before the attack, and life after. They by no means resemble each other. Before the attack my life consisted of working so my horse, my dog, my truck and I could go. And we did, we went all over, rough camping and trail riding and showing our way through several states. Afterwards I tried to recapture that without success. I was too scared, I felt defenseless, alone, and just about brained some poor guy with a tire iron on his way back to his own rig after a midnight potty break. I quit showing, travelling, and sold my horse to someone who would go on to take her to Nationals and get her the championship she and I had worked so hard for. Those bastards took a huge part of my freedom and my dreams from me that night, and I hate that I let them.

My truck broke down, both the transmission and the rear end went out this time. The mechanic finally figured out that the drive shaft was torqued and had been shredding the drive train. “What the hell did you do to it to twist it up like that?” he asked. I just shrugged, asked how much, and winced. I couldn’t fix it, the repair bill was into the thousands. It sat in my mom’s yard for two years, until I was ready to let it go. I gave it away to someone who needed a vehicle and had the skills to fix it. He painted it red, I saw it on the road every now and again. I hope it’s still out there, getting someone else home safely. I’m on my third Chrysler now. I’ve strayed a few times over the years, but I keep coming back, sentimental fool that I am.

My beloved Sandy dog helped raise my oldest. I still remember her mincing along next to him as he held on to her side, learning to walk. After he climbed out of his crib a few times we moved him to sleeping in a playpen and she would jump in there and curl up next to him, ever vigilant for things that go bump in the night and the odd cat wandering by. Really, that cat was odd, but I digress. I tried to break her of that habit but after hours of listening to them both cry miserably I gave in and let them be together. She grew old and developed hip problems when my son was 3. We kept her going until she couldn’t rise without help, even with the medication. My son has a few memories of her, and I’m glad she’s going to live on in him.

The relationship between my mom and I never truly recovered. I moved out not long after I met my ex and she and I didn’t speak more than once or twice a month. My mom retired, she said she wanted to be a full time grandma when my son was born, and about the time we were finally able to sit down and really talk to each other, she started having spells, as she called them. She would hear crackling in her ears and then “wake up” later, sometimes half an hour or more. It was like watching a computer reboot, she was awake but the lights were off. It was scary. We blamed it on side effects from the medications for her bad heart or her COPD, but it was no longer safe for her to be alone. She moved in with my ex and I.

The neurologist did his thing and they discovered a slow growing meningioma pressing on her frontal lobes, causing the seizures and the behavior problems. They told us that many people have them their whole life without having any problems, and that mom had likely had hers for years. I had a few weeks of bright and shining hope. They were going to cut that thing out and my mom would reappear, sweet, kind and magically fixed. They removed it but the damage was done, she was very much like a rotten, bratty, combative teenager for the rest of her life. Sometimes she was the mom from my childhood, laughing and loving, and then the next moment I was the worst bitch and her biggest failure because I made chili and she wanted mac n cheese. Eyes narrowed, she’d accuse me of intentionally tormenting her. I’d just say yep, it’s payback for all that goulash you made me eat. Mom was not a good cook.

I will hand it to her, she never once brought up the attack or used that as a weapon against me in her tirades, although everything else was open season. I knew that she hadn’t forgotten it. She never lost her faculties, just her controls. I like to blame her behavior after the attack on her tumor. It’s convenient and less painful, but when I asked the neurologist how long this had been effecting her behavior he felt she probably hadn’t been effected by it until she started having seizures, well after the attack. What does he know, right? 

Taking care of her was difficult, and when she was having a good day she was miserable because she knew how difficult she was. When she was paralyzed by a stroke she made it clear to us that she was done. No more. The dr convinced her to keep the IV but she refused everything else. My siblings and I gathered at her side, and we reminisced about her legendary cooking disasters, the time the weather stranded us at the Denver Airport, when the pony someone had tied to the front porch broke his lead and was in the living room munching her house plants when she got home from work, and other family stories.

She’d wiggle her foot and squint an eye at us, interacting as much as she was able. We teased her and played with her. Being smart asses has always been my families first line of defense and we are very good at it. She gave us almost half a smile, absolutely tickled by our carrying on, and the nurses gathered in the door and laughed with us. It was as though time had peeled back to before the divorce, before the illness, before the attack, we were all gathered together laughing and singing and dancing and carrying on like the days of old, and I had the mom of my childhood back. This is the mom I strive to remember, the laughter, the fine sense of humor, the joy, the love shining her eyes.

As much as I miss her and regret that we were never able to get back into a good place, after her funeral I felt like I was able to breathe for the first time in years. Things between my ex and I had been strained for a long time, he hadn’t wanted to leave when I needed help, I hadn’t the strength to leave when I was so thinly stretched. We parted amicably enough. In a way I was starting to come back, stand on my own feet and take up the reins of my life again. Then along came this really funny southern GI…

Monday, March 5, 2012

Adding to the home defenses

 

Gahagan2

I needed something cute today. This little fella will be ready to come home in a few weeks. I can hardly wait!

Ups and Downs

 

I really thought these entries would be short, but once I get going there’s so much to say, and it feels so good to get it out I find it difficult to stop. It’s exhausting, but in a good way. The horror show decided to loop itself through my brain again this morning but it wasn’t as scary, and I had several moments of “look! look at what I did there! Get ‘em girl!” which rarely happened before. Mostly what I see is Abby and the things I did to her, or the giant gun of cartoon proportions (in my mind) being aimed at us. Anyway, on with the next bit. I hope you had a good, rest filled weekend. I did.

After I left I went to work, and then partied until it was time to go to work again. After a week of that I lost my job, because I was showing up to work drunk and reeking, in the same clothes, and I wasn’t above cracking open a beer in the kitchen between orders any more. I didn’t care. I was fine. I was having fun. Right? It felt good, or at least better than I had felt in months, right? I did go home briefly after losing my job, to pick up my dog and I took the emergency money mom kept in her desk drawer, something less than $200. When that ran out I came back for more, and when that was gone she’d stopped putting money in the drawer. I made stupid decisions, did stupid things, but at the same time I started calming down. I didn’t have that overwhelming burning anger and hatred rising as often, I was too busy trying to stay alive and whole and take care of Sandy as much as she took care of me.

You can probably guess what life was like living on the street. I gave up and went home just before Christmas, riding a tow truck because my trucks engine had given out in the middle of a below zero night. When I got in to the house Mom came stumbling to the living room and froze, then started yelling at me. I ignored her and walked into the laundry room, stripping. I threw my clothes in the trash, grabbed some stuff and started putting them on. She was still yelling, so I turned around and said do you want me to leave again? Because I can. She stopped and then said no. Please don’t. I’m sorry, I was so worried. We both cried for a while and then I went to bed.

She was there when I woke up, all up on her high horse again, putting her foot down. There were new rules and regulations, which I ignored. I stayed home, not because she dictated it, but because I was tired, and I had a lot of thinking to do. Most of which I did on the back of my mare. I decided I didn’t like what I’d been doing, I had become a person that I was not proud to be. I had been throwing away the things that were the most important to me, my horse, my dog, my life. My relationship with my mom wasn’t something I dealt with at that time, we had an uneasy silent treaty that was fragile and frankly I didn’t have any other place to go so I ignored the problems between us and focused on getting back on track. She didn’t freak at me over the incident any more and I learned how to put a lid on the roiling feelings that rose up. We managed to limp along after a few go rounds regarding my disregarding her new rules. My sister finally stepped in, not knowing why my behavior had changed but realizing that mom was driving me away she talked some sense to her and got her off my back. Mostly.

When the next spring rolled around I decided that I wanted a handgun. I still was only 19, but legal to own one where we lived. At the time the state in which I lived had very strict handgun laws, no concealed carry, if they were being transported they must be secured in a locked case, inaccessible from the passenger area of the vehicle, ammunition must be secured in a separate, locked container, also inaccessible from the passenger area of the vehicle, and the cops I spoke to said that they’d also recommend having the magazines unloaded and separate too. OC was allowed, but again the police that I spoke to said they didn’t recommend it, you risked getting stopped and questioned. Then they said “Why do you think you need a gun? It’s best to just let the police take care of you.” Yeah, that wasn’t going to work for me.

Right or wrong, I looked at it this way. If defending myself and the girls with my truck had been illegal, I didn’t really give a rip what they’d say about a gun in my truck. Rifles and shotguns were perfectly legal to carry on a gun rack in the cab, as long as you had a hunting license and didn’t have ammunition accessible to people in the passenger area of the vehicle. I snagged a bb gun from the stable and decided that a long gun wasn’t a good choice, I barely had enough room to maneuver the bb gun around, a full sized shotgun or rifle would be bigger, heavier, and I would have to unshoulder it to swing it around, awkward and slow. Nope, a handgun was what I wanted.

So, I rolled into the only gun store in our area, one that my father had frequented, with a pocket full of cash from my tax return, looked at the guns in the case, and told the man behind the counter “I want to see that gun, right there.” My dad had owned one just like it, probably purchased in that very shop way back when, and if my dad owned it and liked it I knew it was a good gun. The man behind the counter looked at my choice and said “Oh, no, you don’t want that, that’s a man’s gun. You want one of these” and pulled out a little snubby .38 revolver.”

“No sir, I want to see THAT gun, right there.”

“Hmmmm…I think you’ll need to get your dad or your husband to come out with you and they’ll steer you in the right direction.”

“I’m not married and my dad died 3 years ago. May I see THAT gun please?” By now the case had several sets of smudges from my finger.

“No, I can’t help you.” And he walked away, and stayed away while I stood there, trying to out stubborn him. Once again I was the pink elephant in the room no one acknowledged. Huh. I left and cried in my truck.

Truth be told I didn’t know much about guns back then. I knew the difference between a rifle and a shotgun (sort of, I thought shotguns had to have two barrels and that pump actions were rifles because they only had one) and I knew there was a difference between “pistols” (aka semi-automatics) and “revolvers” (aka revolvers LOL) but I really didn’t know much else about them. I’d only fired my dad’s .22 rifle a few times back when I was seven or eight, until mom found out and freaked, and while I knew not to point a gun at anything I didn’t want to shoot I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have thought to worry about that until after someone showed me how to load it. Yup, prime candidate for gun ownership right there.

So, more determined than ever, I set out to find someone to teach me how to handle a gun. There weren’t many people willing to talk about owning handguns in the area so I asked people to teach me how to hunt, figuring that if I knew how to use one type of gun it wouldn’t be hard to figure out the other. There I was, being na├»ve again. My brothers, cousins and uncle wouldn’t help, if I wanted game I just had to ask. Hunting, guns, and especially hunting camp, were sacrosanct to them, firmly on masculine turf and if I wanted a man I needed to girlie myself up, not take up yet another masculine activity. They said the same thing when I changed the oil in my truck or replaced the outlet in the laundry room after waiting months for one of them to get around to it. Fuck ‘em.

Obviously the local shop wasn’t going to have anything to do with me, so I started talking to friends, friends of friends, etc. I’m a deeply private person so when I considered asking anyone who vaguely looked like they might have touched a gun at some point in their past you might understand just how frustrated I was. I was told to ask my dad (nope, still dead) ask my husband or boyfriend (nope, still single) and then I was told oh, my girlfriend/wife won’t let me, because obviously wanting to learn to handle firearms was just a ruse to get into their pants.

People asked “Why do you need a gun anyway?” I want to protect myself.

“Get a baseball bat.” No. I don’t want them that close to me thank you.

“A big mean dog’ll do it.” Have one, can’t take her with me 24/7.

“get your dad to give you a shotgun” Hello? You were at his funeral…

“you don’t know squat about guns and it’d be dangerous for you to handle one.” So teach me and we’ll see if I can handle it.

“Women can’t handle guns” Wanna bet? Try me.

“Go find your own man and let him protect you.”

I imagine if I had told someone what had happened to those girls someone might have taken pity on me, but it didn’t happen to ME. It Didn’t. *I* wasn’t raped and I was fine. Good to go. It wasn’t my story to tell and I wasn’t going to use those girls’ pain and misery to my advantage. I think that’s the main reason why I never mentioned it during my quest to crack into the gun world. I felt like if I did I’d be bragging about being a heroine, saving the day, capitalizing on their misery, and there was nothing, not one God Damned Thing good about that night. Oh, and there was that whole going to jail thing too.

I finally found a couple of guys willing to teach me to shoot for a couple cases of beer. I went over to their farm with the beer, and proceeded to watch them get more drunk and start woo hooing shots with their .22 pistol into the air, the fire, and pretty much whatever direction they felt like. Even they thought that my being there was just an excuse and that I really just wanted to party with them. Their lesson consisted of putting an empty beer box on a burn barrel, doing everything to get the gun ready for me to fire, putting it in my hand, aiming it and saying okay, pull the trigger while the one held my hand and the other hid behind a building behind us, just in case. Yay. I stuck it out, hoping to learn something or at least be able to hold the gun by my ownself, until their bullets starting spanging off the pole barn and whizzing over my head. That was scary. Yeah, guns are dangerous and don’t seem to mix well with alcohol, thanks for showing me that, I’m going home. That was a cheap lesson, just 2 cases of Miller.

So by now it’s been just about a year that I’ve been trying to find someone to teach me how to handle a gun. I had been ignored, insulted, called names, patted on the head, chucked under the chin, told I was “cute” and that I should ask my daddy for a shotgun or find me a man to keep me safe.

'”Lord only knows why you‘re worried about that, it‘s pretty safe here”

“Well, *looking me up and down* let‘s just say you‘re more of a rump roast than prime rib, so you‘ll be fine.”

I particularly enjoyed that one. Obviously I didn’t need a gun, my extra pounds and average face would protect me just fine. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know what those bastards would have done to me if I hadn’t been so aggressive, if I hadn’t had 6,000 pounds of steel and glass to hurtle at them, if I had frozen, but they didn’t seem to care that I had a big ass and wouldn’t win a beauty contest. But, if my friends, if my family, if my mom, who knew what I’d gone through, didn’t think I needed to protect myself, I must not. Right? So I gave up. I gave up so hard that I didn’t want anything to do with guns. Rifles were still cool because you could hunt with them, but handguns? Dangerous ZOMG You’ll Kill Yourself. (My mom’s words, I still hear them when I’m at the range. My 9mm drowns them out nicely though.) I wouldn’t even touch a handgun because I wasn’t allowed and I was afraid I’d hurt myself, since everyone I knew and trusted assured me that I would, and from what I’d seen they were obviously dangerous.

Segue.

Back to when I saw Abby again. After giving her my sincerest and most heartfelt apology for being so brutal with her that night and tearing up over the things I remember saying to her, she said that her therapist and she had talked about it and she understood why I did and said what I did and that there wasn't anything to forgive me for. I'm still uneasy about bullying her like that, but if she's forgiven me I suppose I should try to forgive myself too. When I’m ready. She also said that I was right, and she was determined to never be that weak again. At least not until the bad stuff was over.

I asked Abby if she'd mind talking about what happened after the incident because it had been kept out of the papers, and she told me that they caught 17 of the fuckers at the house, they had all sorts of illegal drugs, two guns, and that the old asshole was a criminal in Mexico. They appeared to use the house as a trafficking/hideout set up because it was right off of a major interstate. That's also when I found out that the old plaid bastard had been pointing a gun at us when the deputies showed up and the giant handgun, muzzle bigger than his head, entered my private picture show. Abby knows all of their names, I prefer bastards and assholes, it has a nice, universal appeal to me. I looked up the area on google maps the other day, it’s gone now, fast food joints are where the house was and a hotel parking lot usurped the wayside. 

Abby said my name had been kept out of the reports and I had only been referred to as a good Samaritan that drove around evading the assholes until the cops got there. I guess they had to explain the holes and tracks and damage to the gravel parking lot somehow. But, if what I did was so good, why was it against the law and needed to be hidden? Why did my active, aggressive role have to be reduced to passive tail-tucking? Why did I need protection for protecting them? There was no jury, just a judge, and the girls gave statements but didn't have to testify. They sent some of them back to Mexico and some went to prison for what they did and other, unrelated crimes. The plaid bastard was one that went to jail, I think the old asshole is still in there, if he’s still wasting my oxygen, that is.

I asked her how Jenny was doing and she said she hadn’t spoken to her since it came out that the bastard Jenny dated told her to bring her friends over for a party and they'd give her all the drugs and alcohol that she wanted if she didn't tell any one. That part confused me for a bit, why couldn't she tell anyone she took friends to a party? So she explained that Jenny probably knew what they were going to do and only tried to interfere when the one she dated raped Abby, and that‘s when they started beating and raping Jenny too. Oh. Well. What do you say to that? I hope she got punished? She did, she went to juvie for two years and had been in and out of trouble since. At the time we were speaking she was on probation. Abby said that she felt stupid because she was the only one of the girls Jenny invited who agreed to go, but I told her she was just innocent and didn’t know better. Now she does. My current husband thinks that they were planning on taking the girls and forcing them into prostitution, and I tend to agree.

Abby said she was in therapy for a while, but she was able to forgive Jenny in a way, addicts do the most messed up things to get their fix and she's heard that she was getting her life back on track after several bouts of rehab. I asked Abby about her life now and she told me she was married and working on their second baby, and her life was good. Hard, because her husband was going to school and working, but she said I'm tough and I survived that, this is cake.

She said sometimes when she just wanted to curl up and wish it all away she would remember what I'd told her, that she had to keep going because it wasn't going to go away and no one else was going to take care of her so she'd better get to it. My ex asked her how she found out who I was, and she said it wasn't hard to find the girl who drove the orange truck around the county, but she never had the guts to look me up because she was afraid that I would be disappointed in her.

I jumped up and gave her a huge hug and said honey I'm SO proud of you! You have worked really hard and you are a survivor! She cried and asked if I really thought that. Of course! I reassured her, and I really do believe it. She had to get back to work and we had to get home to our son and my mom so we left, and we didn’t exchange information. I think it would have been too much for both of us. It was over and it was good between us, but it was also fragile and painful and needed to be closed. I haven’t heard from or spoken to either of the girls since then.

I didn’t tell Abby about the problems that I had coping with what happened. It’s not so much that I’m ashamed of my behavior, I did what I did and I’ll take my lumps because I earned them, but I had the impression while we were speaking that if she knew that I’d had problems it would create problems for her. She kept saying how strong I was and it seemed like something she needed to believe, that I was strong and healthy and fine. I almost let this break me, and I think knowing that might have harmed her after she fought so hard to “be like me.”

My relationship with my mom improved a bit after that. I told her I’d seen Abby, and what she’d said about the official record of my role in the events, and mom relaxed and got teary eyed, then got upset because I’d given my ex a very brief summary. “What if he decides to turn you in??” He hasn’t, and I didn’t think he would have anyway. He’s a good natured perpetual boy, not a jerk, but now that the statute of limitations for both misdemeanors and felonies in that state has passed it’s a moot point.

There’s still more to my story that I will share soon, after all you haven’t heard about my Garand yet. My heart feels lighter so I think the heavy lifting has been done. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Shut Up and Go Away.

 

After the deputies took off into the corn field I apologized profusely to Abby, wrapping my arms around her and rocking her, telling her I was so sorry I was mean to her but I couldn't think of any other way to get her to calm the fuck down and help me help her, or at least stop making it so difficult. I thanked Jenny for her help and then I rounded on Abby again and said “you are WAY too smart to act like that. You were scared but that's no reason to lose your mind. You've had just about the worst thing that can ever happen to a women happen to you tonight so there is no excuse to ever lose it like that again, NEVER do that. I can’t fight if I have to drag your sorry ass with me. You survived you are strong, use your brain, fight your ASS off, and don't ever put yourself in a situation like that again because I won't be there to save you, You only have yourself to rely on. Got that? You. That's it. Beer isn't worth it. Attention isn’t worth it. You want someone to like you get a fucking dog not an old ass Mexican.”

She started crying about how she was stupid and her parents would never love her again, I told her they won't ever stop loving you. Trusting you yes, but loving you no. A state trooper pulled up behind the deputies cruisers and she finally started getting hold of herself and I said “I took care of you because I care about you girls and I wasn't going to let those ugly ass bastards hurt you anymore. Respect that and don't ever give up like you did.” Jenny said she was a gibbering mess from the start, just laying there and letting them beat her and do what they wanted, if it hadn’t been for her Abby’d still be there or running through the field naked. I told her if she wasn’t worth fighting for then I wouldn’t have wasted my time and she had best get that straight in her head.

I don’t know how and I don’t know why but for that little bit of time that night those girls were MINE and I did care about them. I still do and I often wonder how she is to this day. That night no one was going to hurt them while I had anything to say about it. (here my brain insists that I insert except me. Because I did hurt her.) My firearms instructor agreed with me, saying people often have feelings like that for someone they’re defending, even when they’re strangers. I don’t know anything about that but I do know that I defended them with as much deadly intent as I would defend my children now.

The trooper came to the door and the girls wouldn't open it. They wouldn't open the window either and they both grabbed me and held on this time, they were both afraid the motherfuckers were hiding out there, waiting for them to come out. I was safer to them than the cops were. I finally got them to let go so I could slip out and they locked themselves in my truck while I talked to him.

I gave him my name and started to tell him what had happened and he stopped me and asked if they'd threatened me before I ran them over. I said well, they were hanging on the side of my truck and pounding on the windows and he interrupted and said “had they done anything to you?” I said well, no, but… and he whistled and waved his hands and said “stop, don't say another thing. Not one more.” I said “but don't you need to know...” and he said “I told you to be quiet, didn’t you hear me?” I was confused and shaky and in truth I think I was in a bit of shock so I didn't really understand the undercurrent he was trying to convey, but I shut up.

I helped him get the girls into the car, and took the opportunity to yell at Abby again that she was strong, giving up was not an option any more for her, don't be stupid, and if she didn't fight back next time I'd track her down and kick her fucking ass. That raised the troopers eyebrows. Abby kept asking me to go with them to the hospital and stay with her so her parents wouldn't yell at her, but the trooper said I couldn't. After the girls were in the car I leaned in and gave her a kiss and a hug and said her parents would love her very much no matter what and she should trust them and tell them the whole truth and never lie to them like that again. I then turned to Jenny and said you're really strong, but you do stupid things too. She told me to fuck off. I figured she’d be okay.

The trooper turned my truck around for me, I was shaking badly and there were so many cars packed in there that I didn’t trust myself to do it at that point. I asked him what about the deputies? He said they're down at the house where these guys all live, there's a whole bunch more deputies there and more on their way here. He pointed to the other side of the corn field, about a football field away and I noticed all the lights for the first time. Apparently this was a known problem house. I said but they knew I was here, and he said I'll take care of it. Okay. He asked me where I lived, I told him the city and he said don't go down past them to go home, go down through (another town) and go home the back roads. Yessir. He tore a paper out of his notebook and handed it to me, literally shoved me into my truck, and I left. I looked at it later and it was the paper he wrote my name and other information on. I couldn't understand why he didn't want to hear what happened. That was the last I saw or heard of the girls until I met Abby again at the restaurant

In the email to Agirl I glossed over a lot of what happened in the days after the incident. I didn’t want to go into detail because she was my mom. She was a very cautious, nervous, easily panicked person who avoided confrontation like the plague, but she loved me and I her, she worked long hard hours to take care of me and to do her best to provide, and she did a damned good job of it too. I think she just couldn’t bear the thought of losing me, and did what every parent would do, protected her child in the best way she knew how. I don’t like sharing ugly things about her, but I’ve come this far and I think it’s more of an important part of the story than I originally thought. I knew that there were things that I did that were in reaction to what was going on, but I didn’t quite see all the connecting threads, mostly because I didn’t really want to. I was just so angry all the time.

All my life my mom told me don’t fight back. If someone wants to rob you, rape you, don’t fight back. Just give them what they want and you’ll survive. The only time I was supposed to fight back was if they tried to take me away. I thought that was a bunch of bullpucky. I tried not fighting back once, at school, and I hated how I felt about myself. I always fought back after that, at least when I lost I didn’t beat myself up because I let someone make me their victim.

The whole ride home is pretty much a blur. I know that I was driving on autopilot because I suddenly snapped aware and realized not only had I missed my turn but I was already through the town he told me to head for and just reaching the outskirts of the larger city in our area. I turned around and went home, numb again. It reminded me of the one time I took No-Doze. I was awake and moving but my brain was shut down. The weird thing was the closer I got to home the antsier I got, my legs started bouncing and my hands started shaking again. I finally walked in the door a little before 4 in the morning. It was just my mom and I, and the dogs. My siblings were all grown up and moved out, the nearest one was a state away. My parents had divorced 6 years earlier, and my father had passed away three years ago. I went straight to the shower, tripping over Sandy, my big doberman, as she followed me, trying to figure out what was wrong. My glasses were bent and the ear piece was missing, I had scratches on my face, down my neck and shoulder, across my chest and even a small one on my breast. The worst was my lower lip, it was big and purple with a huge gash inside of it. I was covered with my own hair that Abby had ripped out. I got in the shower and I must have woken my mom up because I heard her a few minutes later, trying to get Sandy to move so she could get to the bathroom.

“You’re up early, going to the stable?” she croaked at me. I watched my hair slip down the drain.

“I don’t think so. Remind me to run some of that septic tank stuff down later.” I said.

“Run some of that septic stuff down later. Heh. Well, I’m up for the day, do you want something to eat?” Mom worked for the state and got up at 5am for work every day. Already in her late 50’s she had a difficult time falling asleep if woken up.

“No, I’m okay.” I wasn’t, but I wasn’t hungry.

She left and I got out of the shower. I got dressed and went into the kitchen, grabbed a soda and curled up in a chair, Sandy following me and whining the whole time. She knew something was wrong but she didn’t know what. Mom was at the coffee pot fixing her cup and said “ I swear I don’t know what’s wrong with that dog today.”

“Mom?” “yes?” Tears were leaking down my face and Sandy shoved herself under my arm. I wrapped my arms around her and buried my face in her neck, sniffled, then sobbed out “Mommy?” She was across the kitchen and had her arms around me within a second, lifted my face up and said “Oh my God, what happened? Who hurt you?” She pushed the dog away and pulled me to her, and I tried to tell her what had happened but all I could do was stammer between sobs. She told me to calm down first. After a few minutes the sobs subsided and she got herself another cup of coffee and sat down to listen. I told her that I was over at the wayside by *redacted* reading and some girls came up and needed help and I called the police and we were in the truck and the Mexicans came up and started beating my truck and I tried to run them over and… She grabbed my shoulders and said “YOU WHAT???” and shook me a little. “Why did you do that? Why did you even get involved?” Well…but…they needed help…”Let someone else help them. The phone was right there, they could have called the police, why on earth did you get involved? You should have just left! You’re always getting involved in things that are none of your business!” but…aren’t we supposed to help people…”just be quiet, I need to think. What did the police say?” The deputies chased after them and the trooper didn’t want to talk to me, he sent me home. “Did you give him your name? Of course you did. That was stupid.” Well, he gave it back to me…”let me see it.” I stumbled to my room and dug it out of my jeans. Why was she so angry with me? I went back into the kitchen and said “what did I do wrong, mom?” “Besides getting yourself involved in something that was none of your business and is going to get you put in jail?”

“Jail? Why would I go to jail?” “Did you kill any of them?” “I don’t think so…No, there weren’t any bodies at the wayside when they left” I dropped into the chair and started crying again, panicked. What did I do wrong? Mom looked at me and sighed, and gave me a brief hug. “maybe it’s not so bad, he gave you back all your information. Maybe he won’t say anything. What did you tell him?” I told her, and she got agitated again pacing the kitchen and running her hands through her hair. “Why did you let them in the truck again?” I didn’t, the door was unlocked…”That was stupidity number one, don’t do that again! Why didn’t you leave?” Because the dispatch lady said to wait for the cops…”Why didn’t you leave the girls there and get out?!” “Because they needed me, Mom, they needed help…”Lord love you you’d give the shirt off your back to anyone but you should have stayed out of it!”

Eventually we got through the whole story, although like any child who is terrified and in trouble and not quite sure why I didn’t give her as many details as I could. I didn’t tell her what I’d done to Abby at all. She focused mostly on the first series of events.

“So they didn’t say anything to you?” “No..well, they were yelling things but it was in Spanish and I didn’t know what they were saying.”

“The only thing they did to you before you decided to run them down was bang on your truck and try to open a locked door, and that one you went after hadn’t done anything at all?” “well…no…” “Good God, don’t you realize that’s at least assault with a deadly weapon!” “I…what? I didn’t have a weapon…” “The truck is a weapon. We don’t have Castle Law here, sweetheart. For God’s sake, why didn’t you just leave!”

I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me to leave. I think because the police dispatch had told me to stay there. I started to feel nauseous.

“What’s castle law?” I’d never heard of it. Mom explained it to me. My stomach churned. Then she said “Lawyers would say everything that they did to you was done in self defense because they didn’t hurt you and you could have left! Don’t tell ANYONE what you did. I mean it. Never. Don’t say a God Damned word or you’ll go to jail.”

She called her work and took the rest of the week off. She took me to the dr, told them that damned doberman scratched her while they were playing, and I got three stitches inside my lip and a dr’s excuse for work, whom she told I had been in an accident. Whatever. We cleaned up the truck, it was covered with drops and smears of blood, my hair, and the tape deck was ruined. I yanked it out and threw it in the trash, I’d rather see the bare wires. It had been a birthday present so she bought me a new one, told the installer that I’d spilled soda on the last one. Whatever. She had the tires changed, the rear ones were pretty much shredded, told the tire guy I’d been racing. Whatever. Called the insurance company about the rear window, told them a rock broke it, and some guy came out and replaced it. Whatever. The side mirror was smashed and the triangle window was hanging, the paint was trashed, there were dents all over the roof, and a big one between the rear tire and the bumper, I think I hit the light pole at some point. My uncle fixed the mirror and the window for me, took a plunger and did what he could with the dents, shaking his head and saying “damn fool thing to do, girl, you know better than to do that to a good truck like this.” Mom told him I’d taken it out mudding and busted it up. Whatever. I’d always been taught that it was wrong to lie, and tried very hard to be responsible for my own actions. If I did wrong, when I was caught I admitted it and accepted my punishment. Whatever.

I spent a lot of time huddled on the couch, and when I started crying she’d sometimes hug me for a minute and then tell me that was enough now, I was Fine. Or she’d just leave the room if I didn’t seem able to suck it up. She bought all the local papers for weeks, scanning them again and again for any mention of what happened. Any time I tried to talk to her about what happened, or even looked like I wanted to say something to her about it, she’d say “Shut. Up. Do you want to go to jail? I can’t afford a lawyer, and if they decide to prosecute you I can’t help you. Don’t say a word. Not one. To anyone. Shut. Up.”

“Shut up, You’re Fine, nothing happened” became her new mantra. The stitches came out and I went back to work. Numb. Shaken up. Traumatized. Mom and I didn’t talk much any more. I would be at home, puttering around, I’d hear her car pull into the driveway and I could feel the anger rise, hot and harsh. I worked my schedule around so I didn’t see her unless I had to. Things kept bubbling to the surface, and when I didn’t think I could keep it in any more, I filled my mouth to keep it quiet. Mostly with alcohol. Cause it made me feel Fine.

The truck started having problems. I had to replace the right front spindle the first month, it was nearly cut through, and then the rear end a few weeks later, and that emptied my savings. I started sneaking beer at work. The boss knew but didn’t say much, even when whole cases started disappearing. My checks got smaller to compensate. I didn’t care. The transmission went in early October, and I didn’t have enough money to pay the shop to fix it. I found a guy who would drop in a tranny from the junk yard, a “slop” tranny in local vernacular. He liked me. I drank hard, I played hard, and I was getting a reputation. He did the job for $75 dollars, and when I went to pick up the truck he was in his kitchen, naked under his bathrobe. He tried to work out a different arrangement, I told him no. I put the money on the table, holding my hand out for the keys. He pushed me against the refrigerator and started rubbing himself on me, his robe open, trying to kiss me. I shoved him back and he fell, knocking the table over. I screamed a stream of foul words at him, he threw the keys at me and I left. He came after me saying you’d better not tell anyone! The transmission worked great, I hit the gas, cranked the wheel so the ass end slewed over and sprayed him with gravel, wonderful gravel, and left, flipping him the bird the whole way. I came storming into my house, screaming at mom about what happened as I grabbed the phone. She said what are you doing? I said I’m calling the cops, what do you think? She yanked the phone out of the wall and said you can’t call the police, they’ll find out what you did!!! No, mom, they won’t, now give me the damn phone! She slapped me. I spun around and left, because if I didn’t I was going to beat her.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Taking action

 

Groceries have been procured, the younger children have been fed, washed, brushed and tucked in, as have I. As I start this the husband is in the other room playing a game with the teen, my old dog has had her belly placated with toe scritches and my young dog has jumped up and flung herself on my legs. 70 pounds of love, that one is. I feel about as warm and safe as it gets while still allowing room to type. I didn’t intend to do this so soon, but it’s been burning a hole in my gut all day and I want to get it out.

Things that take paragraphs to write happened in seconds, all on top of each other, and I’m not a good enough writer to really convey that without it being a series of while this was going on and at the same times. I’ve tried to make the story as linear as possible but while I may have said and done something when ‘this’ was happening, the thoughts and reactions were initiated while ‘that’ was going on, so my mind says it makes more sense to put it there. I apologize if it creates confusion. It’s taken four hours to write this, even though much of it was copy pasted from the original email and some of the time was spent staring at the screen watching it happen over and over again. The entire altercation, as best as I can figure, took about 20 minutes.

I’m not proud of what I did and said to Abby as this all happened. Adrenalin certainly played a part in my reactions, but everything was happening simultaneously and I didn’t know what to do, I wasn’t prepared and I had too much to deal with all at once. Every where I turned something bad, scary, and threatening was coming at me. Throughout the following events, except when she was mid freak out and trying to climb something, Abby allowed herself to be flung about by the motion of the truck, landing on us and laying there, moaning and crying, greatly hindering any attempt at trying to focus and take action. Excuses aside, I have spent the last two decades berating myself for abusing her and I am ashamed.

I put my foot to the floor and that bored out 360 gave me every ounce of horsepower it had. The evil bastards were dragged and flung off the truck as it leapt forward heading straight for the motherfucker. I don’t know why I picked him, perhaps I saw the bat and figured he was the only one with a weapon, perhaps I noticed that he gestured and shouted something to the other fuckers and they seemed to move at his direction, perhaps it was just because he was in front of me and the only one not hanging on my truck. The packed gravel near the light pole held when I hit the gas, but it quickly gave way to the newly spread gravel and the truck floundered and flung rocks everywhere. He dove behind the picnic table and I stopped. There wasn't room to get around it and I couldn't go through it without risking disabling the truck. Abby, sitting next to me, was screaming incoherently, grabbing my arm and pulling on me, yanking at me, screaming, clawing at me and trying to climb on top of me like she was drowning and I was the dock. I yelled at her to let go but she couldn't hear me, I tried to push her off me but she just kept grabbing faster than I could get her hands off. I finally yelled at Jenny “Help me get her off me I can't fucking drive like this!” and between Jenny and I we got her off me. It only took a minute for me to get the truck moving again, but the old bastard had climbed up into the bed of my truck, climbed over the shitpile of trash I had back there and was beating on the rear window with his baseball bat. I remember being grateful I had a solid rear window instead of a slider. Abby started screaming and scrabbling for me again, scratching my face and knocking my glasses loose, one hand locked in my hair, her other grabbed the gear shift. Using my knee to try and get a foot hold, she jammed my foot onto the accelerator in her blind rush to get away to safer ground. The truck bucked wildly as the engine roared and she yanked it through it’s gears.

I am ashamed of what I did next. I thought I only shoved her away, I think that’s all I meant to do, to get her off of me so I could see and drive, but she was hurting me and in the way and I shoved her so hard she flew across the truck and slammed into the door, cracking her head hard on the frame. I didn't mean to hurt her, I wanted to grab her and hold her tight and tell her I was sorry, so sorry, but I had to get the ugly asshole out of the bed of my truck before he got through the window. Stunned, Abby laid on Jenny, holding her head and crying. Jenny shoved her off of her lap and against the door, shaking her and yelling something about being a baby. Some part of me hated her for folding, for not fighting back, for making it so hard to save her. Is that why I pushed her so hard? Was I trying to hurt her? While I slammed the truck into reverse I yelled at her that if she didn't stop grabbing me I wouldn't be able to drive and they would get in and I WOULD LEAVE HER THERE because I didn't ask for this, I was trying to help her and keep our asses safe but if she didn't stop I wouldn't be able to do that. That fucking bastard was still bashing the rear window, but he was unable to get a good hit because bent posts and broken electric fencing was sliding under his feet. Thank God I hadn’t gone to the dump yet. I told Jenny to do what she had to do to keep Abby off of me because now she was screaming and trying to climb on top of the dashboard. Later I found drops of blood all over the dash and seat, I think she cut her toes on the tape deck. I knew where the blood on the window and the door came from.

I hit the gas as hard as I could and heard the 4 barrel open up as the truck started skipping sideways, spraying gravel wildly. Unfortunately while the head bastard in the bed of the truck had to hold on he wasn't knocked loose. I eased up on the gas and the tires caught, hurling us backward and hitting two of the assholes behind us that had been trying to climb over the tailgate. The old fuck in the back slipped and bounced off the rear window, cracking it (after surviving the beating he gave it with the baseball bat NOW it decides to crack? wtf….?) then flew back and slammed into the tailgate when I threw it in drive and cranked it around, shoving Abby off of me again and swearing at Jenny. I beat him around like that for a while, aiming the truck at whoever happened to be in whatever direction I was going, yelling at the girls to watch the others and let me know what they were doing. The truck was giving me everything it had, but the gravel slowed it down and I couldn’t get a good run at them, not enough of one to do real damage. They were too close anyway, anyone too slow to dive out of the way was pushed and knocked around rather than slammed into and run over like I wanted.

One of the guys behind me, was it one I hit? got the tailgate down and the old asshole rolled out just when Jenny grabbed my shoulder and said “Look out Look out!” pointing ahead of us. The guy in the green t-shirt had the metal mesh trash can and was throwing it at my windshield. I hit the gas and he stumbled back so it bounced off the roof, then he vanished back into the corn field and I drove right after him. The field mired the front wheels and I started yelling at myself I know better than to do that, I know better. It’s only two wheel drive stupid stupid STUPID! I jammed it into reverse, transmission banging, flinging rocks, but I couldn’t get the purchase to pull out of it. We had a stand off, they circled around and I gunned it and peppered gravel at them when they got too close, the ass end of the truck slewing as it strained for purchase, hopping over last years ruts as it dug them out. We just had to hang on long enough for the cops to get there. I discovered that night that gravel makes a pretty effective projectile. Like shot. They all stopped and circled the truck, looking smug and smiling. They caught their breath and talked to each other. I stomped on the floor switch and they covered their eyes in the harsh glare of the high beams and they winced, a couple of them picked up rocks and started throwing them at the truck, trying to break the headlights or the windshield I guess. I tried rocking the truck a bit, maybe I could get enough momentum to get it up over the edge, but it wouldn’t go. At least they were being sprayed with rocks. Then one grabbed his crotch and shook it at us and they all laughed. How dare they. HOW DARE THEY!!!! I. Was. Not. Done. Not by a long fucking shot.

I pulled myself up with the steering wheel and I stood on the accelerator with both feet and held it there, once again hearing the carburetor open up wide. I can still hear the whoooooohhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmm of the engine. You could smell it too, hot metal and burning. The tires spun and spun, spraying them with gravel, so they moved back further into the corn field, where I could see a few more of them waiting, watching.The high beams and the latest batch of gravel must have really pissed them off because one of them grabbed the trash can and pounded on the truck with it until it broke apart, green shirt asshole started trying to yank the handle off the passenger side door, then managed to pop the triangle window open and started reaching around grabbing for the lock. Abby started screaming again and scrambling away, trying to climb on top of the seat. Jenny shook her again. I still had the accelerator buried and the truck was roaring and hopping and spraying them with rocks, I could see blood running down the face of the one with the trash can. I yelled “kick him! Kick the fuck out of him!” so Jenny started kicking green shirts arm. I heard the glove box crunching. Abby was reduced to a little pile of terror again, leaning on Jenny until she shoved her off into the middle of the floor. I said to her “you’re scared and useless right now. It’s okay to be scared and useless, but stop getting in the fucking WAY while you do it!” She sat up and started bracing herself a little. I think maybe not being able to see them helped her.

The truck tires finally dug their way through the gravel to hard dirt and it lurched back, breaking the side mirror off on his head. He screamed and dragged his arm out, holding it. I remember yelling good you goddamned motherfucker I hope it's broken, but it must not have been because he and his friends picked up the picnic table and tried to throw it at us. It was chained to the light pole though so just the end bounced off the hood.

The old plaid bastard came running out of the field and pointed at us, and two deputy sheriffs pulled into the wayside with their lights on just as I gunned the engine again to run his ass down. Deep gravel, boggy field, it didn’t make a difference, I was going to smear him all over my grill. He shoved whatever he had (For years I thought it was part of his baseball bat) in his pants and they all ran into the cornfield. The deputies yelled stay here and ran after them. I backed the truck up to their cars and put it in park, head whipping around looking for the assholes to appear again. Some rocks came flying out of the field but no one showed themselves.

I’m sorry, I have to stop now. When it was happening I was scared but mostly I was pissed as hell and fighting like a wildcat because they hurt the girls and they were breaking my truck. I was too busy trying to focus on what I should do to think about what was happening. Later, all I focused on was how I continued their brutalization of Abby. Seeing what I said and did to her brings that all back, but it’s a familiar pain. I never really realized just how much danger I was in. I never really stopped to consider what would happen if they got into the truck, and seeing it all laid out like this, remembering the expressions on their faces, has made it very real again. I don’t know what they intended to do but I don’t think we’d have survived it.

The house is dark, my husband is snoring next to me, I’m going to wrap him around me and watch the horror show in my head a few more times.

Good Night.