Men are silly little creatures aren’t they ladies?
I love them though. Really. I do. I always have. I’ve always been the Gemma to my boys. My father raised me to be Gemma. I was always the little girl that was hanging with the big dogs. I spoke their language, I have known how to read biker body language from the womb I think.
My mother actually used to tell the story about how when I was six weeks old she “took Neat to work with her and by God, she slept right there on the beer cooler!”
I remember going to the Poor Boy with mom and cleaning it on Sunday mornings. If you have never been to the Poor Boy, consider yourself blessed. Yep, Blessed. No offense to the lovers of the Poor Boy, but, wow. Damn. Cleaning the Poor Boy was a rough morning for this little girl, for sure. The only thing that got me through it was a microwaved cheeseburger and a quarter in the jukebox that allowed me to hear “Disco Duck” a few times.
I remember mom was tired and we plugged in that jukebox and the music started. Both of us were wearing our bell bottoms. We were the Poor Boy Queens for that moment.
Disco Duck Queens.
Life was good. Pine Sol in the Air.
Just as the songs were finishing ( we played Disco Duck a couple of times) a man walked in. He was a friend of a friend. I can not remember the man in question. I can walk to his grave. I found it. It’s in Londonderry, Ohio. He was a childhood friend of my father, a Korean war veteran and an alcoholic. He demanded my mothers pay. He said he had photos of her. Photos she had sent dad while he was in prison.
My mother had never sent my father photos in prison. Any woman with any sense would never send photos to prison. The guards intercept the photos and taunt the men with the photos typically. Torture. However, the raw truth is this. My father at one point, during a drunken escapade when my mother was at a very low point in her life, was convinced to pose with another man nude.
This was to be her punishment. She was being blackmailed by her husband’s best friend. I watched in horror as my mother handed Harley the money. I slapped her hand as she did it. The money hit the floor and she cried as she picked it up and gave it to him. I was furious because I knew dad was going to beat her when we got home. He was setting her up. My father was setting her up three times to be abused. He first set her up to see if she was weak enough to submit, then set her up to see if she would also hand over the money and then he would beat her for handing over the money.
If only my mother could be standing here today. Bless her sweet soul. Later that night she was beaten. I walked to my room. Straight up the stairs to the room that I never was allowed to sleep in. I knew I could do nothing. If I could talk to her today I’d explain to her about technology. I’d tell her about hard drives and external hard drives. I’d explain to her about other names and other copies and printers and new friends and safety measures and protections. I’d tell her about never placing eggs in the same baskets. I’d tell her to love your husband but to protect your children first. Protect your heart and soul. Love yourself above all other because if you can not love yourself you can not love any man. Love your God and love your child. Protect your soul child.
Know your worth.
That is all.
Be the love you want to see in the world.