William W. Cairns The House On Telegraph Hill
Memoir of childhood abuse and a lifetime after.
Excerpt #1: Sick Abusive Jokes


Excerpt #1: Sick Abusive Jokes

      As she unfolded the little package that little giggling spell of hers began to unfold itself. When I heard that, the giggle I’d heard so many times before when things turned out not so funny, I knew she was up to no good. Every time that silly sick looking smile crept across her face, accompanied by those giggling “chirps“, I knew she was up to something not well that made me not well, ill that is. Everything she ever did was strange, certainly never normal, not her. Even I knew that at the age of six. She was an Alfred Hitchcock of her own making. Every one of her undertakings never had a normal outcome by acceptable standards, only hers. There was always that special touch to her shenanigans, something strange and something twisted, always ominous. Everything was in a strange kind of black and white and seemingly benign at first, like some of the ominous scenes in “Psycho” as yes my mother was a “Norman Bates” personified. Whatever it was with her it always gave me a sick and creepy feeling deep down. I suppose one might compare her arrangements with the shenanigans of old Alfred Hitchcock himself. Her ways of doing things were so strange that it was always hard to pinpoint the exact reasoning behind them, normal reasoning that is. I believe that might be the main reason why she got away with so much abuse. When some of her handiwork was in progress and in plain sight most people thought that she was just being funny and only “kidding” around a bit, you know what I mean. Oh yeah, look at me. She was “kidding” all right and I became the joke, her joke….for life.

Sitting there waiting for her to help dress me I found myself staring at what appeared to be a small purple bathing suit with a matching purple and white tee shirt. Christ, it was in the middle of winter and she wanted me to dress for the beach! After she held the shirt out, well there it was; a cute little white one with purple stripes running up and down the front. She forced me back into the corner chair, the chair where my old man got stewed every night, and displayed her true nature, brutally sick. At that point she was at her best, insane. There she pushed, twisted and shoved to get the decrepit things on me. When she was done I stood up and faced the full-length mirror on the living room closet door as she directed and, with her hand covering her mouth, whispered: “Now take a good look Chucky, isn't that cute?” I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. There stood some kind of a screwball out of place and definitely out of time. There stood Little Chucky Boy looking at some jackass in the mirror staring back who was all spruced up in a small bikini bathing suit with his testicles hanging out. Above that obscenity was the little skin-tight T-shirt to match! I turned around to take a peek at the goddamn things from behind and all I could see were the bare cheeks of my butt. The rear of the damn thing had crept out of sight! By today’s standards I guess you might call the thing a “thong” or better yet, a "slingshot!" I mean what the hell, let’s go to the French Riviera and let it all hang out! It was ten degrees outside and she had me ready for the beach or a nut house! It must’ve taken weeks for her to come up with that one. After she forced my outer clothing on me I was shoved out the front door into the dark cold of the winter morning. Then she slammed the door shut in my face without even a goodbye leaving me all alone to face the world, the cruel world like a man! What the hell only men wear bikinis for dress, right?

As I turned and went on my way I became more frightened with each ice-crushing step. My awareness of the outfit beneath my heavy outer garb became more unsettling with each crunching plod. No one knew of the one sick joke that lay underneath, that was about to play out when I got to my first grade class, except me. No one ever knew that I was being forced to play out some sick kind of game with a twisted perception of humor incorporated that only a twisted mind could’ve conceived of. I knew something terrible was about to happen when I got to school but couldn't quite identify with it as I’d never experienced that kind of fear and apprehension that was clouding my thoughts. I was only six years old and ready to learn something of the behavior of human nature, the cruelty of Man. I was about to learn of the depth with which her sick fun would penetrate the depths of my psyche forever. Even though I was only six years old I already hated her to the core. This is how her twisted perception of humor and fun operated throughout the duration of her life that eventually destroyed mine. She never changed, never had to, everyone else did. Why you might ask? She was able to get away with it that’s why.