My step dad Paul was an asshole. To my nieces and nephew on my sisters side, he was their grandfather, and I'm sorry kids, but I've got to call him out for what he was.
He's been dead now for over thirty years, a chain smoking long haul truck driver that adored his daughter, my half sister, while barely enduring my brother and I.
In the early years, between five to twelve, he whipped my brother and I regularly with his belt over the slightest things. I guess that's what he determined his role to be, the discipliner.
When we made it up to Paradise CA, the whippings stopped. My older brother Dana was big enough to kick his ass, and I would have put up a good fight.
He rarely participated in our lives, instead hanging out in his car, parked in the driveway, reading paperback books.
I was a track star in High School, and played first base for a high ranking California Babe Ruth team, and he never attended a single event.
One summer when I was sixteen I took off from Paradise and hitch hiked around the state for three months. I wasn't missed.
The reason I thought about Paul today, was due to some pigeons being raised in a coup on top of an apartment building, in a movie I've been watching.
I was raising about twenty pigeons as a kid when we moved North out of Visalia. At the last minute he gave into my mom's pleadings and strapped their cages to the big trailer hauling our stuff up to Paradise.
They survived the trip, and loved hanging out in the tall pine trees. One day when I was trying to get them down from the trees into their cages, I accidently killed one with a rock. I was heartbroken but Paul freaked out and said That's It and the next day when I got home from school, they were gone. And I had no idea what happened to them, never did find out.
So, it's going to be interesting if there is another side, and I run into that guy...