A man approaching thirty is asked why he can't seem to be successful in his relationships with women. Not sure if this is by a soon-to-be-ex girlfriend or another in a long line of therapists. This is his response...
"Ah. THE question. 'Why can't David find a nice girl and settle down?'"
"Do you really want the answer to that question? See - I'm lucky, in a way, because I KNOW why I can't commit to a woman. Most people struggle a lot with the "why", but - I. Am. One. Step. Ahead... at least in that regard..."
"So, it's 1995. I'm fifteen years old and living the suburban American dream. I live in Quincy, MA with My Dad, a plumber and my Mom - one of the few female sergeants in the State Police. My friends and I have just discovered the old quarries filled with water and how much fun it is to jump into them. The fact that we have to trespass and risk landing on a stolen car that was dumped there just makes it more alluring."
"But on this weekend, I'm going camping with my Dad and my little brother Mikey. I always loved going camping, but this time, I'm a little resentful to be pulled away from my friends. Still, camping with Dad and Mikey was fun and my Dad always found somewhere where we'd see something interesting. This time it's the White Mountains in New Hampshire. But on the way there, it starts raining. And it rained. And it rained. After a night and a day of this, Dad gave it up and we packed up the gear and headed South. Dad said we'd surprise Mom and he stopped at a Shaw's for some flowers."
"We got back to the house, but Dad couldn't pull into the garage because there was another state police cruiser in the driveway. This wasn't unusual. Mom was a sergeant and troopers sometimes stopped for help with paperwork even when she was off-duty."
"Dad gave the flowers to Mikey and told him to go surprise Mom while he and I put the gear in the garage. After he and I had put the cooler in the garage, he opened it and told me to put the beer and soda in the fridge while he got the tent."
"I had just loaded the soda in the fridge when I heard a loud bang, a scream, a man's voice yelling, another loud bang and then recognized my Mother's voice as the one doing the screaming. I ran upstairs to find Mikey lying on my parent's bedroom floor, with most of the right side of his head missing. His left eye was still moving and there was a large pool of blood forming around his head and soaking the flowers, now on the floor. My mother's gun was in his hand."
"There was still a lot of screaming going on. I looked over and saw my mother naked, with a naked man standing next to the bed with a gun in his hand, now pointing it at me. It took me a while to register that this was one of the troopers who worked with my Mother."
"At that point, my Dad came running in the room and saw Mikey. He knelt to take his pulse and then started screaming himself and held Mikey. I think I was screaming too, but it was all like it was happening to someone else, you know? Then my Dad looked over at my mother and the trooper, naked - with the trooper still pointing his gun at us. I saw something harden in my Dad's face just then. My Dad picked up my Mother's gun where it had fallen when he had picked up Mikey. He pointed it at my Mother and didn't say a word. The trooper kept yelling at him to put the gun down. He didn't. He put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger, while I was watching him, hoping the trooper wouldn't shoot him."
"I think I blacked out then. At any rate, I don't remember much that happened for the next few days. Most of my therapists agree that this is my mind, protecting me from the memories. But over the following years spent living with relatives, I got the whole story of what happened. Obviously, my Mother was sleeping with at least one trooper. Mikey had sneaked in to her room with the flowers. My mother's gun was on the bureau near the door. He had picked it up and fired a shot at the trooper, hitting the headboard. The trooper grabbed his own gun off the nightstand and fired back at the silhouette that was shooting at him. His aim was better."
"My Mother was fired from the State Police, of course. The trooper's shooting of Mikey was determined to be "justified", but he left the force shortly after, too. I had been taken to the hospital, where I woke up. I refused to speak to my mother. I knew why Mikey had started shooting. He was ten and he didn't understand that sometimes married people cheat. I knew, but didn't know it could be my parents. So, when he saw them having sex, the logical conclusion in his mind would have been that his mother was being raped and he had to save her."
"I finished growing up mostly at my paternal grandparent's house, with stints at my various aunts & uncles houses. As you can imagine, I was difficult from then on. It wore them down. My cousins never understood why I wasn't interested in being pals with them. My Mother tried to contact me occasionally, but I never got on the phone or answered her letters. Eventually, I stopped reading them. I heard she's in and out of psych wards still and sometimes lives on the street or in shelters. An aunt or a cousin will pass along these tidbits and expect me to react. I never do. I don't care what happens to her. I don't want to know her or anything about her."
"So - problems committing to a woman? You betcha... Once it starts to get serious, I'm out of there, before she can do what my Mother did to my Dad...and to me."
"So I know EXACTLY why I can't commit. But I never share that story with the women I dump. They don't need to hear it and they don't deserve to hear it. I tell them when we start dating that I'm not looking for anything long-term, so I'm not lying to them."