Macy - Part Three of Angel
“…my tears will carry you
from this place
to someplace better
and my heart
will be the vessel…”
That first night on the train, I pretty much talked myself into believing that Scott wasn't coming back. I realized there wasn't time for grieving. I would be in Denver in a day and a half and I would need someplace to stay. After my talk with Carol, I became desperate. There was a whole lot more to cry about.
I didn't want to live on the streets. I didn't want to be away from home. I didn't want my dad to be such an asshole. I just wanted Scott to be there to tell me what to do. I sat in the baggage car with Poochie and fed him muffins and whatever I could get from the snack bar that would keep him happy and not make him sick.
I'd come up for air every hour or so to sit in the observation car. We passed through Nevada during the night. I was falling asleep when we stopped in Reno. I still hadn't thought much about where I would go, or who I could call. I made a mental list of all of my friends back in Los Angeles. They wouldn't be any help now. I knew that if I had tried to stay with one of them, my parents or the police would have found me sooner or later. I had some family scattered around the country. I couldn't trust them for the obvious reasons. They would call home. No, best to think about that tomorrow. Until then, sleep was what I needed .
Macy was my favorite aunt, albeit my only aunt. Macy came from my Dad's side. Her story is almost the same as mine. My grandfather, Macy's father, was abusive. Just like my Dad, my grandfather had no respect for women. He viewed them as lesser beings. Consequently, Macy and my grandmother, Lauren, could be found indoors six out of seven days of the week (except Sundays, when Lauren and Macy would go to church, then out to get their nail and hair done) doing laundry or dusting.
She doesn't paint a pretty picture of her home life. I can empathize with her. My dad kept me inside whenever he could. I was able to sneak out three times a week to go to baseball practice and on the weekends when we would have games. But, when I didn't have anything scheduled, I was to be inside the house at all times. He would check in periodically by phone to make sure I was in the house. This went on for most of my life. That is, until my dad was eventually assigned to the graveyard shift.
My Aunt Macy finally got out of the house a year after she graduated from high school. She went to study law in Pennsylvania. My grandparents fought for three months over the issue. My grandfather, Harold, didn't understand why Macy should go to school. Harold was counting on Aunt Macy to marry an enlisted man. But it never happened. And Lauren was persistent.
I was five the first time I'd met Macy. That was when Lauren was still alive. My aunt and grandparents flew in to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. My dad insisted that they all be put up with us but his family booked into a Hilton across town. My Dad didn't like that very much. But he never told them. He just told us.
The firefighters of L.A. Division 83 were putting out a three-alarm blaze on our carpet when they arrived. I remember my grandmother was wearing a fur shawl, it was big and puffy. My grandfather walked in next, wearing slacks and a nice dinner jacket. My aunt was next. She was wearing a flowing red dress. Her brown hair was held up in curls that bounced with every step. She immediately came to me.
“Hi, Adam!” She knelt in front me.
Macy was nice. I couldn't imagine a woman nicer than her. I tried to entertain her as she asked me questions about my firefighters' game. Yes, I told her, there was a fire, and the fire fighters had almost put it out. Oh, I'm sure the fire would be about before we eat turkey. I do like cranberries. My favorite color is blue. I like to watch Scooby-Doo before I go to school.
My mother scurried about the house serving hors douvres and making sure the turkey didn't burn. I sat with Macy and we listened to my grandparents tell stories. Looking back, my grandfather must have been on his good behavior. Once, he talked to mom and Macy just like Dad talked to mom and me. Dad didn't do anything to stop grandpa. He just stood there and watched it. Every once in a while he would take really big sips of his wine. Macy never came back after that. Occasionally, she would call my Dad to ask how things were.
Good, of course, he would tell her. Afterwards, his drinking would get considerably worse. He caught wind of my sexuality, I know. I think Dad always suspected. I never told him. By the time I was eleven, I think he was pretty sure of what I was. He started drinking in the house more instead of going out to bars. Most nights he was placid; others he found something wrong in everything around him. Those were the nights I hated most. Before Scott came along, I would call Macy after each of our “incidents”.
Macy was the first person I came out to. After that, she and I started having heart-to-hearts at long distance. It used to piss my Dad off, how long I would talk on the phone with my Aunt, but he didn't stop us from talking. I don't know why. The phone in the corner of the kitchen became another haven of mine, much to my Dad's disgust. Dad didn't like that and he put a phone in my room so Aunt Macy and I could talk for as long as we wanted without disturbing him and mom.
I stopped calling Macy when eighth grade came around. I was twelve then and discovering the world of boys. I still had baseball games. I used them as an excuse to stay over at my friends' houses before game night. Soon I had crushes. The boys let me do things with them but it was never serious and they soon grew out of it and into the world of girls. I was often heartbroken, then, and into high school. But things change.
I quit baseball after a while. I had slept with all of my friends so they didn't like me anymore. Ha. Go cock hungry me. They called me “fag”. I was never really good at baseball anyway. So I found things to do by myself. Video games, writing, mountain biking, camping, anything that would keep me away from the people I thought would eventually hurt me.
But I still turned up at that arcade. And we all know what happened afterwards.