Our Own Personal Devil

This article by Terveen Gill also appears today in the Spanish edition of Masticadores

It’s sometimes better when certain people are gone.

Their absence is appreciated more than their presence. There’s a peace in knowing they will never return.

I killed my father. More for myself than my mother.

He was a nuisance, an embarrassment, the reasons for the bruises on my mother’s skin.

But he didn’t deserve to die for that.

He died because his madness had lost its significance. That unpredictable edge had become too familiar.

Before he could open his mouth, we knew what was coming.

The silence after every strike was interrupted by his repetitive swearing and deliberate tears.

What had happened to spicing things up?

Giving his victim and petrified spectators a glimpse of violence that was unexpected.

But like every routine that runs out of steam, my father had forgotten that even evil needed to be rejuvenated.

Perhaps the drugs and liquor had dulled his brain. It no longer thought beyond the confines of his egg-shaped head.

It’s a shame because the man had been my inspiration. Our own personal devil. Who needed Halloween when every day was a confrontation with a real monster?

Yet he allowed himself to become lazy.

Kicks and punches for mother, threats and hard shoves for us children. I’m the youngest and was always hurled the farthest, either a wall or a piece of furniture breaking my painful fall.

I can’t say that I liked it, but it gave me a reason to fill myself with hate. And hate was what I relished.

It made my mind stronger and my heart bolder, it blurred the lines of right and wrong, and when I thrust the screwdriver into my father’s right eye, I lamented.

Why didn’t I have a butcher’s knife instead?

But the man was weak, and ten stabs finished him.

My mother saw me do it. She’s been acting quite crazy since then.

That’s not the issue though.

What might happen if she regains her senses?

And becomes plain, boring sane again.

Don’t worry. I’ll be ready…

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