Friday, July 2, 2010

Consensus

Consensus

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My parents were junkies. Not the kind of junkies that you see in movies like Trainspotting or My Own private Idaho. It wasn’t heroin or anything like that. They were JFK assassination junkies. They owned every book ever written about the assassination of JFK. I was hauled to conferences around the world.
It was the center of our universe and I never quite escaped it.

We Lived near belt Line Road in Dallas for the first 10 years of my life. They built a mall there in 1979. But I was shy and wasn’t great with conversations that didn’t involve talk of a grassy knoll or Bullet projections. My attempts to make friends started something like this;
Me, “So, do you wanna be friends? I’ll play the lone gunman and you be the mafia.”
Still, I managed to make a few friends in those days. We spent a lot of time dressing my Barbies
in slutty outfits we made out of toilet paper and rubber-bands. I was happy enough. We sold lemonade in the summers and in the winters we made snow ice cream and pulled icicles off of the Crape Myrtles out front.

You wouldn’t believe the amount of paper that used to cover our kitchen table. I was lucky to find a place in front of the television to eat my fast food burgers. My mom didn’t cook. My dad didn’t complain. We ate out of cardboard and plastic. I never thought it should be any different. I watched Sanford and Son while my parents debated the Warren Report.

After that period in my life we moved around to various rent houses in the Dallas area because both of my parents had quit working. They no longer had the money for conferences. I no longer needed a passport. We always seemed to live near a liquor store. My first job was at a McDonalds. I was 15 and learned to clean the shake and fry machine. Sometimes I brought home leftovers so we could eat. My manager asked me out so many times that I finally gave in and we went to a heavy metal club called The Basement. I called my parents from a pay phone but they couldn’t hear a word that I was saying. I heard my dad screaming “don’t drive drunk” but by then it was too late. I lost my virginity In the parking lot.

After that it seemed like a long parade of boyfriends with mullets. I spent a lot of time away from home because I couldn’t find room in my life for Oswald or Jack Ruby. I couldn’t talk to my parents. I had no one to trust. I worked my way up to store manager and started dating a drummer. He had a German Shepard that he seemed to adore, except for the times when he blew marijuana smoke in his face. Truth be told, he was kind of messed up. I liked that he played drums but I couldn’t deal with his emotional immaturity.

I wanted more for my life. I aspired to higher things. I wanted to dance on MTV videos. I wanted an apartment in Times Square. I wanted health insurance, and a waterbed. I figured these things out too late. I found out I was pregnant.

Strangely enough, my parents were thrilled. The father of my child, the drummer, had disappeared.
I heard from some of his friends that he had formed a band in Oklahoma City, but I never tried to contact him.

Time passed. My stomach got bigger. I was eating for two, and sometimes for six.
My parents told me they were on the verge of discovering something huge about the JFK assassination, but I ignored them because I was so sick of hearing about it. I was sick of their obsession.

I had a boy. He is the light of my life. In his early years we realized he had a real talent for percussion instruments. My parents started trying to get in touch with the director of the CIA while I was trying to get my son into a local preschool. I got a full time job.

My parents disappeared one morning as they took a walk around the block. It took me a long time to figure out what had happened. I know the answer, but if I told you I might disappear too. I can’t allow that to happen. My son needs me.

I stay close to homenow. I have an excellent security system. Have you ever seen that movie Scarface? Well, it’s better than any security system Tony Montana had. I sleep with a gun. I have strange dreams. In one of them, I’m watching television with Oswald’s Widow. She gets up to turn down the sound and turns around to face me. She whispers something but I can never hear what she says. One of these days I will figure it out.

One day out of the blue I got a call from my son’s father. He didn’t know he had a son. He was in total shock and asked me to marry him right there over the phone. I didn’t say yes, but I didn’t say no either.
He said he was a drummer for a band in Tupelo, Mississippi. He said he was never in Oklahoma, that it had only been a weird Rumor. I have a lot to consider. I didn’t want to be married to a pot-head the rest of my life, but I didn’t have anyone in my life besides my son and I was really lonesome. I’m not sure I can trust him though. I’m carrying around an important secret. It is possibly the biggest secret in American history. You have to take precautions.



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Author: Melanie Browne

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