I forget when it was exactly, but it was after the that’s your problem not my problem psychobabble stuff which was the precursor to boundary talk, like this person has boundary “issues” and so forth. I didn’t know what the hell people were talking about because I had been raised by a mother who had no boundaries whatsoever.
I watch TV or a movie and I see the inside of houses where kids little and otherwise have their own damn bedrooms with their own damn TV sets, and on the door of their own damn room there’s a sign that says, Keep Out, or Beware of Dog, or Have the Simple Decency to Knock. I don’t know where these kids get off because if I had dared to put up a sign like that my father would have, at the instigation of the old lady, hit me over the head with it.
Nobody kept a journal in that house, I can tell you. And if for some ungodly reason, you got a letter you could be sure she had pre-opened it for you. If for some reason, she got it in her head to do so she would turn all of your crap over like those FBI people do when they have a warrant for your arrest. And she didn’t have the slightest shame about it. Like motherhood gave her the godgiven right to look up your asshole whenever she felt like it. I speak figuratively here.
Privacy? Well, you were allowed some in the bathroom, though you had to be sure to time that carefully. Because there was one bathroom for four males, and when the old man had to go he had to go, and he would let you know it. He had these explosive bowels that left a humungous stink. You just didn’t want to go in there till it aired out.
He would go, where is that reader’s digest, where is that fucking thing, and he would be all heated because he wanted it right then and there because he was going to the fucking shitter, and so we would all have to run around looking for the fucking reader digest before he pooped in his goddamn pants because he wasn’t going to that shitter without the reader’s digest.
Though I don’t know what for. As I understand it people who take reading material to the john usually do so to have something to distract themselves while they WAIT for their bowels to move. So they sit there polite like reading while they wait for their bowels. But no sooner did the old man hit the pot than the explosion went off; maybe he read a little afterwards like some people smoke after sex to calm himself down from the excitement.
And then he would come out, with his pants all hanging down and his gut slopping over his belt and read some goddamn joke out loud that he had read in the reader’s digest, and then he would fart. Like when he we were little, he was all the time going, pull this finger, and when you did he would fart. And you got sick of that joke pretty fast. But he would still go, pull this finger, and you would say no and he would say, aw come on, give it a yank. And he would still fart even if you didn’t pull it.
And one evening for some fun I guess he was walking around in his baggy white underwear with the bad elastic and as he walked across the living room, he paused, farted and in a continuous motion flicked on a cigarette lighter, so it looked like his fucking asshole was a flame thrower. That’s the only time I have seen that done in real life. I have tried to do it a couple of times myself, but never successfully although I did singe some asshole hairs. So I got a little smoke but no fire.