My mother is on record as having indicated:
a. that I was a very needy infant;
b. that she thought I was “the Devil’s Spawn Sent to Torment Her.”
To find the basic reason my mother was unfavorably inclined towards me one need look no further than my pants. I was born with a penis. My first great mistake. Some women love men, as men; my mother did not.
One need not look far either for the reason for that. Her father was a cad, a philanderer, a cheat, a Mason, and a member of the Klu Klux Klan. Blessed with the gift of gab and some culinary skills, he started and drove a number of restaurants into the ground with his fondness for the ponies. He was married six times and abandoned my mother, her mother, and sister for brighter prospects.
She would, always tearfully, tell her tale of the Marston Clock, how she had been standing next to it, when a man came up and asked the time. She pointed to the clock; the man walked on. She was 18 years old, and the man, her father, failed to recognize her.
When my mother was 12, her mother died of breast cancer. She was then put with her sister under the wing of her mother’s sister, Aunt Kitty, a tiny yet pugnacious woman who had once been the tutor for the children of Count Zeppelin. She was married to an alcoholic who spent most of his time sleeping in a room with curtains drawn while she did her best to make ends meet. Still, they had to rely on the dole.
Finally of my father, my mother said, that he was not a real man. She was not referring to the libidinous since in that area I was told, “Your father is like a rabbit.” She was referring to something deeper, her desire probably for the complete protector and provider. My father proved a failure there by taking her back to SC, to a place near the edge of the universe, where he tried in 1946 to raise cotton with a mule.
My penis made me one of those: idiot creatures, untrustworthy, unreliable, those men who are overgrown babies and worry a mother to death.