A night in a previous life, the Machete Incident
I have been writing about some of my experiences when I was younger. Married at 18 years of age, I was young and naïve, in love and soon trying to raise three children and cope with a text book abusive man.
Surviving and being married for nearly 20 years to a sociopath and manic depressive, physically and emotionally abusive partner took some education and skill to survive, this is just one of many nights that I learned some lessons for survival.
Learning the Ropes, a key to surviving an alcoholic, abusive relationship.
It’s the 80’s, the visions of the incident are sharp, I had been married for over 10 years by this time and was still hopeful for a resolve to the problems of alcohol, abuse and providing a happy home for my three children. There were still many more years of lessons to come.
Its 10:00 on a Thursday night, very warm out, I am still in my work dress, payday tomorrow, and just enough gas to make it to work, dishes need to be washed and children put to bed. My children are young 9, 7, and 5 years old.
No money until tomorrow, none for the bar, my husband Jimmy, tells me he needs to go right now to talk to Jerry Moon, his drinking, druggie buddy, who is a pretty good shade tree mechanic. I don’t want to leave the children and voice my concern, I have things to do to get ready for work at 6AM. That will not stop him if he wants to go. We average a new car every few years, usually totaled. Always financially struggling, I have to work and use this car, I need to drive, if I don‘t work we don‘t eat. I have to take him.
Children are quickly told to go to bed and we will be right back, he yells at them to get to bed, they know he will punish them if they don’t. Moon’s garage is only 6 blocks away, I know they won’t go to sleep until we get back and hope it’s a very short stay.
We enter and Moon is in the garage, there is a large Rebel flag on the east wall, Sweet Home Alabama is cranked up on the radio, Jerry Moon is a redneck, beer drinkin, smokin, hillbilly from Alabama, who will try any drug or method to get high, he will tell you so. He is sitting in his lawn chair next to the refrigerator, work cap on, long red hair and nicotine stained beard flowing. beer in one hand and non-filter Camel cigarette in the other, he is half way through his 3rd case of Miller for the day at this time of night. Moon offers us a beer, Jimmy and Moon begin talking about cars, bars, drinking beer, getting high. I am quiet as usual, hoping I wouldn’t get yelled at for not being social enough, not drinking, I just want to go as soon as possible, knowing what I need to get done at home before bed and work in the morning.
Praying and hoping this visit is just about the car and we take the ride home after a few beers. I am quiet, I’m very tired and want to go, I let my mind wander from their conversation. Looking at the beer that is left, between the two of them, we will be here at least an hour or more. It is going to be a long night.
Moon will get defensive when he gets down to his last few beers. Its quickly midnight, the tone changes between them quickly, Jerry is drunk, my ex has had quite a few beers by now, Jerry is getting concerned about how little beer is left, he wants Jimmy to go to Al’s and get another case. My ex is telling him we have to get going.
Moon, rarely has cash and will work for beer, Jimmy is trying not to argue, he is laughing, Moon is getting more agitated, Moon is a small man, alcoholic and three pack a day smoker for his 30 some odd years, and not a physical threat, especially drunk to anyone.
The conversation is getting hotter, Moon is weaving a bit, my ex has helped him finish the case, he wants us to go to Al‘s bar and get a six pack before they close, again, we have no money payday is tomorrow.
“Go get in the car” , Jimmy tells me sharply, I get up and get in the driver’s side of the car.
They are starting to argue louder, I’m in the car, in first gear, foot holding the clutch waiting for Jimmy to get in the car, at last going home.
Jerry gets up and starts walking around the garage becoming more and more animated, the heated conversation continues, Jimmy is getting closer to the garage door.
I am viewing this looking in the rear view mirror, Jerry reaches up towards the ceiling and pulls down a large Machete blade, several feet long, Jimmy motions forward for me to go, go, go, I panic, I start going forward, Jimmy is hobbling after me, limping, from a knee injury from a blackout car accident,.
I jam on the brakes, he jumps in, yelling begins, with a loud pinging bang, Moon hit’s the trunk of car with the enormous blade, more yelling at me, drive, drive, drive, then more yelling, all the way home,
I was glad it was only a few blocks to drive, walking into the house, looking behind our shoulders for Moon to pop up with the blade. More yelling, “what is wrong with you“, “you would let him cut me“. I know the children hear and won’t come out of their rooms.
Suddenly, I feel the sting across the side of my face, it was open handed at least, I could not say a word, I knew better, I knew to just let the rant blow over, he was drunk and the adrenaline was flowing, he had not eaten, always a bad combination.
I offered to make him something to eat, at least he might fall asleep. More yelling and then laughing, he thought it was very funny how Jerry acted. I gave him his sandwich with a smile, I go into the bathroom to survey the damage, swollen a bit, but doesn’t show. Whew!
I'm exhaused, tomorrow is payday, he will be gone to the bar tomorrow night. I gotta show my girlfriend at work the 4” slice in my trunk, she won’t believe me. Dishes will wait.