The Custom of Violence

It is not known what his disposition was as an infant but it is assumed that he was born innocent, curious, bright. His parents were mostly absent, the father physically, spending his days looking for work (or at the motorcycle clubhouse being teased like a child by his mates), the mother emotionally, having spent her scant nurturing abilities on the previous five children, also boys. Of course, there was violence from both of them but not considerably more so than was customary.

In school he was misunderstood and mischaracterized, it being assumed that his lack of social skills was innate rather than being the result of neglect. This was compounded by the fact that teachers of that time saw no distinction between emotional stunting and low intellect.

In the earliest grades he was a bit of a bully. If his family hadn’t moved he likely would have continued on a trajectory towards becoming a very bad person. However, and somehow, the move to another state affected him in such a manner that he effectively began learning how to be a human being.

On a darker note his recurring nightmares of being tormented and threatened continued. The prince of darkness, as it were, moved with him.

His teen years were accompanied by proficent drug use and voluminous drinking but he still somehow managed to stumble though high school having learned enough to know that he was more interested in being kind than cruel. This was largely due to having discovered acting at his local community theatre. One might argue that the real lesson of that time was how to pretend to be a human being but, if so, it was a reasonable result.

His early adult years were also drug laden and were you to ask him for a review of his activities he would have to confess to not remembering much of that time beyond some particularly nasty bad acid trips which, without his having fully realized, mirrored his nightmares. In fact, to the present day he has never had clear memories of the events of his past.

He moved a lot, eventually settling as far from his childhood home and family as was possible and still remain in the continental states. While he never built anything like a career, he stayed employed in one form or another.

His earliest relationships followed a pattern of moving quickly from deep romantic intensity to gradual and inevitable disaster. When it came to residency, work, and relationships, his most noteworthy talent was to end things, anything, everything, all things, so that he could enjoy the process of starting over.