My parents had actually bought a house. It was the first time they had ever done anything like that. I finished the school year at Union City, but commuted there from the new house. Moving again did not really make anything at school easier. I ended up failing the 5th grade. My teacher told me right to my face that passing tests was not enough. I had to do some assignments. Enough assignments to make passing grades. I learned that lesson. I never excelled at school, but after that I always did enough to get passing grades.
The fighting and drinking and doing and selling drugs was all back in full swing, too. My father had women he turned to for comfort and refuge from his home life with us. I found out that my mother had a close friend she turned to as well. She wasn’t actually having an affair, but she had become best friends and confidants with a man who lived a few duplexes down from us on Raymond Terrace. I guess he told her how wonderful she really was and how awful my father was and how it wasn’t her at all, it was all my father.
To some degree, that may have been true. I guess they both had their bad points, and those seemed to magnify when they were together. But at least my mother was sober. And she wasn’t selling drugs out of a tool box in the back of her pickup truck. And she wasn’t getting high every day by smoking pot in the same room as her children. She was crazy by now though. My father wasn’t slapping me every single day. I could not ever do anything to make her happy. Everything I did made her angry. It got to the point that I would flinch involuntarily when I walked near her. Well, let me tell you, that made her even madder! And, she could nail you in the forehead from across the room with a Bic lighter. *shudder* She was violent.
When summer was almost over, my parents sent my sister and myself to Houston Texas. We were 7 and 11. Young. They drove us to the airport and put us on a plane. When we got off the plane, we were greeted by my mother’s brother, who we didn’t know! We stayed with him and his wife and their baby for a few weeks. Then they mailed us back to Atlanta via Delta. Where our parents sat us down and told us there would be another divorce. That time the marriage had lasted a year and a half.
I started school in the second year of 5th grade at Seaborn Lee. My teacher was Ms. Garcia, although she was not at all Hispanic. At school, I found new books to lose myself in and tried not to notice home anymore. My father moved out. He ended up living with my maternal grandmother because she had a big nearly empty house and he had little cash. I think I heard that the divorce was final in October. That same month, my mother’s best friend and confidant from Union City moved in with us at the house my parents had bought together. In November, they married.
My father wasn’t the only recently divorced person who moved in with my Granny either. My mother’s sister (she has 4) moved in too. In December she and my father married. They wanted the house, too. So in February 1982, my sister, myself, my mother and my step-father moved out.