He never failed to twist his sickness into every aspect of our lives. Every morsel of food carried its own torturous agenda.
I remember my seat at the table well. It was between the wall and the devil himself. Behind me was a row of cabinetry and in front was the table. It was my own personal cage. I was next to his right hand but out of his line of sight. It was not an even trade off.
I will never forget the cow tongues, eyeballs, and other body parts he would bring home, cook, and force us to eat.
Bone marrow was his specialty. He would shake out the gelatinous globs of marrow as we stared at each other, the wall, the floor, our hands, praying that it wouldn’t be us to receive it on our plate and feeling guilty knowing it would be one of the others.
I will never forget my older brother gagging so forcefully and sobbing that he finally let him go upstairs to the bathroom.
I will never forget the begging. Mouths half full, tears streaming, begging to spit the spicy food out. He would threaten to make us eat it if we threw it up or spit it out.
My children and I share stories over our meals.
My siblings and I shared tears.