The Unintentional Murder

  As I share my tale with you, I will confess to any number of evils and atrocities, but unlike the majority of my crimes, I can honestly that, first and foremost, I did NOT intend to kill Tina.

  * * *

  The doctor stood in the delivery room with a look of clear shock and amazement on his face. “Well I’ll be damned Jersey May! You done did it now, you went and had a white baby boy,” exclaimed the OB/GYN to my mother as he scratched his head and stared at her newborn baby, too startled to cut the umbilical cord and free me from my mother’s womb.

  Panting and exhausted, Jersey May shouted, “Doc, how could it be a boy? The ultrasound clearly said it was a girl. I saw it myself!” Laughing, the old doctor retorted, “Well, judging from that little wee-wee of his, we must have missed it on the sonogram. But I tell you what, let me rub his big ole head with my magic knuckles to get his brain juices flowing and make him a genuis!”

  The nurses in the room burst into laughter. The black nurses all enjoyed their work, and gleefully took over the remaining tasks from the doctor. Today was a particularly gratifying day for the nursing staff because one of their own had given birth. And while Jersey May was no novice to child birth, this one had been special for more reasons than one.

  But before proceeding any further, I think that at least superficial introductions are in order, so for the record, you may call me Magnus, and I am the fourth child to a poor black woman from Louisiana, and only son of a lowly foot soldier from Kentucky. At the time of my birth, my parents were old, my father over 50, and my mother 43; in fact, she was squarely in the grips of menopause at the time of my rather unusual conception.

  In fact, my father did not want children. A career soldier, he had been drafted into the US Navy as a teenager from rural Kentucky to fight against Hitler and his ruthless Nazis. It was a terrible way to start one's life, and I imagine that his younger years did much to shape the man he would be. Father was, at best, a stoic man, cold and empty, internally emasculated by the horrors that he had witnessed far too often in life - as a mere boy, in WWII, and then later, as a man, while fighting in Korea, and finally, as an older man fighting in Vietnam. Tack on to that, returning home between those trips to hell back to a nation wholly unappreciative of his sacrifices, and quick to call him by a particular racial slur, and Viola! You have a very sad, lonely, and angry old man. In fact, Albert had decided long ago that the Creator was not real, and if He was real, Albert wanted nothing to do with any god that would allow the world to carry on as it did.

  For these reasons, and others, my father carried the “darkness”, and ultimately, imparted it, or rather added his "darkness" to that which I already carried in my own soul. Although for a “normal”, my father shouldered much more "darkness" than most, and I often wonder how he was able to even contain such a thing. (Well, in hindsight, it turns out he was not able to bear it, but we shall discuss that later.) But like I said, father was a man who lacked hope or faith, and when combined with unadultered rage and anger at a world desperately trying to strip you of any hope and faith you might have had, and well, these things, when amalgamated together become the “darkness.”

  But I will explain the “darkness” in greater detail elsewhere. Indeed, it turns out that my mother also carried the “darkness”, but of a different sort, for she had also suffered more than she could bear.

  She was born a bastard child of the worse kind, the consequence of a local black man raping her socially elite, near white mother. So, not only was she a living reminder of a horrible tragedy, but an indelible black mark, no pun intended, upon her family name. Burdens so heavy as to ultimately kill my grandmother mother (it was really tuberculosis, but the old folks said otherwise as grandmother failed to even fight her illness, she just let it take her, as if she wanted to die). And if that wasnt enough, my mother was forced to grow up black, in a family that prided itself on being able to "pass", in rural, post-Depression Louisiana. From the beginning, the poor thing carried and endured more pain than any person "deserved". Although that word, "deserve", has no real meaning - but we shall also return to this topic at a more suitable time.

  But back to my first sin, it was an unfortunate fact that Tina was conceived at all.

 “Doc, now, I appreciate you making him smart, but this the second time you been wrong about this baby. First, you told me that I was in menopause, and that I couldn’t get pregnant, and then, listening to you, I got pregnant. Then you told me it was a girl, when it really was a boy. I even picked out a name, after my favorite singer!! This baby was supposed to be a big wheel that kept on rolling! I mean, small wee-wee or not doc, you can’t miss a whole wee-wee!! You must be older and blinder than we thought!!”

  Again, the delivery room erupted in laughter. Now blushing, the old white doctor maintained his southern charm. “Now, Jersey May, I done already told you, I am gonna make this up to you. I am rubbing this boy’s head with my patented brain builder knuckle rub – this boy is going to be something else!”

  The good doctor had no idea of the truth he spoke.

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