My parents relationship was not good. In 1950s Liverpool I was just an infant, and witness to the constant arguing and fighting that was family life. I could only surmise that that's how all families were. This went on until I was maybe four or five years old then, one night after another fight, my Dad could take no more.
My father could no longer tolerate living with my mother, so he walked. I cannot blame him for that as I myself walked as soon as I left school and was able to make my own decisions.
I can clearly see how some may view this as cruel and cowardly, but you have to bear in mind that we all deal with situations differently, and that at the time my own sanity was in jeopardy, so I took a swift and timely hike at an age when I should have gone on to further education.
But she wasn't completely intolerable, the pressures upon her to raise two kids and hold down a low paid job must have been considerable back then, and I can see that now, but at the time I just needed an escape.
So I signed up and became Private Owens, a young, shy and acne infested young soldier.
Several years later and my acne had been routed, I had matured, filled out my uniform and earned my first stripe. I was a soldier and was proud, strong and super fit. I took a weeks leave and headed back home to see how things were going.
Things had improved since my departure, and her mood had cheered a notch. We decided to go see a new movie together that was showing at the local flea pit. That movie was 'The Godfather' and the year was 1972.
It had been years since we had both attended the movies so we bought our tickets, stocked up on popcorn and took our seats as the lights dimmed.
Her mood was touching on cheerful and I was really upbeat because of that so we let ourselves sink into our seats and get drawn into the story. All went well until the bedroom scene were Al Pacino undresses his new bride and I sensed my mothers mood sink. She hated anything to do with sex or romance, and I felt the freeze deepening next to me.
She got up and left.
Sensing the coming storm I followed her out into the lobby and we left together in icy silence.
She said nothing all the way home then excused herself and went to bed.
Looking back I can clearly see that such scenes were hard for her as her relationship with Dad was violent (on both sides), but at the time I was confused and miserable because of it. I headed back to my barracks the next day feeling no closer to Mum, and even more alone than before.
Dancing like its 1999.
During the 90's my mom and I were dancing around the house to some Boyz II Men, like it was nobody's business. We were shaking our butts and laughing. All of a sudden we noticed someone else was in the room with us. It was the plumber!! My one brother let him into the house and set us up for pure embarrassment. We laugh about it now, but back then we both stood there beat red with no words able to come out of our mouths.