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My Husband
Matrimony in 1990s Baltimore

My husband always thought of our daughter first, which is how it should be. There was something about us that didn’t fit—we’d always argue. He was a worker, worked at the waste treatment plant and his daughter wanted for nothing. But he was weak. He fell in with the crowd he worked with and they were all drinkers—stone cold drunks, drinking every hour they weren’t working.

Niki was two years old and I was giving her a bath. Sure, he had hit me before. But being pregnant, I never thought he’d hurt me, especially not while I was giving our baby a bath. I had just pulled Niki out of the tub and he was sitting there [on the toilet] drinking a beer, with that smirk on his face. He put his foot in my butt and shoved me into the tub while I was bent forward getting her toys out and I did a summersault right into the water onto my back.

He took Niki down into the kitchen. We had been getting her ready for a visit from his mother, Granny Grace. I got myself together, calm as can be, came down to the kitchen and asked him to get a box of cereal out of the top cupboard. He put one hand on the countertop as he reached and I picked up that five pound cast iron frying pan and smacked that hand as hard as I could. He screamed and held up his hand and that thing blew up like a balloon to three times its normal size.

Just then Granny Grace was coming through the door and I pointed my finger at him and said, “If your son ever hits me again I will kill him!”

She didn’t say anything. I dilated up to ten that night and lost the baby the next day. That fucker killed his own child in my belly. The bastard could have had a son.

I didn’t dare tell my brothers ‘cause they would have killed him.

Once, we were at a Christmas party and my husband shoved me up against the wall. I didn’t think anything of it—that shit was normal for me, that’s what he did to me and worse. Then I turned and saw Bruce—all six foot four inches of him—charging across the living room floor, through the dining room and into the kitchen and my husband ran, ran out the door, over the fence and down the street.

Bruce said, “You’re lucky that fucker can run.”

I said, “No, I could care less if you beat his ass. Just don’t kill him. Your daughter needs you.”

Since then I have always hated a coward.

I learned to fight, learned on the job. I’d come home from work, and fix dinner until Granny Grace or Mom dropped Niki off. Now, he’d always have her special sherbet pops. I have to give him that. For all his faults he was a better that a lot of what’s out there now—men who thinking nothing of their child. His daughter did not want.

All he did was drink. He wouldn’t eat. I’d fix a meal and this fucker would come home and drink. So I would put it away and he’d unpack it and spread it all over the counter and not touch a thing, just so I’d have to pack it back up. He’d punch me and I’d give it right back. I figured that if my brother Bruce could pick up nigger men and throw them in dumpsters than I could pick up his scrawny ass.

Once he was driving Niki to get a special toy and he runs out of gas right in front of my brother’s house and knocks on the door, asks him for gas. Bruce gives him the gas can and tells him the station is a mile down the road and that if he ever runs out of gas with Niki in the car again it will be the last time he runs out of gas. So Bruce takes Niki to the Toys R’ Us, buys her toy, gets her every Barbie doll in the place, sits her on his lap in his big old car and lets her drive it around the parking lot—that was Bruce. After that I knew I had to fight him myself or Bruce would eventually kill him.

One night I come home from work and he’s drinking his beer. This was after I got the promotion and was working evenings. I was tired—exhausted, food stamp week. Niki is having her nighttime milk and he sips his beer and says, “How many dicks did you suck on the parking lot tonight?”

I went offs!

I screamed like a gosh-darned banshee, ran at him like a bull and stomped on his foot, the one with gout in it and he was in pain. He tried to hit me and I grabbed him and threw him over the table. But he held on, so we both went flying over the table and tore the curtain down. Niki started screaming, so I took her over to my mothers. Granny Grace has always been good to her. Finally, when his liver gave out I went to see him in the hospital and he gave me this seven page letter apologizing. He wasn’t a bad man, he was weak. I forgave him, and after I say my prayers to God, I say to him, “Now look out after your daughter if you can.”


Narco Night Train

Add Comment
CluedApril 2, 2018 7:17 PM UTC

Damn shame.
BobApril 1, 2018 10:49 PM UTC

Thanks for that straight-from-the-hearter.

I loathe bullies and that includes men who hit women. On the other hand, I've been on the receiving end of violence initiated by women, which can trigger self-defense responses that go in unpredictable directions. A man merely defending himself against female-initiated physical aggression can very easily end up with a criminal record.