Thursday, April 5, 2012

Love and Fear

We loved my uncle Harold, but we were also terrified of him.  When we were young he'd disappear in and out of our lives. Usually doing time in jail.  When he got out, it was like a Home Coming for a vet.   He was known as "Piggy".   Everybody knew and respected him.   Once, I got ambushed by some gang in a playground. Before I could start crying in fear of my impending doom, one of them shouted "Hey, that's Piggy's nephew." They let me go.   Most of us could never quite understand what my uncle was saying.  He talked like a young, black, Don Corlione. 

Another thing about my uncle was, women.  He was never without a girlfriend.  They loved him and they were always the prettiest women we had ever seen.

At one point we were all living with my great grandmother.  I'd be sleeping in a room with my uncle.  I'd wake up in the middle of the night and there would be quite a commotion going on with a visitor.  Funny, how instincts are, even though I didn't know  what was going on,  I knew better than to jump up and say "Hey, what are you guys doing?"   The visitors naked silhouette stayed with me for some time.

Apparently he was very particular about his ladies, for example he didn't like a woman to wear much makeup. He was about being natural. My mom tells a story about her walking into the local bar looking like Cleopatra, my uncle sees her and he chews her out for wearing too much makeup, then he runs his hand over her face to mess up her rouge and mascara.  She broke her finger trying to fight him.

Speaking of fighting, my uncle was a boxer.  I don't know if it was for his own entertainment or if he was trying to make rough and tough men out of us, but he'd make us fight.  Rather it was me against my brother, or one of my cousins, he'd match us up and we'd have to fight.
I was a decent fighter, my long arms gave me a good advantage, but my sense of fairness was always my weakness.  "Hey, you can't grab me, we're boxing."  I'd lose.

The thing uncle Harold enjoyed the most, was nabbing us and having us hang from the archway molding until we fell off or jumped.  

We loved my uncle Harold but we were also terrified of him.   

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