A few years ago I started a little blog of short stories about what life was like being raised in a poor, sheltered and strict United Pentecostal family in a poor, religious and very racist small town way out in bum-fuck Georgia.
Back then, life was not easy for odd sissies like me just trying to survive in a hell hole of bullies and hate. Despite the rough conditions, our weird family had to make do with what little we had and try to live as normal as possible. Now in my 30's, I am proud of the hand I was dealt because of how it shaped me as a grown-ass queer. Growing up was anything but boring. Complaining about being bored, a word my mother hates, was not an option. If my brothers and I ever bitched about being bored she would force us out of boredom with one sentence. "If you're bored then you must be boring."
So in honor of my mom and the return of my crazy true stories, here is a remixed selection from the old blog in a new feature for WUSSY MAG I would like to call, "Never bored. Never Boring. - Atlas
On Thursday, March 1st 1984, my mom spent her 30th birthday grunting me out into an America ran by Ronald Reagan. I could have taken my first breath anywhere in the world yet God decided to serve me Tanner Medical Center out in west fucking Georgia which has since been demolished and redeveloped into a Home Depot. It's the kind of place you hear tales of fags like me escaping from. Regardless, in true fashion, I skipped my leap year due date to crash mom's birthday making it two parties in one, bitch. I've been to better parties. You didn't miss much. Like, no one showed up and there was nothing cuter going on that day either. Seriously just Google'd my birthday and it turned up nothing newsworthy. My first party is still a little hazy but I'm pretty sure I caused a scene because from then on out, mom refused to acknowledge her birthday. Took that shit over real quick. Hello world. I have arrived, I need a cigarette and I know you can still smoke in hospitals. Let's get this done.
My folks love telling the story of the day I was born with emphasis on what a loud mouth, non-stop crying, pain-in-the-ass I was with the extra fun fact about how the first family dog they bought us later in the 90's cost more coins than the hospital bill they they had to cough up for having me. Are they trying to embarrass me or something? I will always be loud, a pain-in-the-ass and cheap.
Every time we get together for our birthday they recite the story of how I came out screaming. I was not popular with my caretakers in the nursery and they made it clear to my parents that I put them to work by pulling my first all-nighter setting a new record for the loudest one in the room. Gurl, I was OFFICIALLY getting my life. They claimed that if there was any other baby crying, I needed to cry louder. Guess I have always been an attention whore so I ran with it and didn't shut the fuck up for the first two years of my life. I let everyone HAVE IT. No one wanted anything to do with me. My parents were so embarrassed that they would barely take me out of the house. I was that baby that you hand back to the parents because you foolishly expected it to be all cute and shit. My older brother, Chris, was over it within minutes. He begged mom and dad for a baby brother and when he saw what I was about for the first time he demanded that they “take me back”. ON OUR BIRTHDAY! So fucking rude. Whatever bro, you start kindergarten next year and you still suck your thumb. I think you have bigger issues to worry about, asshole.
This must have been very awkward for mom and dad because the driving factor of bringing another child into this world that they could not afford was so he could have a sibling. They had to hire my ass to get that jerk off their tits for a change. When our younger brother, Ross, came a couple years later, I know for a fact that I wasn't begging for none of that because I was too busy crying. Chris realized real fast that I was not going anywhere so he decided to take matters into his own hands by dedicating his life to making mine as miserable as possible. I guess two years of my one-of-a-kind way of expressing desire for attention is enough to turn anyone against you no matter how young they are. Careful what you wish for, Chris.
In fact, my episodes were so bad it made my parents think something was seriously wrong with me so they would take me to the doctor.
“He is perfectly healthy! I think he just likes the sound of his own voice.” the doctor would tell my parents. THANK YOU! Finally, someone who gets me. The real kicker is that mom and dad were right all along! Something was seriously wrong with me, but they'd have to wait 20 years to find out.
They repeat my first chapter like I am supposed to be sorry about what I put them through. Maybe I was just unimpressed by the current situation and was demanding improvement. I am a Pisces after all. We give good water shows. Sensitivity is a quality that many find admirable. Bitch, I can and will cry my way out of any fucking situation. Tina Fey says, "You should always cry when necessary because it scares the shit out of people." True.
Unfortunately my clear attempt from day one to make it known that our families birthday game needed to step it up ended up being a waste of my breath. After all, we were dirt poor and living in Benefield's Trailer Park out in Carrollton, Georgia. Opulence was just was not our forte. Our birthday's and holidays had this minimalist country chic on a dime realness about it. In other words, don't get your fucking hopes up.
However, having the same birthday as mom and being such a needy titty baby for so long had it's perks. Even though she would never admit it in a million years, I know for a fact that I am her favorite son. I had all the qualities of the perfect momma's boy. She even admits that God had answered her prayer for a red headed freckle faced boy with me. I always joke, so you basically wanted a (gay) nerd. She always gave me special attention and I was always needing her, but mostly because I was loudly begging for it all the fucking time.
Our birthday has always been a special day. It is the one day of the year where I am almost certain that mom will give subtle hints that I am, in fact, her favorite. One year when I was in 3rd grade, I was pulled aside by my teacher, Mrs. Wilson, and escorted to the principles office around lunch time on my FUCKING birthday for doing ABSOLUTELY nothing. I thought for sure I was being busted because maybe they found my stash of hidden drawings of the lower case "w" in my desk which were actually pussies because that is what my 2nd Grade girlfriend, Aubrey, told me they looked like. When I arrived to the office I was surprised to find my mom grinning ear to ear. She told me that she wanted to have lunch with me. Mom always packed our lunches in brown paper bags, so I assumed this meant she was about to treat me to my very first Villa Rica Primary cafeteria school lunch like a decent human being. Would I even get a Brown Cow dessert for 50 cents like the rich kids do?! I could feel it. My social status was about to change in that town for good. This was gonna be the best birthday ever.
However, that was not the plan. Instead, mom took me to her car and we drove away from the school. Wait. Hold up. What the fuck is going on? We do not get checked out of school ever. My parents would send us to school and keep us there even if we had a knife stuck in our skull. I literally had no idea what was going on and would have never guessed in a million years where she was taking me. McDonald's.
I got the royal fucking treatment. Once there, she bought me my very first Happy Meal and milkshake that I did not have to share with my brothers. You see, we did not EVER eat out because that is how poor we were. This was, what, my 8th birthday? At that point I could count on one hand how many times we had been to McDonald's. The only time we went there was at the end of a long summer break but only if my brothers and I had saved enough pennies to buy and share ONE Happy Meal and ONE milkshake. We would get some playground time and on the way out we'd have to throw away the toy because we would fight over it. That was it. No joke. Those rare trips to McDonald's were literally the crux of our summer breaks, so for me to get my own Happy Meal was BEYOND. Mom did not get anything to eat, simply because she could not afford it. She was very quiet. Perhaps she was worried that this little bit of extravagance would have consequences with dad. Arms and legs crossed, her perm blown the fuck out and never taking off her gigantic sunglasses she just watched me eat and play in the playground. Staying true to tradition, we had to toss the Happy Meal toy in the trash on the way out. As she drove me back to school, I asked why I couldn't keep the toy and she replied, "Because this is our little secret so you have to promise me not to tell anyone."
It was the best birthday ever, and still our little secret.