One day I came home from school and noticed that the entire set was missing. I asked my mom where they were.
“Are they yours?”
“Who do they belong to?”
“They belong to us.”
“No, they belong to me!”
“But, I’m reading them!”
“They’re not yours, they belong to me and I don’t have to explain shit to you!
"Let it go!"
"I'm reading them!"
“You’d really better let it go!”
You should know my mom by now (if not, you have some reading to do), what she said was clearly a physical threat. There was no need to get my ass kicked over it, so I let it go. But I was very unhappy about it.
One day several months later, while getting something out of my mom’s closet, I noticed a large box pushed in the corner. I opened the top and was totally shocked by what I saw. The encyclopedia set was in it. At least what was left of it was. Every single page had been ripped out of the bindings and torn, or cut into tiny little pieces. The bindings were nowhere to be seen.
Do you still doubt that the woman was insane? It must have taken her many hours to do that. Why did she do it? My brother said he thought she was mad at the guy who gave the set to us in the first place. I knew better. She destroyed that encyclopedia set because she knew I loved it.
Strangely enough, almost 50 years after the fact, I spoke to the guy who gave us the encyclopedias (thanks to FB, of course). I asked him about the set. He said he had no idea that my mom had destroyed them. But he did remember that I loved them. He also said he felt bad because of all the chaos in our house. He was one of the few "friends" of my mom that I really liked. I loved baseball and so did he. He took us to some Dodger games. Anyway, the reason I don’t think my mom cut them up because of him, is that she was seeing other
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