Sunday, May 20, 2012

                                                           An Eye For An Eye
                                              Another Satan's Angel MC Tale

Chapter One

No Regrets

I’d never been one of those guys that wondered how it felt to kill someone. I mean; I never gave it a thought. Looking back on things now, as I wait for “The” day to come closer. I have no regrets. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me or more like what’s right. I guess that’s not for me to say. I know deep down what happened was right. Some cop in a cheap suit asked me once if I ever thought that there was another way to handle the situation. Funny, that made me chuckle. I thought about my answer for a while before I replied, telling him “no”. For me it’s that simple really. I learned in that moment, that things are much more clear cut than we would like them to be.

It all comes down to choices really. We all have choices and I made mine. There isn’t a single part of me that has ever second guessed my decision. I own it unlike many people in this place who are trying desperately to put the blame elsewhere. That has never been the case for me. I have no problem looking at myself in the mirror. I make no apologies for who I am. I don’t expect anyone to understand and I wouldn’t care if they did. I’m at peace with myself at peace with what happened. I like myself just fine.

The lights went out as they always do at this time of night. It’s hot in here like always on a summer nights. I’ve been here too damn long waiting for my trail. I lay back trying to picture the summer night’s sky. Closing my eyes I try to remember the smells of a summers evening and the sounds that accompany it. The wonderful fragrances of hamburgers sizzling on a hot grill waft past as I remember. I hear children, my children, laughing and splashing. The giggles are shrill and piercing little girls are like that. I smell the jasmine in the air coming from somewhere not too far off. I hear beer cans as they are tossed into the large metal trashcan. Then I listen carefully as the music off in the distance finally reaches my ears. I think its Bob Segar deep and soulful.

I strain my senses wanting more of this night and I picture the arrival of a pineapple upside down cake as it makes its appearance on the picnic table. Mixed in with the music and the laughter and the children’s voices, I hear that familiar roar coming closer. I close my eyes more tightly focusing in on that sound. I can feel it as it comes closer. The sound getting louder with each mile of asphalt it devours. The distant roar has turned into that all too familiar rumble I love hearing. To me it sounds magical, like music, rhythmic and rich. For me it touches something deep inside.
Then there’s a flash or chrome as the hypnotic machine bursts onto the scene joining the party. I’ve imagined this a thousand times yet I can never see the riders face, not that it matters. It could be me or any one of my brothers I suppose. I’ve learned to force myself to sleep even when I don’t feel tired because I know its better for me. It keeps me alert and at the top of my game. I’ve needed that edge here just like I’ve needed my dreams and fantasies. They have kept me sane and humble and true to myself as I wait for tomorrow to finally come.

Tonight however, sleeps just not in the cards as the screams of some tortured soul further down the block make it impossible. I have replayed that night like a movie over and over. I have looked at the situation carefully looking high and low; watching every subtle nuance waiting to see if the outcome could have been different. Now as I watch it playing as if in slow motion. I realize that in doing so I am second guessing myself. Then I tell myself “No” I’m only trying to reassure myself that I was right. In spite of what anyone else may think or say. I remained true to my personal code; unlike the law today because I believe in justice and an eye for an eye. I believe that and I will protect that belief even if it means losing my life or my freedom. The actions taken were justified no verdict will ever change that in my mind or my heart. It is a fact; simple and true. I have come to realize that given the opportunity I would do it again without hesitation.

Slowly, I roll over onto my side to avoid the harshness of my bunk. I never face the wall not allowing myself to be vulnerable. Especially not at night after all I’m not alone in here. I trust only myself. Even my cellmate of the past year will forever remain suspect. You never know who might want to make a name for themselves in this place. Or maybe make a buck. You can never be certain so I remain cautious especially after dark. At least in this world things are far more cut and dried than on the outside. Infractions are dealt with harshly and justice is swift. Hostilities always boil over and there is always an end result.

I hear the train in the background it sounds off as it approaches the intersection. I can smell the scent of orange blossoms in the night air. I knew tonight my daughters were with my Mother seeing a movie. I know that later she will take them out for ice cream before they return to her house that has now become their home. My oldest Kimmy she’s seven all girly, pink and frilly. I’d bet she brought along her sparkly Little Mermaid backpack loaded to the top with all her favorite things. She’s like that she holds onto things. She is my oldest and a beautiful child. She is warm, kind and very smart. I fell in love with her the moment she entered the world.
She has a smile that can light up the night. My beautiful little girl was always smiling until he came along. She was only six when it started. The change in her was dramatic. That smile was gone along with the giggly laughter then the silliness it all disappeared. She became quiet, sullen and bad tempered. It broke my heart to see the change in her but I listened to my x-wife, who assured me it was only a phase. I now know it was because she was broken and no one including me knew it back then. I grit my teeth just thinking about it. I want to scream allowing the rage to break through. The knot in my stomach reappears. I begin sweating as the anger wells up inside me once more. I suppose it will never go away because some part of it is directed at me.

My youngest Nicky is four now. She’s still all babyish. My little towhead she’s still cuddly, smelling like the sandbox she loves so much. Nicky is the polar opposite of her big sister. She is a tomboy. She loves dirt, mud pies, trucks and motorcycles. She hates pink, prefers her little jeans to dresses. I remember it was always a fight to get her to dress up which usually resulted in bribery. Thankfully she responded well to that which allowed for the perfect Christmas photos. I have always loved to listen to her talk. Her little voice sounds like music to my ears. I remember holding her in my lap the first time I took her for a ride on my bike the look on her face was priceless.

My x-wife’s name was Darla and I was crazy about her. She was tall and blond the exact opposite of me. She had never been on a motorcycle before and although she was scared at first she learned to enjoy it. We went everywhere together. I was head over heels for the girl. Later we got married and had our two babies. We were happy, life was good or so I thought. We shared the girls with my Mom who lived near us and her folks when they visited from Oregon. During all of that I started my own construction company and was doing fairly well. We were able to buy a nice house and drive nice cars and save a little money too.

I guess I should mention, I was a Satan’s Angel when Darla met me. I got my patch before I was old enough to drink. It is something I take very seriously. My brothers became part of my family. We are a close bunch; closer than most. Many of us grew up in the same neighborhoods. We went to school together, played sports together. None of us were the poor kids from the wrong side of the tracks as some reporters like to portray us. No, we all grew up in middle class homes in suburban neighborhoods. Our folks worked hard, some got divorced like my folks but that was about it. I’d never been in any real trouble before of after joining the club; well until now. You see unlike popular belief not everyone that rides a motorcycle is a criminal.
When Darla and I first were together I remember she loved being around my brothers. She loved going to the parties and going on runs; it was part of what made her perfect for me. I guess we’d been together two years before we got married. The truth be told I couldn’t have been happier. I had Darla, my Mom, my brothers and a business that was growing nicely. Darla smoked a little pot now and then but hell so did I.  Every once in a while we’d do a bump before a run. It was no big deal at least that’s how I saw it then. Later I would change my mind about that but hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

When Darla and I had Kimmy I was on top of the world. She was a gift and thankfully she was the spitting image of her Mother. I fell head over heels in love the moment she was born. You hear people talk about bonding and that connection they have to their children but you can never really understand it until you have your own. In that moment I got it! She was captivating I loved watching her. I was fascinated by everything she did. Sadly my Darla was tired, very tired. The pregnancy had worn her out. She was down in the dumps and sullen all the time. I later found out this behavior was called the baby blues or postpartum depression. I sent her to visit her folks for two weeks and when she returned she was much better.

I didn’t know that at that time she was taking a little speed here and there. She was using it as a pick me up. She never told me and I never suspected. Darla was pretty straight laced; that’s part of what I loved about her. She wasn’t the usual party girl she had a good compass or so I thought. During that time Darla had lost what seemed to me, to be a lot of weight in the two years since Kimmy was born. Even with the speed she somehow managed to still look tired. I understood that a busy two year old was a lot to handle and chalked it up to that. I found out almost by accident that all along Darla was buying speed here and there from one of my brothers. As it turned out she’d become a very regular customer. The entire time my brother thought I knew. Of course after our chat Darla was off his customer list.

That night Darla and I had a huge fight. I was really angry with her disappointed really. I sent Kimmy to my Mothers for the weekend so Darla and I could make some sense of the situation. There were scores of angry words and tears. Funny I learned a valuable lesson that weekend. There are two things you can’t take back in life; a bullet and the spoken word. Sadly we both said things we would come to regret later. Some of her words cut deep and I’ll always carry those scars. Yet in the end we made up and made love like never before. I can still hear her promising that she would never take anything unless we were together. Drugs were never really my thing. I’m a beer drinker and that is usually reserved for parties, bars and on runs. My Mom and Dad drank but never at home and I guess I just followed in their footsteps. I wanted that for my kids too.
Six weeks later Darla told me she thought she was pregnant. I took her out for a special romantic dinner. Once again I felt like I was on top of the world. Things were good between us and best of all she was off the stuff. Our little Kimmy was growing like a weed. She was sassy, happy and beautiful like her mother. During all this my Mom had a scare with breast cancer which thankfully was proven to be a false alarm. My business continued to steadily grow. Looking across the white tablecloth at my gorgeous wife I knew in that moment that I was the luckiest man alive. My brother’s wives threw Darla a huge baby shower. Later that spring my chubby little cherub was born, kicking and screaming her bald head off.

I was beside myself as I stood there holding this struggling bundle of joy. I sensed from the start that she and her big sister were total opposites. My heart was so full in that sterile delivery room I thought it might burst. The nurses seemed so surprised that their stereotype idea of who I was were shot all to hell. I was on top of the world it was true I was one lucky sob. Moments later I noticed how quiet Darla was. She laid there watching me with an odd expression on her lovely face. She wasn’t smiling something in her expression made me feel sorry for her. She didn’t ask to hold the baby but I gently laid her on her chest anyway. I didn’t see the same look on her face as when Kimmy was born. I remember now that it worried me a little but I managed to chase those thoughts away, for awhile.

After Nicky was born nothing was ever the same between Darla and me. She went through the motions of her daily life; but that was it. She was just going through the motions. The kids were clean and well fed. The house was the model of cleanly living and the girls were dressed like two little princesses. Everyday Darla put one foot in front of the other but she rarely smiled. She rarely looked at me when I look back she never made eye contact with me. Over time I came to realize that she was less and less affectionate with the girls, not in the way she used to be. I finally forced her to go the doctor going along for support. He told us Darla’s situation was not uncommon especially since she’d suffered from post partum depression after her first birth.  It wasn’t much of a jump to believe she was suffering from the same thing again.
Good to know I thought as we filled her new prescriptions. In a very short period of time it seemed as though I had Darla back. Of course I still continued to worry about her distant relationship to baby Nicky. It was so strange. My Mom could see it too and we tried to make up for the missing attention. Always a believer Mom assured me that she would come around and things would get better but they didn’t. As the girls grew and changed it was apparent that Darla was on autopilot. We rarely talked anymore. In the past I’d shared everything with her and now there was this wall keeping me out. There were no demonstrations of affection towards one another. We’d stopped making love somewhere in the mist of all the indifference. Our house was a cold place now. I hoped the girls couldn’t feel what I felt. They were the only bright spot for me. During that time I kept my nose to the grind stone hoping that something would change. I learned first hand to be careful what you wish for. I was wishing for change unable to imagine at the time the change that was coming!