The ashtray episode.

When i was about 15, maybe 16, my mother told me very bluntly: “You disappoint me and i will never be able to trust you” and she threw an ashtray at my face that, miraculously, missed it. Phew. I think she did both out of frustration. In retrospective, years later, she said she didn’t mean it, the words. The ashtray thing was meant to fuck me up. That, she acknowledged. But before i get ahead of myself, i need to give you perspective.
I had a very rebellious teenage years. I owned the world and everyone was at my beck and call. When i was eleven i was allowed to pierce my ears. That brought me cool status amongst my friends. I had my first cigarette around age 13 maybe and by the time i was 15 i smoked daily and immediately told my parents. I had no money for cigarettes so it was either be honest or steal theirs. This was part of my speech to them. I also told them they might be hypocrites because they both smoked too. My dad was pretty chill, my mom was rabid! But we had a deal. No smoking in front of them, no smoking in-house and try smoking the least possible. Yeah, whatever, i thought. I got to smoke and that was it. And i got money from them to buy. How cool was that?
But one day i fucked up. Really fucked up. I got in trouble in school for assaulting a teacher. It was self-defense and the guy laid his hands first on me. So i just hit him harder and knocking him off his feet. The thing is, catholic schools don’t fuck around concerning their teachers. They called the police. They called my parents. I got to explain my version of the facts, the teacher did the same. However, this particular teacher had been advised to be less “though” on the students as several had complained to the headmaster offices. So that helped me a bit but all in all, i fucked up. It came to an agreement between my parents and the teacher and i was suspended for a full week. Luckily enough, with some help, i wasn’t expelled. Good because i was running out of school options by then.

When we get home, my mom starts to really get very nervous about everything. She yells, she tells me that it’s really not how i should behave and whatnot. But, honestly, i wasnt expelled so i really didn’t care. And plus, i was the kid that knocked the teacher. This was the peak of my fame. I saw it as a good thing while my mother saw it as a failure on her behalf. So, she is having this slight meltdown and i’m just sitting there, in the sofa, as she goes on and on and on. I decide i need to smoke. I grab a cigarette and she goes like ” don’t you dare! don’t you light that cigarette!” and i just light it in front of her. And her reaction was ” if you’re going to smoke, you need an ashtray” and throws one of those glass ones. I have no reaction, i just stand still. I swear, that thing flew through me, that’s how close it came! I actually start to cry, really cry like how is my mother capable of throwing that thing? She cries as well, i have to leave because she might throw something else.

my mother’s weapon of choice.

That was the breaking point. I had to dial down a notch and just start to get my shit together. My brother decided to move in with us which i think that also had to do with my parents ( mostly my mother’s) desperation with me. That helped because he was always capable of keeping them satisfied with things. What my mother said got to me, she was so right, it just took me a while to understand things. Many years later, she told me that, out of the three, i was the one that she connected the most with. That i had become the person she hoped for. I reminded her about the ashtray episode but by then her memory was very fuzzy and she didn’t recall anything about that.

Well, Mom, thank you for throwing that ashtray. It was the turning point. But mostly Mom, i thank you for missing me. Funny enough, i am the one who misses you now.

Santiago Roque.

Author: santiago roque

I can predict the future. If given the right topic. Often confusing, i am mostly me on emotional steroids.

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