The Franklin Files

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     Now, I think that I have indicated that I am not sure when my nose was broken. I have indicated lot's of circumstances where it could have happened, but none of these really clearly indicates why it is my parents apparently never noticed that I had a broken nose nor ever took me to a doctor to have it treated.

     This is a point of contention for me, for my nose is (still) obviously broken. I was dumbfounded one day when I got into a conversation about this with my dad when I was about thirty years old, where it seemed obvious to just about every person who know me except for my mom and dad that my nose was broken.

     He refused to acknowledge that my nose was indeed broken, and quickly I found the whole conversation to be bordering on the ridiculous. My dad was in obvious denial about it.

     So, just to prove my point, I went to a doctor, who very clearly established that I had a separated septum, that was very much quite broken, and looked like it had been broken for a very long time and that it was the result of possibly multiple contusions.

     Finally my dad conceded that my nose is broken, if that's what a doctor said, but still refuses even to this day to concede that my nose has been broken since I was a child.

     My mother is a little bit different story. I can remember my mother noticing that my nose was crooked I think as young as ten years old.

     This was her rationalization. She told me repeatedly that the reason my nose was crooked (as she put it) is because I rubbed it too much when I was blowing my nose with tissue paper, and that I always pushed it in the same direction, and her suggestion was to push it back the other direction and it would straighten out.

     What seems ridiculous here is that my mother would believe this ridiculous concoction of a rationalization and did not at any time consider the possibility that maybe my nose was actually broken.

     And my dad, also, apparently, never considered that it was broken either.

     And I have assured them both by telling them the rather gross story that I can actually reach inside my nose and bend the broken cartilage back so that it actually sticks out of my nose. That's not a bent nose, that's a broken nose, and the separation is quite severe, so the doctor told me, which also explains why I have trouble breathing out of one nostril because the broken cartilage is obstructing the air pathway.

     So, what can I say? This was the one and only time an adult man ever punched me in the nose when I was a child, so you decide when my nose was broken. You've heard all the facts.

     My opinion is that they knew my nose was broken but they didn't want me to know it, so my mom came up with the crooked nose theory-- I guess we'll call it, but only after trying to sell me the story that my dad had a crooked nose too, which didn't work so well-- I wasn't buying it.

     Obviously, my theory, as to the reason they didn't take me to the doctor is because they were pretty certain I would have told the doctor that my dad punched me in the nose, and my dad would probably be off to jail.

     Spanking and paddling your kids was allowed back then, but punching them in the face would definitely have been frowned upon by a judge particularly when you broke the kid's nose and I have a feeling my dad would have done some time for that.

     That's just my theory, after giving my parents the full benefit of the doubt.

. . .

     Getting back to the story. So that night, I go to bed but I told my dad that he needn't bother tucking me in.

     A few minutes later he comes into my room while I'm lying in bed, and I think, in some form, attempts to apologize for what he did, but I would have none of it.

     I was convinced that not only did my mother hate me, but now my dad had become abusive, and I told my dad, "You don't have to apologize, I'm running away."

     My dad seemed amused by this and so asked me where I would go and how I would come up with money and I told him that I had my allowance money and I was planning on walking to Texas.

     Hey, I was nine years old, what'd you expect me to say?

     My dad indicated to me that Texas was 1,500 miles away and that would be a really long walk.

     I told him that I knew that but if I walked at three miles an hour I could get there in about three weeks. I was pretty good at math.

     The whole rest of this part of this story is rather ridiculous.

     The next day, my parents packed a suit case for me and put it on the front porch and wished me well.

     I think they were playing it out according to an episode of The Brady Bunch, talk about television influencing how people react in real life. I don't remember the episode where Mr. Brady punched Bobby in the face, or the scene in Brady Bunch where Mrs. Brady made Bobby strip naked and then screamed and yelled at him, but, alas, my parents decided to respond to my threats of running away identical to that episode where Bobby threatens to run away on the Brady Bunch.

     I guess my parents thought I'd do the same thing that Bobby did in the show; get about half way down the street and then turn around and come back. I'm not sure what would have happened because I never actually ran away.

     I was standing there on the front porch, and my parents are wishing me well, and I was informing them that I wouldn't be calling to let them know I was OK, and suddenly the telephone rang.

     I waited until the telephone conversation was over. My mother was the one who answered the call, and after she hung hung up the receiver (which was in the kitchen); a wall phone, I think putrid green; the color of the phone that is.

     She hung up the receiver and came to the front porch where I was standing and said, "If you run away now, you're going to miss your grandfather coming to visit."

     In a way, my grandfather may have saved my life, or actually ruined my life because of this phone call - this is still up for debate, but I really wasn't planning on coming back. And my parent's really never did have any clue what I was actually planning on doing.

     When I was a kid I was measured at a pretty high I.Q., not to toot my own horn or anything, but I believe I was pretty smart. I was still nine years old, but fairly precocious for a nine year old.

     I knew where the nearest fire station was and I was planning on walking the short distance to the fire station.

     This is because I had seen this on the T.V. show Emergency, that if you are in trouble, you can go to a fire station.

     I had no idea where the nearest Police Station was, but I knew where the nearest Fire Station was, and it was right up the street.

     I was going to walk to the Fire Station and tell them that my dad punched my in the nose, and that my mom is a raving lunatic, and that I want to go live with my grandmother in Texas.

     I'm not exactly sure what would have come of that, but I think my parent's would certainly have been surprised to discover that my plans were a little more thought out than Bobby's on The Brady Bunch.

     At any rate, I loved my grandfather and I hadn't seen him in a while, and upon discovering that he was flying out to California (from Texas) to visit for Christmas, which was only a week or two away, I had changed my mind and decided not to run away.  

     But sometimes, I wished I had went ahead with that plan. Maybe m grandmother would not have gotten custody maybe I would have ended up in a foster home or something, but I still wonder if that wouldn't have been better. I would never have contacted my mother or seen her for the rest of my child hood, and that would have been better than any gift I could have gotten from Santa Claus at Christmas, and as for my dad, I felt sad for him, because I actually loved him, but if this was the only was to get away from my mother, so be it.

     I sometimes heavily regret having not done it. I regret that that phone call came in from my grandfather, because if I had done it, I probably would have never met Scott or his dad or ever have had that sleepover at their house, and I might have had a chance to have a normal life. I probably could have recovered from the emotional abuse from my mother if I could have escaped when I was still nine years old.

     "Are you still going to run away and miss your grandfather's visit?" my mom asked.

     I shook my head. It was hard for me to conceal my emotions and I was clearly excited to hear the news that my grandfather was coming.

     "No, I think I'll stay, BUT, I said, I'm still going to run away, I'm just going to wait until after Christmas."

     That seemed fair enough to both my parents.

     And, ironically, I held true to my promise. Although Christmas came and went, along with my grandfather, who helped me to learn how to use stilts, I still remember, a gift I got that Christmas from Santa Clause.

     And later, I just kind of forgot about my promise to run away, that is until my dad paddled me with a 2x4 and Scott happened to bring up the subject.

     And so, the plans were made. Scott told me he would ask his dad if I could stay with them, and let me know the next morning if his dad said it was OK. 

     Then Scott told me to be sure and bring my wallet and all my money with me the next morning and meet him in front of his house before school.

. . .


-- Edited by The Phantom on Wednesday 10th of March 2010 03:30:13 PM


"Sometimes when you open your mind to the impossible,
  you discover the truth." Walter from Fringe.

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