Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Backstory - Act II

Apparently I'm the only person in America that still watches "Scrubs" but if watching that show is wrong, then I don't want to be right!

Okay, maybe that's going a little bit too far, but it is a damn good show.

I bring this up because as I was watching it last night, I was struck by the similarity between a conversation that two of the characters had to one that I had with my sister about a year ago. Near the end, Dr. Cox talks to his sister (played by Curb Your Enthusiasm's Cheryl Hines) about the reasons why he hates to see her. Throughout the episode, he'd been railing against her for being a born again Christian, but he tells her that that isn't the real reason behind his anger. Instead, it's that he's worked so hard to forget what it was like to grow up in a home with an alcoholic, abusive father and seeing her reminded him of his childhood.

By all accounts in my family, I was the target of the vast majority of the abuse that went on in the household. It took me a long time to realize that I needed to put that behind me and that cutting my brother and sisters out of my life wasn't the way to do that.

In this blog I frequently write about my niece Jasmine and, to a much lesser extent, my other four nieces and my nephew. In part I take such joy in them because as a result of the choices I almost made, I came awfully close to not being a part of their lives. However, the main reason that I love being around them so much is that my brother and sisters are all exceptional parents who raised their children in loving and nurturing environments - and that not only makes me proud of them but it gives me hope that perhaps one day I'll truly be able to be as whole and happy as they are.

Oh, and the music on Scrubs is really good, too.

Uh....and Judy Reyes is a cutie.
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Backstory - Act II (click here to read Act I)

Father Murphy was lost in thought as he walked up the steps to the church. He had vows to keep, but it was awfully hard to do so when he saw Mrs. Delaney every day. After all, it was she who had broken his heart at that dance by leaving with Chuck Peterson (who, in another bit of irony that conveniently helps to move this story along, is the father of the young priest that she was in the midst of...well, you know), thus causing his entry into the priesthood all those years ago.

Father Murphy knew it was wrong, but he took great pleasure in getting some belated -and admittedly misdirected - revenge for the great injustice of his life by berating Peterson's son far more often, and much more harshly, than necessary. In fact, had it been anyone else, Father Murphy would likely have taken a more...well...fatherly approach with the young priest, sharing a laugh and some stories about the mistakes he himself had made shortly after entering the priesthood and offering him the same advice and support that he'd received from the older and more experienced priests.

What Father Murphy didn't know was that Chuck Peterson had been a perfect gentleman on the evening in question. He'd only left the dance with Mrs. Delaney - who then went by the name of Anita Ploughoffer - because he'd promised her mother that if she left the dance alone, he'd get her home safely. In fact, another long held secret was that over the course of that evening she'd actually developed quite a crush on young Frank Murphy. Sadly, he'd been too shy to ask her to dance before it was time for her to leave.

No matter, she thought at the time, I'll just bide my time until he works up the nerve to ask me out. Much to her surprise, she found that she actually enjoyed the prospect - and the novelty - of delayed gratification. The fact was that her reputation for being quite easy usually preceded her, having the unfortunate side effect of making nearly impossible for her to get dinner or a movie out of a date before she found herself being groped (and doing a fair amount of groping herself) in the backseat of her date's car.

Young and naive as he was, Frank was completely unaware of her reputation. He was so shy and inexperienced that he viewed talking to Anita as "getting to second base." Some part of him knew that this meant that he'd have to squeeze an awful lot of sexual activity into the next two bases, but he wasn't quite sure that was something he'd ever have to worry about.

As it turned out, he was right. So devastated was he at losing Anita to Chuck, that he packed his belongings that night and entered the seminary at dawn the next morning - reasoning that if he couldn't have Anita, he'd be better off having nobody.

Prior to his momentous decision, he had considered a lifelong bachelorhood, but he imagined that at some point people would begin assuming that he was gay. All of which was kind of ironic considering the profession in which he wound up.

When she heard of about this turn of events a week later, Anita briefly considered driving up to the seminary to tell Frank of her feelings for him, but by that time the novelty of Frank's shyness had worn off and she began to focus again on immediate gratification. Still, she never quite forgot Frank and would even occasionally call out Frank's name while in the throes of passion with one of the twelve men that she married and eventually divorced over the course of her well-lived life. Fortunately for her, by that time she had become so adept that any man sharing her bed wouldn't have had difficulty noticing a freight train running through the bedroom let alone something as insignificant as her screaming another man's name.

Act II Close