My name is Mark. I am many things much more complex than my name but that’s always a good place to start. I was born at a Naval Hospital in Charleston, SC to Bridgette and Mark. They were high school sweethearts. My dad served in the Navy, my mom an aspiring respiratory therapist.
The story I’ve been told is that the 2 families knew each other for some time. As they graduated from high school “Summer loving happened so fast…” and 9 months later I was born. I don’t mean to cheapen the experience as i’m told they were soul mates. December of 1980 I was born. My grandparents used to have a small house on their farm and that’s where the 3 of us lived for a short time.
Before my third birthday, in September, my sister was born. We moved down the road. We had a black lab named sweet pea. The house was a 1 story and brick. I went to the preschool down the street. I don’t remember the name. I do remember that my parents got into fights.
Nothing specific but I remember yelling. I got caught “playing” with the neighbor behind the couch in the living room. It couldn’t have been anything more than touching or comparing. I do remember having a conversation that wasn’t what little boys did. I’m sure we were the same age but I’m not sure how it all started. Sweet pea got pegnant had puppies and was later hit by a car. That would be the 1st time I can remember experiencing death. It didn’t make sense at the time. I just knew that my dog was gone.
My parents got separated and we moved to Columbia, SC. My dad would follow. Living at an apartment right down the road. I went to Timmerman Elementary. Because of my late birthday I should have started school at 6 almost 7 but my mom had me tested and I think…or maybe since Timmerman was a private school they just didn’t care…either way I entered First Grade at 5.
The house we lived in was 3 stories. From the street it looked like 2. My bedroom was up stairs to the left straight back. My sisters was just to the right of mine, the bathroom in the center of the stairs and their bedroom off to the right. The sitting room was to the left once you opened the door the kitchen and dining room directly behind that.
Off of the kitchen was a stairwell that had a twist which led to the basement. Sliding glass doors led to the backyard. This would be the room we would play video games…I don’t remember watching TV during this time. My dad had a punching bag for my size, a basketball hoop that hung over the doorway that led to the garage where the washer and dryer was. My mom drove a yellow Nissan Sentra, my dad drove a dark gold Honda Accord. I don’t remember whether they used the garage for the cars.
That’s all for now. There will be more to come.