[Exercise: Tell me some details about an uncle or grandfather.]
Warning: Explicit language.
In the third grade my teachers used to keep track of my behavior on little yellow cards that I had to bring home every day so my parents could keep track of my “progress.” The day my teacher wrote, “STELLI BROUGHT A KNIFE TO SCHOOL TODAY!” I tore up the card and threw the tiny yellow pieces in the school dumpster. School officials didn’t care that I wasn’t the one who actually brought the knife to school. Unbeknownst to me, my boyfriend, Danny, brought it and was caught showing off to friends.
I explained that the large, rusty knife was special because it was a gift from my Grandpa Daniel. We were on a fishing trip in Louisiana, off the Gulf Coast, when Grandpa handed me the knife and said, “Use this to kill your first shark.” He laughed as I stood there wide-eyed, admiring my gift. Grandpa Daniel was like that. He said whatever came to mind, and he enjoyed getting a rise out of people. We had a special bond because I looked up to him and appreciated his frankness. It was only later I heard tales of his abusiveness and experienced his sting.