Chapter 3, Part 4



I remember receiving the phonecall of my grandma telling me my grandfather died and me crying hysterically.

The last time I had seen him, he took me fishing, and I cried like a little bitch because he got me a Burger King cheeseburger that had ketchup and mustard on it. He screamed at me, calling me a bitch for not eating it. Yes, he called me a bitch. That was my grandpa.

I didn’t like condiments on my food until I was way older. The first time my uncle saw me eat ketchup during a family visit, he screamed, “Susie, get in here quick! He is eating ketchup!” as he grinned laughing, yet shocked that that was really happening.

Anyway, my grandfather wiped the ketchup and mustard off with a napkin and I ate it and stopped crying like a female.

I also don’t recall catching any fish, but I remember where we parked and fished. What I hate is that this is the last memory I have of him – more cheeseburger than fishing and honestly…it’s like the ONLY memory I have of him. I’m pretty sure that’s why I was crying so hard when I heard he had died. The only memory was one of me being a little bastard, similar to one of the only memories of my dad.


Grandpa died (my mom’s dad) and because of the coo-coo’s nest incident and issues like that we were having with my mom, my aunt Susie didn’t let me go to the funeral.

My mom was terribly sad after my grandpa’s funeral. On top of the funeral, she felt like she had also lost her son. She couldn’t get ahold of me and hadn’t seen me in forever. The combination of the two led to her immediately driving down from Chicago. Once they arrived after the 16-hour drive, they came and found me as I was just wandering the streets on my bike.

novi novak bike tattoo

The tattoo of the bike resembles this entire incident. It sits in front of the house that lead to everything.

Crazy…thinking back I had absolutely no understanding of what was happening. I don’t think I even knew they weren’t allowed to see me because of the “coo-coo nest” incident. I just didn’t think about it like that – I was a kid.

I didn’t understand why my mom was crying the whole time. I just remember riding my bike to the 7-Eleven and someone randomly screaming at me from a car to get my attention. That person was my little brother screaming, “Hey, you little shit!” because my stepdad told him to scream that to get my attention.

It was my stepdad, mom, and 8-year-old little brother. I don’t even think they got out of the car. My mom just cried and hugged me through the window then they gave me like $5 or $10… maybe $20? The visit was 2 minutes tops! IF THAT!

That means they must have had a serious restraining order or something along those lines if it couldn’t even be a “Let’s go get you a Happy Meal from McDonald’s. It’ll take 15 minutes.” type of visit.

Instead, they drove up, screamed, hugged me through a window, threw me some money, and then drove away.

To me, it didn’t even register how big of a moment that was for them…I was too young to understand. I wasn’t like, “Oh My God, it’s my mom! I’m so happy.” It was like “Oh…hi there…wtf, $20? Oh thanks! See ya later!”

Right after they drove away I spent like $15 of it on Bazooka Joe bubble gum at the 7-Eleven that I was on my way to when they stopped me.

Is it assholish to say that I recall enjoying the gum more than the visit? I was a kid! And I loved candy. I also didn’t understand why it was so important for her to see me.

Anyway, since my constant behavior issues got my aunt booted out of the army, we had to move back to Chicago.


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