Mom always used to remind me of the exact second of my birth. May 10th, 2:44 pm, and 30 seconds. She made the nurses time it. They used a stopwatch, measuring the precise second mom was free of her cargo.

In my youth, she would alternate between saying I was an angel, even the second coming of Christ, and a devil, the spawn of Satan, the spawn of my evil father’s seed.

Writing a book about these people revealed so much as I slowly, painfully deconstructed my parents, and their parents, and the world that made them what they were. An unforgiving world that cheated them, lied to them, and abused them. A world, sadly, of their own making.

My birthday has always troubled me. It’s always been a struggle when I hit 2:44pm. No matter how much the alcohol flows, or how loud the music gets, or how wild the party becomes, everything stops for me at 2:44pm. Cargo dispatched. The born again son of angels and demons. The one who would be left behind, the one who would be abandoned, the one who would be lied to, ridiculed, despised.

But I’ve outlived them all. And that, I suppose, is revenge. Or, at least, a step in the right direction.