Eight years are gone by.
6th July 1998, let's see, that is eight years ago, right?
Yes, eight years. Right about now, to the minute-2115 hours CT.
A voice in my head said "Open your eyes." And when I did, I had the long sought after keys to Fox's and my freedom.
The past eight years have been grievious, yet I would not turn back time a minute unless I could turn them all the way back to 27th July 1981, and I don't think that's going to happen. I'd insist on going back with full awareness of what could/would happen, so that I could change it all, and Fox's and mine, and probably almost everyone's lives would be different. Better. Fuller. Damn sure safer.
I know that is what God had in mind for all of us.
But not Crusty.
Over the years, especially after I realized what happened, I'd try to make some sort of excuse for what Crusty did, or at least the consequences of what he did-I tried to mitigate them somehow.
Especially the past eight years, I'd catch myself saying, "Oh, well, no-one is that evil, right? It all just sort of snowballed, didn't it?"
But then something would come between the fog and me, and I would have to face the truth of just how really evil what Crusty did-on purpose-was and is.
For example, I actually had to drop this screen to access the desktop calculator to make sure I'd figured the number of years since Crusty earned his nickname. How very pathetic is that? And how telling. The mental confusion, the avoidance, the denial, the...
The years still tick by, but differently. The years ticked by during the 'marriage' and I never lost count, but then I was in a desperate struggle for my son's and my life, and for sanity.
("He didn't really just say/do/ that, did he?" Are you are survivor? Then you get it, don't you?)
He had this smirk on his face, as if to say "Go ahead, no-one will believe you." And he was right, wasn't he?
Last night I spent hours on the 'Net researching (again) the company he works for; how very far they all have sunk in the quest for money and Crusty scrambled after not wanting to be left off the gravey train.
In March or April of 1994 I had a dream that shook me; I never dreamt about Crusty, not even nightmares. So this dream was quite something to experience, and to remember all these years since.
I dreamt I was in a strange city, dressed in a lovely linen suit, and I was going to meet Crusty (of course, in 1994, his name was still Michael, but I can't bring myself to say his name all that often-in fact for years I simply refused to say the name at all unless I was talking about the archangel. Seriously. I'd meet someone named Michael or Mike, and would do everything I could to avoid saying the name).
I found myself walking into what looked like a very run down warehouse area of an industrial section, where I met Crusty. We walked for a bit through this dirty and dismal city, then suddenly he was on an old fashioned train that for some reason I couldn't get on, looking at me through the windows, and so angry! Somehow I knew that he was furious with me, and that he felt it my fault he was on this train.
Then it came to me that he was on the train to Hell-seriously-and the people sitting dispiritedly in the same car with him looked at me. I saw men, and women, not the sort you would expect to see on a train to hell, they were rather ordinary people, but something about them...one woman had on a red suit and hat in the style popular after the war, a very cutting edge and sophisticated style, but something in her manner and the way the clothes sat on her made me think "If that is sophistication, I'll pass."
There was nothing provocative about any of these people, but something world weary about their manner...they were the sort of people you sit next to in church and think nothing about; but I knew they were the sort who would attend church and then stop for a cocktail on the way home thinking nothing of it and if someone frowned at the paradox (who needs a drink after attending a worship service?), would have been slightly amused at the naive frowner.
Each of them sat alone on the train; not one spoke, looked, or in any way interacted with their fellow travellers, and Crusty, as the train started up and moved out of the station, walked back through the car to it's end, the fury in his eyes blazing through the each window he passed.
Something inside of me broke.
Because in 1944 I'd put my heart, my soul, my everything on a train back to barracks, where a few hours later he was mustered with his men to board a wallowing LST.
He promised to come back. I stood on the platform, he hung from the step rail. I didn't move a muscle that day, afraid if I did my instinctive action would be to bury my face in my hands, or wipe the tears away-he would see me wiping away the tears that gained speed even as the train did, and I didn't want him to see me fall apart...
No matter the distance, I could feel his hurt that I didn't wave, but I was afraid to move, so I stood there stupidly as the train left the station, and Johnny left my life, forever.
Somehow I knew it was forever.
So in my dream, I ran along side the train, reaching up to Crusty with my hands, saying, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." Then I slipped in an oil slicked puddle-when I looked up, the train was disappearing out of the station.
How was I to understand the true depth of the evil Crusty had already committed by that spring of 1994?