I was the ring bearer at my mother’s wedding to Greg Proctor in 1978. I wore a turquoise leisure suit with a ruffled shirt. In the pictures I look happy. My mother looks harried, her smiles fake. The night before, her future husband had gone to a bachelor party and never come home. Her sister told her that morning that her husband, who was at the party, told her Greg Proctor received a blowjob from a stripper while they all watched. My mother tells me now she almost called off the wedding that morning, almost just took me up in her arms and ran. “But I wanted you and me to be a family, to be whole,” she says. “And I never wanted to give you up again. That’s all you really need to know.”

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AuthorJohn Proctor