This was originally posted in January 2008.
The strange looking white woman in the picture above is my mom, Bonnie Walker. Recently, I wrote a piece entitled “How My Mother Screwed Me Up,” and a fair number of people have responded—a few by posting comments, others by sending me private emails. One person in particular posted a rather long-winded comment that I wrestled with actually approving. Now, I don’t want to knock the person who sent the comment, because she may be a great person. But in reading her response to what I wrote on my site, several things became very clear. First, she don’t know me. Second, she ain’t read most of my other writing (if any at all), and clearly does not understand my sense of humor. Third, she don’t know my mother, or anything about my relationship with my mother, other than what she read and what she assumed. Rather than completely dismiss her, and not post her comment, I’m using it as an opportunity to express my views on many things, including my mom, my feelings on motherhood, masculinity, and all sorts of other shit that is sure to get panties all bunched up. Read on at your own discretion.
Just so we all have an idea of what I’m up against, I’m reprinting a few choice moments from the comment this woman sent. Keep in mind that she don’t know me, and if I was a betting man, I’d say she probably hasn’t read anything else I have ever written. Here is part of what she wrote:
You have de-valued your whole existence and transferred the blame to everyone but yourself. I hear you, Sir Nose Devoid of Funk, but I don’t believe it.
In your desperate need to have your accounts to balance, because what you really are is an accountant of the Bank Of Negativity, (and you need your books to balance to NEGATIVE ZERO)– you have assigned all of your minuses to the “SOMEBODY ELSE DIDN”T DO IT RIGHT” category of the ledger. That assures that your books will never be in the black but ALWAYS IN THE RED and it can never get to be any better— because it is someone else who makes you come up short all the time; and because it happened so long ago, (during your innocent childhood)— those people have to go back and correct their mistakes and then you can be made whole. (Other than that, you have a ready made, self-fulfilling prophecy– you can never get better! The past is forever—so— You ARE doomed—-FOREVER!!!)
See what a neat little package of destruction that your mind has desgned for you???–remember this – all psychoses begin in thought and thoughts can be wrong under the righ circumstances.
She follows up with:
I feel that shard of self-esteem trying to exert itself– but you’ve been hoodwinking yourself for so long that you keep surrounding it with the cancer of your ‘blighted’ existence and it just doesn’t want to fight you— after all–( it just wants you to be happy )—and you’re clearly happiest when you’re miserable.
So quit blaming your Mom and all Moms—I don’t need your help, thank you very much Homer. I had lots of years where nobody could tell me anything, either, and my intellect convinced me that I was so smart that I knew more than the people who raised me.
Honestly, I don’t even know where to start. I find myself finitely—and I do me finitely—amused by people like this. I have dealt with things like this for years, so I’m no stranger to it. And to be even more honest, the uniformed ramblings of a complete stranger who feels the need to take a swing—or perhaps offer a firm, loving hug—means both “jack” and “shit” to me. I speak a very specific language called David Walker, and some people have trouble understanding that dialect and its vernacular. Before someone can come at me, and try to have some semblance of intelligent discourse, they better understand the language of David Walker. They need to read more than one or two things I have written. And if they don’t understand or agree with me, they should ask for clarification of what my true meaning was. But you don’t come to my house, talk shit about me, criticize the food I’m serving, and not expect me to show your ass the door.
What is ironic to me is that I told my mother I was writing “How My Mother Screwed Me Up,” and she was the first person to read it, as she often proof reads most of my stuff. (Which makes me wonder, if there is a mistake of some sort in my writing, is it okay to blame my mom because she didn’t catch it, or is it my fault because I made the mistake, or is it her fault for not raising me to be a better speller…?) Anyway, my mom reads the piece, and the first thing she says was, “I thought you were going to really get into the shit I did to fuck you up. You didn’t even talk about the time I beat that bitch’s ass at the laundry mat, and I know for a fact that fucked you up for many years.” (It is important to know that my mother talks like an angry sailor in a swearing contest).
So I explained that the essay was really about something very specific, and that the time she beat up the woman at the laundry would have to wait for another time. Then my mom said, “My only real problem with what you wrote is the title. It makes me sound like I really fucked your life up, but then you don’t really prove the case.”
Of course, she was correct. But I told her that the title I was using was far more enticing than calling the essay, “How My Mother Said Some Things To Me When I Was Six That May Have Had a Subconscious Effect On Me Later In Life, Especially As It Related to Relationships With Women.” And then we talked about it, and discussed the need for some sort of sensationalist headline that would catch people’s attention, and we agreed that the title I was using, while a bit misleading and possibly inaccurate, would be fine. We came to the same decision with calling this piece, “My Mother is a Crazy Bitch…But I Love Her Anyway,” which is totally misleading, but worked to get your attention.
In case you haven’t figured it out, my mother is the coolest person on the planet. I’d say she was a bad motherfucker, but that sounds weird. So, instead I’ll say she’s a bad fatherfucker. Bonnie Walker is the baddest fatherfucker to walk the Earth. And all things considered, she did a great job raising me, especially considering she was a single white woman in the ghetto of Hartford, getting by on welfare and doing right by a nappy-headed, half-breed niglet.But there was always food in my belly, clothes on my back, a roof over my head, and the words “I love you” being said over and over again.
At this point, I would like to refer back to the comment this lady posted about my mother, in which she accuses me of blaming my mom for pretty much everything in my pathetic existence. Here is another excerpt:
Now suppose, some confused kid is reading your comments about your cofusion regarding your mother’s responsibility for your lack of a love life and suppose he considers you an expert.
That is the other reason I am responding to your post— I think you should make it clear that this is YOUR OPINION OF YOUR LIFE— HOW CAn YOU BEGIN to SPEAK FOR THE MASSES? ARE YOU SO SMART TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO EVERY KID IN AMERICA??
Okay, I want to be 100% serious and honest when I say that YES, I AM SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO EVERY KID IN AMERICA. In fact, I’ll see your bet and raise you by saying that I’m fucking smart enough to know what has happened to every fucking kid on the planet since the first homo sapiens got together and pounded out off-spring.
It’s like this: I could not have asked for a better mother than Bonnie Walker. At the same time she fucked me up. And my father fucked me up, even though he was dead before I was two. Both of my parents fucked me up. Just like their parents fucked them up, and their parents before them fucked them up. Every human being who has participated in the conception of another human life—meaning every person who has had a child—has fucked them up. Whether it was intentional or unintentional, whether it only happened once or it happened all the time, whether it was minor or major, it happened. And it happened with everyone, everywhere, because every parent has fucked up every child in some capacity. If that weren’t true—even in the case of one parent and one child—then the result would be an absolutely perfect human being, devoid of all physical, mental, and emotional flaws and imperfections. And I’m here to tell you all, David Walker is the closest thing to motherfucking perfection this planet has seen in centuries, and I’m still monumentally flawed and fucked up.
Now, the question is, do I blame my mother for all of my life’s problems? The answer is “no.” Do I think my mother played a pivotal role in shaping me into the sort of person that would spend four years in a terrible relationship with a shrill, castrating bitch who was great in the sack, but had the personality of a demon? Of course I do. But I don’t blame my mother for any of it. My mom wasn’t standing over me with a gun to my head, saying, “Fuck that bitch harder, son.” In fact, I’ve never even thought about my mom while I’m having sex with someone. But that doesn’t mean that many of the lessons and examples she set for me in my youth have not played into the things I’ve done as an adult.
If anyone thinks for a moment that I directly blame my mother for anything I have done in my adult life, then they don’t get me, or where I’m coming from. I take responsibility for every thing—as in “every” and “thing” I say and do. At the same time, my mother and every single person I have encountered in my life has played a role in shaping who I am at this moment, for better or worse. That’s just how life is. And this is especially true for a child. Who we become as adults is a direct result of the adults who wielded the most influence over us.
If there is anything I would blame or accuse my mother of, it would be that she was ill-equipped to raise me to be a man. Now, let me be very clear with where I’m taking this. My mom did the best job she could, and I thank her for everything she did; but no woman truly knows what it takes to be a man. And my mother was one of millions of single mothers trying to raise boys, but incapable of teaching them how to be men. The result, in my case, was a boy who knew how to cook and sew before he knew how to throw a football or change the oil in a car. And that’s not the worst way to be, but it is symptomatic of a generation of men nurtured without a true sense of masculinity guiding them into manhood.
I know I speak for millions of men out there right now, when I say our mothers did a great job of raising us, but somehow never managed to prepare us for how to deal with other women. For myself personally, I was raised to treat women with respect and consideration. So why is it that every woman I have treated decently walked all over me, but the women I treat not-so-decently couldn’t get enough of me?Well, maybe it has something to do with how their parents fucked them up. How daddy said they loved them, but fought with mommy, and eventually walked out, sending mixed signals that were compounded by years of mommy repeating the mantra of “men are assholes” and “your father is shit.” The end result is a woman who thinks that all men are shit, including her father, but since her father loves her, it is okay to be with a man who is shit, because he must love her. Well, good luck trying to have a healthy relationship with anyone from that tribe. Hell, I don’t even fuck those women anymore, because even that got old.
The woman who got me started on this rant writes: The PAST DOES NOT EXIST—NO MATTER HOW HARD WE TRY TO MAKE IT SO—-IT DOES NOT EXIST— NEITHER DOES THE FUTURE.
There is some truth to that statement, but what she either forgot to mention, or was too ignorant to know is that THE PAST IS WHAT EXISTED YESTERDAY, HELPING SHAPE TODAY. THE FUTURE IS WHAT WE SPEND THE PRESENT WORKING TOWARDS. I think what she was trying to say was that all that matters is the present—right here and now, because that’s all that is real. And that’s true. But the present can only exist because there was a past, and it can only matter if there is hope for a future. There’s a saying that goes something like this: If we can’t learn from the mistakes of the past, we are doomed to make them again in the future. Unless, of course, you are the lady who posted the comment, in which case you are one of those magical people with no past, no future, and just the present.
So what have we learned from this episode of David Walker Knows More Than Other People? Well, for one thing, I don’t blame my mom for how fucked up I am. But her and I both agree that she played a part in me being the fucked up person I am (and neither of us would change a single motherfucking or fatherfucking thing). And to be honest, I’m not that fucked up, and even at my worse, I’m still better than most people. Seriously. I am better than most people. And if you don’t believe that, you can ask my mommy. She’ll tell you to go fuck yourself.