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Dejected!, Part One
Oftentimes Darkest Moments Comes Before The Dawn
Hello, my name is Margaret Agnes McClure and I decided to jot something down before I head off to work for a New York City agency. It was Friday the 13th, 2009. Outside it was unusually crisp and cold. I felt a strange premonition that day. Not because it was Friday the 13th. The atmosphere that day was perculiarly ominous.
I was not feeling well that day. Well, that is a complete understatement to say the least. I was feeling extremely morbid to the point of utter paranoia! I am currently at a job which I utterly detested. I wandered why did I choose being an outreach counsellor for New York City Human Resources Administration, why? I actually wanted to be a horror novelist!
I was interested in being a horror novelist from the time I could walk, maybe before that! You see I was born on March 4, 1964. Yes, I am a Pisces but with a dark and wicked difference. Even though I am an elusive and mysterious Pisces, my ascendant and Moon signs are both in Scorpio! I told you that there was a dark and wicked difference. This epheremis explains why I was attracted to the more mysterious, occult, and darker aspects of life than the average person.
My morbid fascination with the dark and macabre side of life started very young. I started writing novels beginning in its more rudimentary and elementary forms from the time I was four years old. People who knew my parents marvelled how prodigious and precocious I was . People who knew my parents told them how lucky they were to have me as their child.
I am an only child and was so by choice. My parents intended to have only one child in order to provide me with more opportunities and life options that they had. You see both my parents came from extremely impoverished and very large families from the South.
My father, Roger Livingston McClure, was the youngest of fifteen children born to a poor Appalachian Tennessee farmer who doubled as a Pentacostal preacher of Scotch-Irish descent mixed with a quarter Native American blood while my mother, Marjorie Belle Callister, was the oldest of thirteen chilidren born to a Mississippi farmer of Anglo-Saxon descent. Both my parents had extreme hardscrabble lives. However, my father's life was ten times tougher than my mother.
But in spite of their humble and arduous Southern beginnings, both managed to obtain graduate degrees; my father in aeronautical engineering and my mother in business administration with a concentration in macroeconomics. Their advanced educations afforded them more than the average middle class lifestyle. In fact, socioeonomically, they could be described as bordering upon the lower reaches of upper income. They made their home in Cecil County, Maryland, an area adjacent to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Through their efforts, I was given the best that money had to offer in terms of dancing classes, music lessons, and foreign travel. However, I liked nothing more than to visit my maternal relatives in Jackson, Mississippi during the summer months. You see as my mother became wealthier, she brought her parents a spacious home in the exurb of Jackson. In addition to that, she also sent most of her siblings to college and other forms of higher education. That is if they wanted it! Out of thirteen children, only two elected not to pursue college educations. One is a highly successful entrepeneur and the other is a well-known pulp romance novelist.
Well, let me not digress. The well-known pulp romance novelist is my youngest aunt, Amelia. As a child at her apartment in New York's Greenwich Village, she regaled me with made up tales of the dark, mysterious, and macabre. When my mother sternly informed her to stop the nonsense, she just smiled at my mother but when my mother left, she defiantly waved her hand and continued enthralling me with her stories.
To make a long story less verbose, it was Aunt Amelia who caused me to be serious about writing horror fiction in the hopes of becoming a novelist. Much to my sensible parents' chagrin, I was the creative and imaginative one. My father used to wonder about me. He would say to my mother, " Marjy, this girl is too imaginative for her own good. She certainly did not get this from us! She must become more grounded if she wants to be successful!" Successful? By whose definition? Theirs?
They were always trying to gear my interests into math, science, and other technical subjects but to no avail. In school, I would be described as a B student. Naturally, my overambitious parents were NOT at all happy with my grades. They maintained that I could be an straight A student if more application was applied and if there was less daydreaming.
The subjects I was interested in were English, literature/writing, music, art, and history. Math and other hard subjects left me, well..........apathetic to say the least. My parents just did not know what to do about my so-called less than academic acumen in the "hard" subjects. My father even hired a tutor in the hopes of me being an A in math and science but then again to no avail.
Another bane to my parents' existence was that I was an extreme introvert. They just could not fathom how an attractive child could be so "withdrawn" as they would say. They were at loss, wondering why I was the happiest being alone, content writing or sketching. They said to me that if they had the life I had, they would be having lots of friends over! Well, I was not interested!
In fact, I had little or no friends. The girls in my elementary and junior high classes considered me to be weird. I was considered the odd girl out. I do not care. I was not much for girlish histrionics. I was friendly when the situation required it.
In high school, I was totally unpopular much to the chagrin of my mother who was the exact opposite. I was more interested in my studies than I was in participating in inane extracurricular activities. In high school, I was an A minus student; however, my parents felt that THIS was not GOOD ENOUGH! To them, I was inept and lazy in spite of my achievements.
I attended Temple University, majoring in English Literature and Sociology with a minor in Psychology. My parents, as usual, were extremely nonplussed. I attended college in the early 1980s where business and technical degrees were the rage and tickets to the affluent life. My parents thought that I had lost my mind majoring in the humanities. My father incensed, took me aside and ordered me to change my major and minor to something more marketable. I informed them that this was MY decision, not theirs! My father just shook his head in dismay.
When I had free time, I would write horror novels. Writing was my hobby in addition to reading and sketching. You see my hobbies were solitary by nature like I am. My parents were often completely perplexed by the fact that I would spend weekends at home, writing instead of socializing as other college students did. My parents, especially my mother, would cajol and push me to mingle. I hear my mother saying, " Maggie honey, you must mingle. It is not good to be a recluse. No good, dear!
My mother was so concerned with what she perceived to be my extreme introversion that she surreptitiously consulted a psychiatrist, Angela Carbone, M.D., an old college friend. I remember this clearly- one particularly sunny Sunday in October 1983, my mother indicated that she was going to invite "an old college friend" over for dinner. She further added that this friend was particularly interested in seeing me. Why me of all people? My mother just smiled, patting me on the head.
Well, the door bell rung and in came the old college friend. She immediate seemed solicitous, asking me all sorts of personal questions. I took umbrage at this, of course. I wondered who was this obnoxiously intrusive woman. When I turned the tables and asked her some questions, she became eerily silent and did not speak for the rest of her visit. She had dinner and immediately and hurriedly left.
My mother, of course, was extremely vexed with me. She demanded to know why I treated her friend in such a rude manner. I replied that this woman whom I did not know was intruding into my personal life! My mother cleverly and adeptly reminded me that I had NO personal life to speak of. She even added that I had NO personality! I left the kitchen and went into my room.
My mother, not leaving well enough alone, proceeded to follow me, still talking in her usually carping voice. She explained to me that her supposed friend was Dr. Carbone, a psychiatrist. I screamed a psychiatrist and why would I need one! My mother insisted that I had a personality disorder! Yes, a personality disorder because I am TOO introverted!
My mother further elucidated that my introversion clearly was not normal, especially for a teenaged girl. She stated that teenaged girls were supposed to be wild and carefree. Well, I was not any of those things. In fact, I was quite the opposite. My father came into the room, helping my mother in the tirade. He concurred with her that I had a SERIOUS personality disorder! He "suggested" that I see Dr. Carbone to "rectify" my problem. I tersely informed them that NOTHING was wrong with me!
After they left my room, my father returned, stating that he hoped that I was not writing some gobblygook as I usually do. I just sat there nonplussed, wondering why I have parents who constantly denigrate my pure essence as a human being. Nevertheless, I started to write a horror novella, only for my eyes....................