Volkswagen Westfalia

Volkswagen Westfalia, By Brian37(AKA Brian James Rational Poet on FB/META and @brianrrs37 on Twitter)

Big Bird, school bus yellow
Unitas retrograde
White blizzard crop top
Slatted glass sliding door window

Camper pop up
Unsatisfied with my birth license plate
In it, mom and dad wrote on yellow lined paper
Gave me a list of new monograms of to pick

To replace my prior beckon call
Eagerly willing to ditch
First, middle, and last
Wanted to be rid of it all

But to my dad
An acquisition, to become his brand
His last name, hold your chin up high
No monocle, Cuban humidor

Sit up straight, be seen not heard
Eat this, it will put hair on your chest
Speak your suffix with pride
Scolding me, if I ever dared to cry

I was perplexed
That the sequence
Of my last name
Meant high status

Letters have power
Make me some dignitary’s
Progeny, automatically
By proxy of mere eponymous?

I picked the first two
That part was true
But the last was all you
Projecting egotistical superficial

Self importance, nonsense
I was only 6, you twit,
How could I understand
Any of your fallacious projection?

You needed a lollypop Kojak
Bald head, and aviators
Telly Savalas wannabe
Self important jackass bully

No, no no no
What you really were
Was the overbearing
Full Metal Jacket drill instructor

And I was the clumsy recruit
Who couldn’t do anything right
Except internalize, and weaponize
My self loathing, trying to please you

You put that M-16
In my hands. I was always
In the barracks bathroom
Ready to meet my splattered end

Constantly, unwittingly, but willingly
Forcefully, drilling it through my head
I was somebody, only to obey you or else
I know dear daddy, it was for my own good

You installed in me confidence
Is that what you really think?
Punching a 6 year old in the stomach
Is that what made you a man?

I was adopted at around the age of 5 and a half or 6. Looking back at it I think my dad, having already been divorced, and had two daughters, got re married, and he wanted a son. But I think what he wanted more than that was a clone of himself. He was an abusive bully.

I hated my real birth name, so one day in our VW camper van, my mom and dad asked me if I wanted to have a new name. Of course I did, I hated my birth name. So they had wrote down a list of potential first and second names, they gave me no choice in my last of course.

I picked the first two at the top of the list. I won’t tell you what was on the rest of the list, but lets say, it could have been far worse.

Again everything you are reading now is in retrospect because back then, I did not have benefit of adult knowledge or adult language. So when he said things like “Eat this, it will put hair on your chest”, I had no idea that the idiot wanted me to be a “macho man”. And when he said, “Be proud of yourself your a” insert last name here, I also did not understand what he meant.

But I do now what he meant now, he wanted me to be a name as in “make a name for yourself”. Looking back at it now, he treated me more like a factory test model or a brand, as if I was something he bought off the shelf, was broken, and couldn’t return.

But being young, I felt like it was me, and if I just did this, or just did that, he’d stop hitting me and yelling at me. And I tried everything to please him, but it never worked, and it actually caused me to act out even more, and be more disruptive in school. He eventually died from alcoholism or cancer, he was a heavy drinker, smoker.
“Unitas retrograde” refers to the popular crop top hair cut, “clean cut” hairdo that football legend Johnny Unitas had in many of his college and early pro days. So the VWs commonly had this white crop top looking pop up top when not popped up looked like that “crop top” when down.


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