I was raised in northern Minnesota. Until I was six I was an only child. My mom married a man with four children, and suddenly I was the youngest of five.

They were already a unit. I was an add-on.

I didn’t know much about my father, except that he had abandon us when I was eleven months old, and that he was never heard from again. As I was growing up I wondered from time to time why he left, and what he was like. I got a hint once when I did something wrong and my mother said, ” You’re going to be just like your father.” As I spiraled downward though my teens and twenties my need to know just what stock I came from became more and more urgent.

I married when I was twenty-one. When I was twenty-six we had a son in the midst…

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