It always started with screaming, but it often ended in silence — for days or weeks.
On this particular night, I was in the kitchen when it started. I was about 14 years old. I don’t remember what made my father angry, but I know it was minor. It was always minor with him.
I might have used a tone he didn’t like. I might have forgotten to take out the trash. I might have forgotten to put a load of clothes into the dryer. As an adult, I now understand these are fairly minor things, but when I was a child, everything I did wrong was a cardinal sin — when he was in this mood.
I always forced myself to be completely calm. I wore a blank expression. Any sign of disagreement with him — or talking back to him in any way — would increase his fury. All I could do was stand like a statue and hope it would end soon.