Host -- pt 1

As a kid anything seemed significant. A store named James' Tavern would make me think that my friend James either ought to shop there or be destined to own the place in the future. When somebody told me they lived in Battle Creek, I imagined the place sporting daily musket filled battles. I couldn't be the only kid who thought this way, though I admit I was probably more on the extreme end. I remember one summer at camp a group of boys talking about how there were so many kids from Battle Creek at that camp. They were wondering about the name and eventually they came to believe together that a big battle occurred in that city long ago whereafter the winning soldiers threw all their rifles into the creek. Maybe that's true, I haven't looked it up until this day. At the time I believed it.

The fact that kids attach significance between things so liberally is what makes toxic parents so insidious. Toxic parents aren't necessarily bad parents in the usual sense. They don't necessarily need to be mean to their children. In this context I just mean parents -- who are also just people -- with toxic beliefs. Beliefs often invisible to the hosts themselves.

Like second hand smoke, this toxicity permeate into the impressionable children they spend so much time with. Later on some of these kids might wonder why they have such shitty values as adults. Later on some of them might become hosts themselves. Unknowingly and knowingly.

If you're hoping for a story about a kid raised by toxic parents this is the wrong one.