Familiarity with his new environment and latest caregiver inevitably allowed Presley to break out of his shell and be himself. He quickly learned that the personality of the woman who had greeted him at the front door nearly a month ago didn’t match her hideous exterior. He was a free-spirited young boy who lived with no boundaries, a stark contrast compared to the diffident demeanor that he possessed when he lived at home with his mother. Full of energy and always joyful, he quickly won over the heart of his grandmother; and for the first time in a very long time, Ms. Sillow actually felt normal again. Most surprising to her was the fact that the muscles in her face still recollected how to formulate a smile. Presley indeed made her a proud grandmother; and like any good grandmother would do, she made him quite elated to be her grandchild. For the first time since his birth, he had somebody to tuck him in at night, somebody to read him stories, somebody to cuddle with, and somebody to open up to with whatever was on his six-year-old mind - no matter how trivial the topic.
It was a wonder the boy could even talk: his mother hardly ever said anything to him and had never bothered enrolling him in school. What’s worse, despite virtually spending every single minute of every day in the house with him, she would be too spaced out to ensure that he even got a sensible meal in his stomach at least once every 24 hours. All she ever did was slouch in her living room couch, drinking booze and shooting, snorting, and smoking cocaine for dangerously long periods of time. Following these occasional binges, she would fall asleep for days on end.
The events of his life before he was dumped off in Yarmouth were incidents that would affect Presley for as long as he lived. No child should ever have to see a parent go through what he witnessed his mother go through. The first time that he observed his mother lying on the living room couch emitting strange groaning noises and making slow, uncomfortable movements, the four-year-old instinctively went into a state of panic. Curious as to what was going on with her, he made his way over to the couch - being careful so as to not get stuck in the foot by one of the many needles that were strewn about on the floor or to tip over any of her uncapped alcohol bottles - only to be insensitively instructed to “fuck off.” Seeing his mother in a sloth-like state pretty much became the norm from that day forth. As sad a scenario as this was, Presley wasn’t just going to roll over and die. With no father and pretty much no mother, the boy had practically adapted to life as it was and raised himself. Television shows served as his English language guide; he utilized chairs to climb onto the countertops and dig out whatever foods - many of them rotting and occupied by maggots - that didn’t require cooking from the back of the cupboards; and after a brush with death following a near-drowning incident in the bathtub, he instantly learned how much water was sufficient to bathe with. I dare say that Sondra had given birth to a survivor.