last night sitting at the bar with her laughing and making the silliest faces, i couldn’t help but notice the couple a few chairs down from us (her boobs surgically disproportionate and his tattoos awkwardly along his upper arm, as if falling) glancing first at us and then back to each other, displeased.
it took every part of me not to stand up and say something, but instead i sat next to her and loved her for hours. for that night, it was enough.
it was sometime before or after christmas, maybe a year ago, and some snow on the ground, i think. we brought presents for mom, our kids never enthusiastic but always polite, sitting quietly on the couch and declining repetitiously mom’s offers of soda or water or juice, forgetting minutes after asking that she’d asked and then asking again. later, gift wrap scattered across the room from opening presents, mom sat there moving her fragile hands, fingers deformed by arthritis, touching each tip to its complementary fingertip and looking off somewhere in the distance.
months after the funeral, we sat together in my dream, and i asked her without meaning to, “what was it, mom, that you were doing that day?” and you said to me as matter-of-fact as you always were, “why, i was playing piano,” as if no other answer would suffice.
My mom was born a few minutes before her twin into a house of already one boy and one girl. Two years later, her dad left her mom to live in many houses, almost all of them with only one room, while her mom worked as a secretary so that her children could have food on the table at night. (My grandmother as a child would ride her pony to school even when the snow was feet deep.) Once my mom and her twin had their wisdom teeth removed. When her twin saw what my mom experienced, she bolted out of the waiting chair and ran through the entire hospital. Later, in their teens, her twin failed her driver’s ed exam because she shot straight through a grocery store parking lot with no regard for parking spots.
My grandmother had no money to send her four kids to college, so each one of them took out student loans and found jobs to afford a higher education. My mom graduated top of her class, took a year or two off, but after a weird biking accident which left her with an almost entirely metal ankle, she decided to attend law school at emory in atlanta, georgia, where she again had to take out loans to afford her education.
my dad told me once that while in college he tried to cash a check for $7 dollars and it bounced. he worked in construction one year, and i’ve heard many stories about near-death experiences.
they each took the bar exam in charlotte and met through a friend. they fight all the time now, about 22 years after they were married in freedom park (or was it marshall park?), but they fiercely love my sister and me so much that they want us to learn as much as we can without money or jobs being (yet) a problem.
i owe my life to them. i used to be able to name every president of the united states in order because my dad spent hours every night with me my junior year of high school studying. my mother has always been there to sooth my wounds.
when i called my mom crying over a girl she never cared about what this meant about ‘who i was.’ gay, straight, bi, or queer, she loved me always.
i spend too much time every day insulting everyone around me and it unfortunately bites me in the ass frequently.
but let me just say how wonderful it is to know, even if lose every fight, there will always be two — albeit weird and annoying and aging and crazy — people in my corner of the ring.
Try Thinking While Playing Ruzzle
- Sarah: How do you spell 'door'?
- Me: I have NOOO idea
what I’m really beginning to hate about the Internet is that it facilitates immediacy, which is problematic for decent writing, which requires cycles of revision and proofreading that are just totally tedious and awful, but remarkably beneficial. and the great irony of what i’m saying here is just that i’m typing on my iPhone.
nothing to be done
writer’s block. ate three tacos for lunch. thought about going to the gym. didn’t. or maybe haven’t. (it remains to be seen.) sophie, the dog, is dreaming beside me loudly, fidgeting constantly. clothes everywhere. out of alcohol.
this is becoming really insignificant.
i know this is totally weird, and i’ve recently begun to seriously devalue social networks and the interactions they harbor, but i need for you — and maybe also this is also directed at myself — to know that i don’t really search for praise of my writing so when it inadvertently happens, i become so happy that i can’t sit still for several minutes. anyway and with less verbosity, thank you.
"hi if you’re ever in the great city of san francisco, order an almond milk latte from here."
whereareyourenemies said: have you attempted this beast of a book yet?
took me a whole year (mostly two summers), but i did it! i definitely need to re-read it, probably after i finish every love story is a ghost story, the pale king, and both flesh and not. (needless to say, i’m a dfw fanatic.)
there is no god
lol. two questions: why and why anonymous
I just want to be wasted for the next four weeks.