What can YOU say in six sentences?
One of us will either die or walk away. You can't blame anyone for either mode of demise. Relationships are built to end. Enjoy the moment, the now. We all make promises. They're built like everything else.
Luke pined for a missing Laura on General Hospital in 1984, and during sad scenes of the popular soap opera the Christopher Cross song would play Think Of Laura; I listened to it often on an LP while dressing or studying for a test in medical terminology -- hysterosalpingoaphorectomy -- tummy down on a twin bed in a teenage boy's bedroom. I was living with my boyfriend's family after my mother died (his younger brother gave up his room for two months) because I'd…Continue
It looks like a top lip covering a bottom lip in shame or anticipation. It looks like -- my navel and the area around it -- soft inviting dough inspiring my kids to lift my shirt and
laugh at sculpt it when they're bored. It looks like the elbow of a 2,000 year-old woman with a tiny pouting mouth in the middle, a mouth that hisses, "Please kill me." It looks like what should have happened to Octomom but didn't (WTF?). It looks like someone tied it around the bumper…
The Glossips lived next door to us when I was very young. They were old, married forever, had grown kids who visited often with their own children, warm casseroles, board games and genuine white smiles. The Glossips had perfect roses in their yard and a lush green carpet of St. Augustine grass. The house was painted a flawless white, surrounded by a cheerful white picket fence, and from the giant pecan tree I often climbed to spy on them, the Glossips' idyllic scene warmed like apple pie, a…Continue
I secretly watched two women in their late twenties, beautiful, both with three year-olds on Bill Austin's gym floor and babies in their laps. One stay-at-home mom said that her plump baby daughter loved to eat and was reaching for adult food early on while the other young mother responded that her same-age son still refused even bananas and sweet potatoes. Then the women discussed the best birthday snacks to bring to preschool (frosted cookies were proclaimed ideal with a sickening…Continue
Red disappeared for two weeks so Mom stayed in bed waiting for him to come home, found comfort in Wayne Dyer books, bags of Fritos and the Bible. It was while Red was in Austin State Hospital after his alcohol binge that she decided to make her move.
She had a life insurance policy in place and her divorce was final; she'd had a photo taken of us all at Olan Mills a month prior, her sitting proudly in the middle of her three…Continue
After recovering at St. John Hospital my mother sat down to have a heart to heart with Red and they both decided to divorce but continue living together, a discussion suspended every time I passed through the room with boxes full of my things. This was after my mother had asked me for the $1,000 I'd saved from babysitting and Dairy Queen wages; she wanted the money to move into a duplex and she wanted me to come with her.
As she stood before me to ask for the money, I sat in…Continue
Halfway to Houston's Hobby airport my mother's red convertible MG Midget broke down so we left it on I-45 and hitched a ride with a couple of guys in a blue Chevy truck. We were already running late so my anxiety was at full tilt which distracted me from noticing until deep in the airport that my mother was slowing way, way down.
She fell behind as I rushed toward my gate, though I had to stop repeatedly and walk back to her, beg her to hurry, then she'd…Continue
In her letter my mother told me that she'd met a nice man at the AA club, that Red was "uglier than sin" but helped when she needed it, with her car or to move the next piece of Goodwill furniture into her apartment. I knew when she mentioned the "help" that she was paving the way for the next lean-to guy.
She soon gave up her apartment and moved into Red's duplex on Bellgrove Avenue; Katy Cousineau, another member of The Club, lived on the other side and charged a reasonable…Continue
In the early '80s my mom and her fifth husband, Red, welcomed fellow alcoholics to live with us in our Seabrook, Texas home, sort of a private halfway house for those with nowhere else to go.
Jack was about sixty when he came, though alcohol might've added ten to twenty years to his face. He wore thick black-framed magnifying glasses and had a poorly-repaired harelip which drew up into a harsh triangle inside his chaotic mustache. His hair was a yellowish gray, rarely combed,…Continue
Tiger was asleep on the sofa and my 90-pound mother was passed out in a bedroom, hers the heaviest slumber from bingeing on Coors all weekend. Buddy told me, "Your dad didn't treat your mom right and I see him pushing his little Safeway grocery cart across a parking lot and BLAM! getting run over -- that's what I see." His drunken monologue went on forever -- it was now 2 am -- and I watched my small exhausted reflection in his eyeglasses, felt uncomfortably penetrated by…Continue
I wasn't allowed to whistle around Jimmy Spinks because it reminded him of bombs falling; he was my mother's third husband, sixty-three to her thirty-four.
They lived in an apartment that smelled like stale cigarettes and eggs, a smell it took my ten year-old nose an hour or so to get used to when I visited. The longest stretch I ever spent with them was a week, almost seven days, each one an exact replica of the others: Rise at 8 am, eat fried eggs, bacon and toast,…Continue
Insomnia is a crack in the sleep-scape, a blip in the collective unconscious. There's not a reason in the world for not being able to sleep last night but I couldn't, nor could I stop the crazy films playing in my head, the disjointed thoughts, the static buzz between images, the sudden (audible, I swear) voices that would wake me every time I did momentarily lose consciousness. I finally got out of bed at 3:00 am and emailed a friend, drowsy fingers tapping out bits of…Continue