Saturday, March 30, 2013
you're rough, pulling the smoke through a tight fiber filter with all that you have and your legs pulse faster than your heart does and you're learning against a wall and you know you look cool because you're wearing your dark wash jeans. forty dollars for a pair of pants but they didn't mind, they never mind because you're their little fucking miracle, their little fucking gift. what is a forty dollar pair of jeans for a legacy, an heir? it's fine, it's okay. they love you too much to think that way and sometimes they look at you and you feel like a fucking stock photo in a picture frame. too many teeth and eyes as deep as laminate. it's fine, it's okay, it's fine. doesn't matter right now because you're leaning against this wall and you're staring at her from across the street.
it's some kind of law building, maybe. your father works at a law building too with beige slate siding and doors with those metal wrap-around handles sticking right out of the fucking glass and whenever you'd go visit him you wondered why they never broke. why the glass didn't just shatter when you pulled and sometimes, when he wasn't looking, you'd slam it extra hard behind you (just to see) but it never broke. sometimes you wished it did break. sometimes you wish he would have been furious with you too, that he'd scream at you for breaking his fancy glass door with the metal handles but he never did. he never gets angry with you, it's okay, it's fine. he loves you. anyways, anyways, she works at a law building too except your father's name is on the fancy glass doors and you don't think her name is on anything but the front desk.
your mother wears sensible sneakers and it makes you so mad. these white tennis shoes and she rolls the cuff of her jeans up and shops at aeropostale for zip ups and who even goes there anymore? she's so damn small and it makes you so mad because you have to protect her. because you love her, you love her too fucking much and she wears sensible sneakers and gives you ten dollar bills when you're going out to the movies and whispers "don't tell your father" as if you ever would because it's your secret and you get to keep it and it means she loves you. and she buys you forty dollar jeans but not from aeropostale because who even goes there anymore? her hands smell like windex and she used to take your's and open the glass doors to your father's office after dentist appointments and you'd all go out to lunch and talk about your brother and sometimes when she looks at you, she see's an infant's coffin. sometimes you see a tiny little skeleton in the reflection of her eyes. and she wears sensible sneakers and you want to take care of her always and you pity her, you hate it but you pity her.
you know this is the right building, you can just feel it. you can feel it and it makes your stomach throb with something heavy and it feels like you might just pass out at any minute and some phantom hand is gripping your heart and just, squeezing, and you're crossing the street and adjusting your shirt and you can see her through the big window. looking down, she's wearing glasses- does that mean you'll need glasses? no, your vision is fine (without her help) and you're fine (without her help). and the door handles are different here and you're pretty sure they wouldn't ever break and she's just over there and you can't quite move yet because she's wearing diamond earrings.
and she has a job, a good job, and a wedding ring so what was it? were you weak, the runt puppy? were your cheeks not red enough or your tiny wrinkled toes not cute enough? what was so wrong with you? and you want to know, you want to walk right up and ask her, "why wasn't i good enough? why'd you throw me away?" you could, if you wanted to, she's right over there and the handles on these doors won't break and her jaw slopes the same way your's does and that makes you mad. that makes you so mad and you push through the doors and you walk right up to her and put both your elbows on the desk and stare right down at her. she swivels her chair around, places the phone on hold, and stares directly at you without a hint of recognition in her eyes.
"Can I help you?" and when you hear her speak it does weird things to your insides and you feel like your skin is made of magnets and your guts are going to be pulled apart and she doesn't know you at all but her voice. that voice, the ring of it, should have woken you up every morning and that face should have been the face you looked up at from your crib and she should have been your mother but she wasn't. she was supposed to give you ten dollars for the movies and tell you not to smudge windows and her hand was supposed to be on your forehead when you were sick and it wasn't. she wasn't. and you want to tell her all of these things and you want to ask why. why. why. and she doesn't get it, and she's looking at you harder now because you're standing here and not talking and you feel your eyes glazing over but you can't stop it.
"i want to go here"
"'Go here?' You mean you want to make an appointment with the Doctor?" and it isn't a law building but a doctor's office and theres a framed picture of a tooth behind her head and how fucking stupid is that? because people should put things they love in frames, your father has your mother in a frame. and she's supposed to have you in a frame, right here on the desk. she's supposed to have some shitty school picture that embarrasses you right there in front of her. patients are supposed to come in with rotten teeth and they're supposed to ask, "oh, is that your daughter?" and she's supposed to say "yes, that is my daughter and she has perfect jaw structure just like me and i buy her forty dollar jeans and love her very much." and thats how it's supposed to go, just like that, but it's not. that's fine, that's okay.
and no, it's not fine and it's not okay and you're going to just say it. you're going to say "hi, hello, i am your flesh and blood and you threw me out. you gave me away and i could have landed anywhere and anything could have happened to me and you didn't care. and you never sent any cards or presents or let me know you fucking existed and since then i've never fit in anywhere or belonged to anyone because i was supposed to belong to you but you didn't want me."
and you don't say a word because the roof of your mouth is made of magnets and it's sealing your lips together and she's starting to get it now. you want to ask her if her hair gets dry in the winter too. you want to ask her what your real father is like. and she's starting to get it now and her lips are made of magnets too but repelling each other and she's raising her hand to her mouth and just, looking at you. she's looking at you so much, just staring at your face as if she could never see you enough. she's going to cry, she doesn't have a right to cry. you're going to cry, oh god please don't cry.
and you bet her hands don't smell like windex and you bet she'd never buy you forty dollar jeans. you bet she would never wear white sneakers or shop at aeropostale. and she had her chance, she had her chance and suddenly you want to go home. you want to stare at your stock photo frame parents and you want to be part of them. you want to be frozen in a casual smile or on a beach having fake fun. you're sure she's saying something behind you but you're already out the door by the time you realize that you've started to move your feet.
you want to go home and you know exactly where that is.