the weeping willow

As an adult, all of the memories she has about him fall under one simple category: Sad Lessons on Life & Love. Still, as a child, there was Daddy. Bringing her presents and leaving her notes in his left-handed scrawl, each one confirming how absolutely wonderful she was. Feeding her on his oration and tucking her in […]

mr. craig

We were vacationing on the coast the night that Dad died. And when we came back, our things had all been packed up. Arrangements were made for us to live for a while in the mountains, in a pair of rooms bestowed on us by Mr. Craig, Dad’s former boss. Just for a year or two, while Mum got […]

indelible ink

I finally reached my sister’s hospital room on the night of Christmas Eve, in the year that I was 24, she 28. Her head was a swollen mess of bruises and stitches and blood and hair. I’d caught a ride with a stranger to find the girl I’d loved for all these awful years so close to gone that […]

our legacy

This week my son, Django, went off with his dad, The Piranha, to the islands. This was a big step, I guess. Because there have been years, off and on, that the two wanted very little to do with each other. And that’s in addition to those years when I shunned The Piranha altogether, finding […]

taken

My son has his high school orientation this week. We arrive early, so I steer us to a row of side seats in the far back where I can monitor the influx of people. It’s my job as a good mother to suss out the scene and liberally narrate my findings for Django’s benefit. So I’m busy calculating […]

rock garden

Shortly after Mum threw the hammer at my little brother, I was finally awarded custody of him. It was a mixed blessing. Tripp, at 14, and I, at 24, were both relieved to have finally escaped Mum’s reach. But Tripp was already suffering from damage that would take far more than my custody of him to […]

resemblance

Somehow, my son finds a picture of my mum this week. It’s all such a long story, and it never really stops. Despite the fact that I shed people regularly, the way a snake sheds its skin. “You look just like her!” Django tells me, that laughter in his voice when he knows he’s found […]

how she loved him

While it’s true that Dad dying changed her life changed irrevocably, there was, long before that, the irrevocable changing of life anyway. It’s only now, in reaching an age he never attained, that she recognizes how simultaneously insubstantial and grandiose his existence. Insubstantial because of its disjointed structure. Brevity. Lacking the development of even one simple character […]

the beauty of being where you are

Last night was the Halloween on which my son announced it would be his final year trick-or-treating. I looked at his beautiful face. He’s developing the chiseled features he’s going to have as a man. And I’ve taken to sometimes wearing even higher heels in order to still be able to out-height him. “Your last year trick-or-treating,” […]

The Westons, part I

Around the age of 13 I was sent off to live with the Westons, the result of Mum deciding I was too much to handle. Which isn’t a slight to Mum. I actually was. Like, even for myself. I’d taken to hanging around with a strange group of friends. Strange in that they were kids, […]