I remember riding my bike, as a little girl down a shadowy lane. I remember riding my bike because I didn't want to go home. I didn't want to hear my stepfather talk to my mother. He worked all day in downtown Houston at some computer place and would come home and expect dinner. One of those deals. I didn't want to look at my mother's face when she looked at me. She looked at me with love, but there was something else in her face. Something sad. When you're a child, you don't think people are sad because of their environment. You think people are just sad. Kind of like how people are just clowns or people are just policemen or ballerinas or teachers.
Maybe as a child you lived in a house that had no tools to protect you from the grief of life. You were knocked around. Meals weren't regular. You pushed the chair over to the cabinet and you ate raw noodles from the macaroni and cheese box, because no one gave a fuck about what a toddler needed beyond candy to keep them out of your face. Maybe you lived that life.
Maybe you experienced sex for the first time when you were 8 because the people around you were so unhappy that they would have drunken one night stands on your mother's couch, without giving a single thought to the fact that you were watching your mother be molested by something so ugly.. so impersonal.. and even as a child, you never called her name to reel her in... you just watched and felt bad and hated the mess of flesh on top of her.. and wanted her to be happy and not scream at you when you pushed the chair up to the cabinet to help yourself... while everyone else took more than their share.
I never wondered what she wanted out of life. You don't tend to wonder what your mother needs when you are so young.
My mother used to grow a garden in front of our Texas trailer home. It was a double wide mobile home, and I don't think that my stepfather thought there was anything more to be had out of life. His mother and father lived on the next acre and he must have been a secure dude. All that stress of punching keys for interesting people that my mother and I could only brush against by chance as we cashed in shitty fucking coupons at a shitty ass country store that treated us like foreigners years after we had spent every dollar we had. My mother would buy one Little Debbie snack pack to last a month. So fuck you.
But my mother used to grow a garden in the front of the house, while I would raise rabbits in the back. She grew elephant ears. And when they were abundant, she took her wares to the roadside, as if someone wasted from the roadhouse 1/2 a mile away, would stop and pay 5 bucks for a bulb. But they were huge. And flying squirrels and tiny frog legions appreciated them.
In the back of the house.. I tended to decapitated baby rabbits. Babies, whose crazy black mother had chomped them to pieces in her neurotic insanity to keep the rest alive... So I tell myself. I was 9. I removed their headless bodies. I tried to talk to the mother. Ask her why. But she scared me. She hated her life.
Why do I love elephants? There's a lot of reasons.
Why do I love the man I love now?
I don't want to grow a garden alone. I don't want to be that child staring at meaningless sex on the couch. I don't want to remove bodies from cages. I don't want to suffer if dinner isn't ready on time. I don't want to be everything that has damaged me. I want to be my own future, and for once, I see it clearly. Fuck you if you don't accept it, I'm not using your shit coupons today, and I sure as fuck ain't shopping at your establishment for things I need anyway. What you have to offer is more of the same.. that I have seen.. from planet earth in general and her stores... so thanks, but I'll fight for my love instead of settle again.
Word to MY mother.