My second stepfather accelerates carefully from a stopped position and makes a relaxed dumb face as he doo wops notes and echoes the sentiment with his thumb on the steering wheel. "Boy, I'll tell you... the Moody Blues were underrated... "
My first stepfather would roll down his window at an intersection and tell the guy next to us that he was a jackass. There wasn't any music playing, because it was an older vehicle and the radio was never needed.
My mother may have played the radio when we took the car. We only took the car so that we could buy groceries. We drove from the country to Kleins grocer and sometimes we had two carts, and I always felt strange about that. Like, why are we buying so much food? We bought so much food because we were only allowed to go into town once every two weeks with my stepfather's permission. I would be rewarded with little debbie star crunches. Not a box of 12 to last 2 days... A box of 12 to last two weeks for all three or four of us.
My escape was scooping a bottle of powdered gatorade and licking it slowly out of the scoop in front of the television afterschool. There were 7 channels. Scooby Doo was the real deal.
Stepfathers have nothing to do with the struggle I am facing right now. I only mention them because.. they do matter in the scheme of processing wtf is going down here.
My younger brother is .. well... my little brother is very ill. I don't like to say ill. I don't even like to say what his affliction is, because if I say it... then no one knows wtf I am talking about and even if they do-- they have no fucking idea what its like to deal with a loved one who suffers it, let alone try to relate in any real terms....
I am a mother.
I am a ripped apart mother.
I replay images of my daughter touching me with practiced reassurance to let me know that she is my only daughter and I am her only mother. She is miles away, with her father as we institute this visitation for the first time with me losing since a dissolution.
She is amazing.
I know that I have done the right thing to be here. I cannot imagine being without what I have gained, but every day that passes seems to bring with it haystacks of loss that needle me with incredible guilt.
I maintain at a job where boys a decade younger than I exercise their "superior" fine dining talons and humiliating me is par for the course. It's not an easy surge for them, because I will scrape the walls of any sewer if everyone can breathe easier and I will pretend that a beet is a radish if it means someone else will feel bigger for just one second in a day, because I know what it means to feel as if you have lost.
I received a fortune today when I ate. "Your love of Life can Carry you Through any circumstance."
What will my hate do for me?
With a daughter thousands of miles away, and a young brother who depends on me because the entire Universe is trying to capture and torture him.. (and I do mean the entire universe).. it's hard to swallow a bite.
I can though. I can swallow, and I continue to bite, because I have you.
Tomorrow.. Anger and the usual, until I talk to you or see you.
Do what you will with my memory. Everyone will know it was yours to do with whatever you wanted by the time it matters.