Articles

Affichage des articles du avril 24, 2018

Two steps to the left or right or back or front and you’re standing outside your life.

Image
For a long time, my mother wasn’t dead yet. Mine could have been a more tragic story. My father could have given in to the bottle or the needle or a woman and left my brother and me to care for ourselves—or worse, in the care of New York City Children’s Services, where, my father said, there was seldom a happy ending. But this didn’t happen. I know now that what is tragic isn’t the moment. It is the memory.I’m too young to be someone’s auntie.
You’re gonna be too old to be somebody’s mama if you don’t get busy. My brother grinned.
No judgment.
No judgment is a lie.

I tried not to think about the return to my father’s apartment alone, the deep relief and fear that came with death. There were clothes to be donated, old food to throw out, pictures to pack away. For what? For whom?

My mother had not believed in friendships among women. She said women weren’t to be trusted.
Keep your arm out, she said. And keep women a whole other hand away from the farthest tips of your fingernails. She told…