A little bit of crazy came in the mail today. A little reminder of the calibre I come from. A birthday card from my mother. The mother I don’t call and when I do I struggle to be civil with, to be polite, to not explode in anger. And surely she must feel this, as well as what is not there to be felt. And that makes me feel disgusted with myself. So it’s best to just not call. And to not call back. To not answer at all. And now there is this card from her.
A little bit of love came in the mail today. With a cheque for forty dollars. A dollar for each year of my life. I can’t cash this check! This woman has nothing. And the little she has she wastes on a mountain of DVDs and mail-order junk and birthday cheques for daughters she doesn’t hear from.
A little bit of truth came in the mail today. A little bit of reality. A little bit of who I am and where I come from. A little bit of salt in a wound that never heals because there is a splinter in my heart. A little piece of panic because now I need to call and say thank you. What I really want to do is move to France and start this life over. How long and what do I owe to where I came from by no choice of my own? How much poison must I swallow?
If I could just forget her, pretend she doesn’t exist, that I’d had a different childhood, then maybe, oh maybe, I can escape my fate. I can trick destiny. I can find worthiness and happiness and I won’t become her.