My mom said he made me drive the car home after luke broke his arm at the beach,
Shattered bone on the rock hard sand.
He simply came up to us and said I broke my arm.
It was not weird that they were not in the water with him,
It was not strange to let a child play alone in the rough, pacific waves,
That was normal then, you didn’t really see parents anxiously dotting the shoreline,
Ready to wipe a tear or save the overwhelmed.
That was then and this is now.
What was out of the ordinary, and is hidden somewhere in the folds of my brain,
Is he made me drive home, across a mountain and into the night,
A 13 year old girl, tired from the sun, scared for her brother,
Never having driven before.
A busy southern california highway,
A mountain pass,
Another frightened, crying brother in the backseat.
My mother says this story over breakfast, melted butter on a pancake,
I’m mid bite and I am hit a little by surprise.
I don’t recall this at all, I search and poke and try to see some outline of a memory,
I know how this works…a sensation, a fuzzy thread, a remembering.
I can only mumble that is sad and I don’t remember.
And she says your brother does, he remembers screaming.
And I want to know, I want to call him then and say isn’t this so fucked up?
Isn’t this why Luke shoveled drugs and booze in his body until he couldn’t feel anymore,
Until the last time where we saw him frozen and bruised and shelled?
Just like that I am gutted again.
And I’m trying not to drink now, I’ve made this decision, well, it was made for me.
Not to drink, not to numb this buzz–albeit it is much quieter than before–a buzz nonetheless.
Specifically with domesticity and it’s endless demands.
Laundry and listening, and fucking the same person and being interested in this day after day.
Those parts are hard for me.
I wasn’t taught the joy in that dedication at all.
For me it’s a chore, a bore, a mark on my soul.
I can almost relate to her, my 13 year old self, driving too fast on mountain curves, probably white knuckled, pissed off and scared and needing so badly for someone to help her, but nobody came, she had to keep driving, she was alone and they had to get home, he was worthless and useless in that moment, and she had to do it.
I can slip into her skin with ease, I can almost feel the metal taste of panic, the sickening thump of absurdity, the click of adrenaline to simply make it happen, to get through.
That my friends is easier for me than the grocery lists and the chit chat and the drunk women at the end of the soccer season party.
Give me a tragedy,
Hole me up in hopelessness,
Give me a challenge that I can rise to.
This, this endless quiet and chaos that is raising a family,
Makes me want to drown in margaritas, frozen custard, and problems.
I want to be fucked hard in one way or another, I want to envelop myself in sorrow.
I am a foreigner here and everyone knows it.