I wanted to post another excerpt from the work I’ve been doing in my memoir.
I show my wife all the stories I come up with and rely on her sage comments and suggestions. After reading this one, she said, “You were such an pain in the ass.”
But she said it with love.
I call this one, “I Am Not Your Broom” (with apologies to They Might Be Giants).
I Am Not Your Broom
“I’m sick of this,” Mom says. “Sick of it.”
I am lying on the love seat and hear Mom come grousing into the living room. Cocking my head, I see she is upset but have no idea why. I ignore her and continue to watch TV, a dull sitcom from the 60s.
My little brothers retreat from the living room to the front porch. Still complaining, Mom continues into the kitchen. I can hear the kettle being filled with water for coffee as Terri heads up the stairs toward her room, calling for Tina to follow.
When Mom’s mood plummets, everyone knows to leave her alone. She makes coffee, calls one of her sisters, or just sits at the kitchen table, staring across the room. This has been going on for as long as I can remember. When I was little, Mom would regularly throw everyone out of the house. I remember staggering into the afternoon sunlight, after being in the cool of the living room, curled up with a book. Mom would say, “Run around, play! Have fun like a normal kid, for Christ’s sake.”
Although I can go hang out with my new friends at their apartment on Front Street, I decide to hold my ground here in the living room instead. I haven’t had an opportunity to swipe any cigarettes, and I hate to arrive at the girls’ apartment empty handed. I focus on the TV, even though I’m not that interested in the program.
Mom stands in the entrance to the living room.
“Out,” she commands.