Como luceros fríos

Sobre el olivar hay un cielo hundido y una lluvia oscura de luceros fríos.

23 January, 2008

From when I was about eleven years old until I hit around fourteen or so, my mother had these intermittent freak-outs. I would say something she didn't care to hear, or disagree with her too strenuously. Or something like that. And then she would declare herself "on strike," and all the sudden I didn't have a mother anymore. She wouldn't speak to me, or be in the same room with me unless it were out of the necessity to be doing something there. If a friend of mine would call on the phone, she'd hang up, or if I were right next to her, she'd throw the phone on the floor. Or hang up in front of me. If I wanted to eat, I had to ask for lunch money from my father. At dinner time, I'd scrape together what I could get from what she had cooked or just what I could find. She wouldn't drive me anywhere or do anything for me or look at me. I never can remember how any of these "strikes" ended. I don't remember if I groveled or apologized or if she just quit. But I do remember that, in 7th grade, one of them lasted from one report card to another, and we got report cards ever six weeks. I always dreamt of outrageous shit I could do to make her respond to me. And I fantasized about getting hit by a car or falling down and breaking a bone and kind of hoped something would happen, anything, anything to make her take care of me. I wonder why she did that. My adult mind now can make so many excuses for her. Her husband was a raging alcoholic. She had a shitty retail job she hated and giving birth to me put an end to so many of her dreams. Sometimes I want to pity her. But if there were a parent of one of my students who I found out did that kind of thing to them, I'd be on the Child Protective Services website in a fucking flash to report them for neglect and emotional abuse.

I started taking high school classes in 7th grade and I rode the high school bus to school, as a 12 year old. There was a junior or senior boy on the bus named Russell who was constantly groping me and saying all sorts of shitty, inappropriate things. The bus driver was a retired prick of a Baptist minister who thought the whole thing was hilarious. I never told my mother, because she wouldn't even look at me. There were all sorts of criminally inappropriate things going on in my life during those years, and there was no telling her. She didn't have the ears to hear it. And sometimes I wonder if she knew, and if her silence was so she wouldn't have to acknowledge any of it.


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