Monday, March 16, 2015


My mother saw me getting out of this guy's van on Castle Hill Avenue one Sunday morning.  She and my father were just leaving ten o'clock mass at St. Raymond's. I hadn't seen either of my parents since the day I moved out.  They looked older, even though it had only been a few months.  She walked behind him as they headed toward his car.

I don't remember whose party it was.  It's not important.  I was just getting a lift home.  We sat for a few minutes and listened to the radio.  I gathered my crap from the back seat.  Like I said, he was just some guy who was nice enough to drop me off close to where I lived.

I saw my mom right away as I opened the door and hopped out of the vehicle.  She paused in front of the rectory, one hand on her hip.  Boring holes right through me with her angry eyes, she said nothing.  I stood there, hungover and momentarily frozen in one spot.

My ride pulled away from the curb, executing a flashy u-turn in the middle of the road, complete with screeching tires.  When he stopped abruptly a few yards away, I ran toward the driver's side window.

"Hey, girl.  You forgot something!" Party Guy shouted.

He threw a jacket at my feet.  I picked it up and gave him the finger.  He sped away, beeping the horn twice and waving.

Had my mother not been a witness to this exchange, the whole thing probably would have been super funny.  But with her there, not so much.

It isn't what it looks like, I thought.  But what did it matter?  She was gonna think whatever the fuck she wanted anyway.

I turned on my heels toward Zerega Avenue and that dreary little apartment on Fuller Street.  I picked up the pace, hoping to put some distance between my mother and I before she had a chance to tear me to shreds.  She looked like she might.

"That's right, dummy.  Keep running!" she called out over the sound of cars whizzing past and the church bells marking my time.

My sandal strap broke as I crossed the street, and I nearly fell.  I hurried around the corner, carrying my shoe.

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