When I was about nine, my neighbor Kevin and I were dangerously sitting on our knees looking out the back of our school bus, waving to the line of cars behind us . Kevin, a well known prankster, was issued a citation by our bus driver. I was not.
I didn’t even have the heart to cry over these spilt words. So I took some melatonin and went to sleep, angry at the 26 letters stretched across my keyboard. If I could just mash them down in the right order, I could actually create something, you know? And it’s been a long time since I created something.
From my vantage point on public transit, I get a bus-eye view into the cars and lives of hundreds of weary commuters. They sip their coffee or stare at their phones instead of the road, the corners of their lips pulled down.
Tuesday morning I woke up a dog-owner, knowing by lunch I wouldn’t be anymore. Which made it hard to look in the mirror as I brushed a cloud of toothpaste around my mouth. Muni - short for Muneco - was described as a 6-pound, 8-year-old, brindle, one-eyed, blind chihuahua. When I told people I was adopting a dog who could use his own seeing eye dog, people had one of two reactions...
I left, my hands clean, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that motherly lie rolling off her tongue, teaching her child something much bigger than cleanliness is next to godliness. Like so many parents before her, mine included, Mom taught Daughter there’s no choice. A person has obligations. You have to do things. To fit in. To get through this world. To live.
When really, the only thing we have to do in this lifetime is die.
I know, that sounds petulant. Like I’m a stubborn Peter Pan of a lady, “don’t-wanna-grow-upping” all over the place. Like I’m chock full of alive privilege because I foresee a future to hate. And maybe I am those things. But that’s not going to stop me from trying to explain this whole future-hating thing with a story:
You know, we redid our trust recently. My dad stacks his fork with a sliver of turkey, a blob of mashed potato, and a snow pea. No matter what happens, any inheritance we might leave you will never be community property. With that,he takes his first bite of Thanksgiving dinner and looks at me.