1. My mother was never taught how to be one. Her own childhood was pretty fucked with sexual abuse and Catholic ideals of keeping secrets tied up in boxes in the back of closets. (It’s no wonder she’s so angry at the world.) I was a pretty good child, and even in my adolescence there wasn’t much rebellion…up until I was about 17, nearly 18. At that point there was that struggle that women have between mothers and daughters when they start growing apart and more independent. I remember that she would stand in front of me, mere inches, screaming in my face until her own was red from rage. There was nothing I could do to calm her down. The Catholic in her would always ask me “why” I did something. They say that it is only the Jews that have Catholics beat on guilt. Why did you not call me before it got dark? Why did you cheat on your bio exam? Why did you get your eyebrow pierced? It’s that time where the adolescent brain has not caught up with impulse, and so the legitimate answer to some questions is “I don’t know.” And no matter what I would say it would be wrong. I would tell her the truth, I was wrong. I would tell her what I thought she wanted to hear, I was wrong. (I got used to being wrong a lot, which is probably why I am so adamant in my adult life when I am right.) Eventually, I just got tired of being wrong and stopped talking altogether, choosing instead staring blankly at nothing in front of me, as she stood screaming in my face. I would stare through her, until she started pacing and she wore herself out. If no words are right, why use them at all?
I suppose that that’s why we’re in this situation now. You and me. Why we are both sitting here in silence, because there was a part of me that was my mother, and when I found out just one word was spoken. Why? (He often said that fighting with me was more like a therapy session rather than a fight. Thanks mom.) But I am not my mother, and even though reading what was on your laptop made my insides spoil, and my head is heavy, I feel like my soul is floating above both of us looking upon this laughable situation we’ve gotten ourselves into. But as I sit on my couch and you sit on yours, and you’re looking at me, I can’t even bring myself to have you in my peripheral. The only thing that goes through my mind is why, and just like then, there are no words that you can say that are right. And I know this. And it occurs to me, in this moment, when I don’t want to wrap my head around what you did or what you didn’t do or what you almost did – in this moment I wonder if this is what she felt like when she asked me why, and why there were never any right answers. And in this moment I realize there’s nothing you can say. All the words have been said before, when I caught you before, when you ALLOWED yourself to be caught.