for the good of the story.

sometimes i really love and appreciate who i am. sometimes i think that other people couldn’t handle themselves in a situation like i have. then again, everyone has a situation.

my parents are exact opposites. my mother is over-the-top and boisterous and a caricature of herself. she’s had to be. she didn’t have a choice. she developed certain skills and talents and curses out of pure necessity. she once told me about a time that her step-mother locked her in the basement and burned all her clothing in a pile right in front of her. she also told me about a time when her step-mother took hot grease from a frying pan on the stove and threw it on my mother’s arms. i always thought that something like that would’ve left a scar. she didn’t have any scars on her arms. while i do believe that she did, indeed, endure a lot as a child, i don’t know how much of it is exaggerated. you know, for the good of the story.

she had a brother, bob. mom always described him as a john lennon look-a-like. i didn’t really know what that meant when i was really small, but i quickly learned. bob was adopted like my mom. i don’t know how many biological siblings bob had, but that doesn’t matter. not that his story doesn’t matter – but family extends beyond strands of dna. my mom is one of five, biologically. there is an older sister, kim, who my grandmother – “nana dianna” – had with a previous husband. then mom. then two more girls: lisa and amy. then the baby boy, ronnie. the last three were from a different husband, ron. ron played the saxophone. he was in a band called “touch of class.” he let me jam on the piano with him once when i was little. i only met him once. that’s what we did.

i remember when my mom was in her thirties and she first met her birth mother. they looked exactly alike. exactly. i remember when mom first found her and they started their correspondence; they sent one another pictures of each other in the exact same positions, making the exact same faces. right side profile, head tilted back, open-mouthed smiling. they were each seated at a table. it’s like they asked each other to only send pictures that fulfilled certain criteria..like they were auditioning for each other.

i’m sitting in my room while i’m writing this. the boys are each working on his respective task downstairs. efren is scanning designs into the computer, and every time i hear the scanner, it gives me a weird punch-to-the-gut-type sensation. it reminds me of the noise the ventilator made in mom’s hospital room. cue the scanner. wham.

mom. she was the only one to be given away. one, I’ll take her. two..no two, you have to go..three, yes! four, why not?! five completes the set! i only wanted a set of four. sorry. i know it was timing. i know it was circumstance. i know it was relative. But why her? i wonder that a lot.

my mom describes her adoptive mother – her mom, caroline – as a saint. she said that she never met a woman like that before in her life. she was in sixth grade when she was called to the principal’s office at her school to be told that her mother died. eleven years old. by that time, she already knew that she had been adopted by caroline and gene, my mom’s dad. her mother never hid it from her, they both just understood the situation. they were fulfilling each other’s needs. thank you, you’re welcome. one mother had already given her away, and now another was taken away. cancer. my mom always did well in school as a kid. i got to see a lot of her old report cards when gathering, separating and cleaning out all of her belongings in my garage. the ones that my dad and i had to drive and pay to pick up. a lot of them are still there in the garage. i don’t know what to do. i don’t know where to put any of it, and most of it is just junk. i mean, i love my mom’s junk. wow, if someone’s eyes immediately jumped to that one sentence in this paragraph, this would be really awkward. but some of it really is just junk. i don’t need old bath towels that you owned. i don’t want every single cup that you earned from smoking camel cigarettes. and the clothes that you wore in 1995 – i kept one shirt – just have no place in my apartment. there are certain items that i will cherish and hold onto, but other than that i mostly just want it all to go away. i don’t want her to go away..i just want the junk to go away.

i want that in my life. i want the junk to go away.

i just feel so heavy sometimes. not physically heavy, but emotionally and spiritually heavy. my aura is heavy. my aura is hungry. and now top chef is on in the background and it’s making me even hungrier. and it’s 2:07 AM now, but i have a sandwich in the fridge, but it’s 2:07 AM now, but my stomach is eating itself. what to do? what to do? carbs, why do i love you so much? i’m not too concerned, but it still feels like it’s so wrong. i’ll probably just go out and smoke a cigarette. yeah, that’ll be much better. but the fact that top chef is on right now is toying with my emotions. it’s like watching porn and having broken hands.

so i ate the sandwich. i did it. and it was delicious. and it’s like, which is better anyway? maybe neither. but i was hungry. and there’s nothing wrong with being hungry. the problem is over-eating. this is a general life-reference. stay with me.

what if people’s birthdays dictated certain personality traits? wouldn’t that be weird? what?! it does exist?! who knew..?

my birthday is january 20. it was supposed to be january 1. i was 19 days late. i was just chilling. like not yet..leave me alone..i like it here. when i finally came out, i had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. the doctor had to give my mom an emergency caesarean section. mom said that i flat-lined for two minutes. then again, she could’ve been exaggerating. you know, for the good of the story.  i heard about her c-section all the time. “see this scar? this scar is from you. now i can never lose that fat because they had to cut through the muscle.” she was referring to the little pooch under her belly button that she couldn’t get rid of no matter how much she exercised.

mom had a dog, belle. mom used to call her “smelly belley button.”

a wave of emotion hits me and i have an intense rush of sadness for a few seconds. my average is around ten seconds. sometimes, once every few months or so, i’ll let it out for a good 5 minutes. that feels good. and horrible. mostly good. and horrible. i just had one of the waves when i referenced belle. i just remember mom standing in the kitchen with a cigarette in her hand, cooking chicken wings or green bean casserole or whatever other delicious dish she would cook, and belle getting under her feet. she’d tell belle to get out of there, and be stern to her for a second, and then she’d pick her up and cuddle her up to her face, unable to resist her. i feel sad for belle. i feel really, really sad.

cue the scanner.

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