drowning sesame seeds
"There's a problem, isn't there, Debbie?"
Sing, Debbie, sing. Seeeing.
"I could see you through the door at the airport standing there waiting for your bags and I knew then for sure. It's come back."
Louder, just make it louder. La laaaa laaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Bzzzzzzzzz.
"Something inside of me just died then."
Yeah, I bet.
"I haven't said anything since you've been home because I didn't want to ruin the fun we've enjoyed. But I can't just stand back and watch you do this."
A fine time, now, isn't it, to bring this up. Christmas fucking Day. I stared down at my placemat concentrating on not making a sound. I squeezed the cheeks of my ass together. Tight ass, no tears. I used to squeeze my ass tightly in kindergarten at the Catholic school I went to. The teacher would always end the day with the Wiggle Your Body Part game. The point was the person who was IT was supposed to see which body part everyone was moving: pinky, eyebrow, ass. I was always the last one left with the unseen moving body part. In other words, I should have won. But the teacher would get confused and ask me what I was wiggling, whisper it in my ear, Deborah, no! you're disqualified.
I just figured I was smarter than everyone. Including the teacher. Dumb teacher.
Sometimes I get all nervous that I'm going to snort or something. While trying not to cry or laugh. I do laugh hysterically. But it takes so long to stop and so much energy.
Up and in. Squeeze. Tight ass.
"Like, last night you didn't eat your potatoes. You just pushed them away and hid them under your fork and knife."
But how could I have done that, silly? No. I didn't do that.
"That's always the key. Warning bells went off, Debbie, in the last few months. When we talk on the phone and you would tell me how you've been hiking and running. Always by yourself."
Sing, Debbie, sing in your head. Harder, laaaalaaaaaa, harder! Flat and hard.
"You didn't eat your pie," I said. There, you see, I caught her. God, did I really say that? You-didn't-eat-your-pie? That sounds so pathetic. We never eat pie, either. Except yesterday. It was an ohhhcasion.
I have to twist my hand to keep my face frozen. My chicken leg. That's what I call that piece of skin that connects the thumb to the wrist. It looks like a drum stick. I want to bite that chunky bit. Go look. Drum stick hand.
Frozen, keep twisting. I don't think I've caught IT in time.
"Debbie! It was burnt. No one ate it."
Crispy pecans. I wonder if they'd cause colon cancer. I bet.
It felt like the smell of toast and Christmas trees had settled into the room for good. Baked down low in the room by the sun all sweet and warm. And nauseating. Festive smelling.
We both sat there quietly and I felt like maybe all day would be like this. Here we would be sitting at the table, our breakfasts stuck to our plates. I looked down and I could already see the yellow coat over the cream cheese ready to be cracked by my teeth. Neither of us spoke.
I looked up and then she did it. She cried. What is going on? Help.
Her body was shaking and trembling and she looked wracked. Mommy is getting old. Help. She looks tired and lonely. Help. All haggard. Her skin is all dry and dusty. It just sort of happened, the silk of time catching her silently in its net. Slipped over her head. With a little knot at the top. Do you notice that on yourself? When you comb you hair in the morning?
"I'm so sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so stupid. It's so stupid. God. I hate this," and then the tears rolled into my mouth when I opened it and the salty gritty taste coats my gums. "I feel awful and it's all so bloody stupid. I know it is. I'm so sorry."
"Stupid! Stupid? You're screwing around with your life and you sit across from me and call it 'stupid'? How can you do that? Stupid!"
"Mommy, I'm scared."
And I am, too. I'm scared of what that part of me does. Always fighting inside, the rational and the Kook-Ed. I want them to agree, at least the rational part does but they never do. And I think the cookie side is getting stronger. Sometimes it's all I can hear.
"I mean, I've wanted to speak to you about it but I just feel so wet. So pathetic. I've let you down. And, anyway, I shouldn't need to ask for help over such dumb stuff. Really, I promised myself I'd talk to you about it and tell you it was all going to be fine and that I was going to get help."
I had promised. But that was always during those evenings when the two sides were fighting and I didn't want to deal with the noise any longer. It's easy then. It's easy when I put it in the future; not now, but yeah, I will do something.
Sing, Debbie, sing. Laaaaaaaa. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Bzzzzzzzz. Just like a straight line.
No use. My face was swollen with tears. The tears are making a puddle down the slant of the plate next to the bagel. See, the sesame seeds are drowning. Ha.
She hiccuped or choked, and then gurgled.
"Well, I'm hardly surprised, you know. I nearly brought this up in September but I didn't think that would take it right. You always think that I'm I I I I I I am out to get you. I love you, Debbie. And it's killing me to watch you. Think what a failure I am."
I am. I am. I AM. Iam, IAM, eam. Yam yam yam, jam. Now.
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