Other families seemed different. Belief in the exceptional laced my formula, clung sweet to my milk teeth.
I rode in the passenger seat. My role was game girl, up for anything, no fear.
A secret I’ve kept: thirteen was a goodbye kiss from Carl the night before I left, the golf course slick under our feet, a little taste of his tongue.
Islands can connect. We were three. Michael worshipped her and I worshipped them both.
Little rituals. I make more sense to myself on paper.
Thirteen. A mom would fly in, paper bags crinkling and damp in the corners, and dinner would appear.
What makes an intentional life? Grappling for attention and affection, a desire, perhaps, to fall into this week’s family and our way of loving.
Assembly required. She struggled to fit herself into the shape of a mother.
At the corner of Main Street and ____. My seat is a place of privilege, a place for chasing the truth.
I bet now we could be friends. She rests her Ugg-booted feet on the dash and owns the space, and me.
First dive, deep dive. She found the boy, dead or in the act of dying, I don’t know.
Tug-of-war. Some nights she wishes she drank herself into the dark so she’d wake up with only a blistered stomach, muzzy head and the acrid ephemera of regret on her mohair tongue.
Grit can be an aftertaste. My body apologizes better than my mouth.
Why? Everyone looks perfect fresh out of the box. The assembly required bit lurks in the footnotes.
We’re not speaking. How much of love is looking the other way?
First job. I love them every day, not just when other moms are watching.
Where I sit. I can lose my way inside my head without a guide.
Caves. I am attracted to things that are hard—writing and publishing, climbing mountains, staying in love.