Strange how seemingly random events can change the course of one’s life, I mean truly random events like how rain on a sunny day cancels plans to go fishing, so instead, I make a trip to the liquor store and while on the way to the liquor store, I see a flyer hanging on a telephone pole.
In big artsy-block letters it reads, “Looking to Start Band?…ME TOO.” Instantly it caught my eye and interest. Reading further, I found the information. It turns out Angel, the name of the contact person on the flyer, wants to sing. Writing down the number, I playfully toss into my pocket; fodder for boredom sure to come later on. Rain can do a lot more than cancel a fishing date. Sometimes it can make perfect sense.
My mom passed away when I was 16, but from what I don’t know. I can still remember seeing her lying in bed, clutching dad and I, cursing the lord for taking her from the earth. I sat by her for weeks as she drifted in and out of reality. Sometimes God would sit right next to me and smile, or at least that’s what mom would say. But I believed her, and I would challenge God to games of chess or cards. Mom would just tell God to grab some black coffee and wait patiently, because she’s not going to die with so much yet to do.
The days when she moved to the hospital are the hardest to remember. It’s like a collective fog surrounds my dad, and even more so me. It seems that while at home, mom wasn’t going to die; she just needed rest. Once the gadgets and gizmos and tubes and wires frayed out of her like a science experiment, reality sunk in.
Towering high above Milwaukee, Brooks and Weaver Memorial Hospital became home for only a short time; She died five days after the stay began. Over those five days, I’d sneak up an abandonded staircase, to perch on the roof. Beauty surrounded me as I gazed out across Lake Michigan and numbed the noise that rose into the air from commuters and cars and planes and the city; mom was dying and I wanted a moment of silence that I could only find at the top of a skyscraper. The feeling of being that high off the ground brings a clarity and concrete feel to a very unstable time for me. To this day, heights are the only drug I need to escape…the others are for a good time.
After she passed, dad and I drifted slowly apart. He was tied up trying to cover expenses, and I with school and odd-jobs to help out. Being in high school, it was hard to maintain a social reputation and work my ass off to honor my parents. The popular fringe is where I resided and it wasn’t too bad. If anything, it made me loathe plastic people, because the popular people were never real, and us real people were too cool to be popular.
|August 10, 2013