Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Never Cry Wolf (Letter To Tracy)

You shouldn't complain or rile other people's emotions with your worries unless your matter is dire. This was inculcated into me when I was a child; when I lacked the abstract thinking to relate it to it's real world meaning. I just understood it as "Shut the fuck up", because I learned what that meant early on; it was a luxurious phrase my mother could dribble with the least of effort to squelch me. Oh, the security in controlling a child that will unconditionally love you!

Don't go mommy! Don't go mommy! Don't go mommy!


I'm ashamed it took me so many years to understand what you were doing then, Tracy. Now that I'm twenty seven, I can accurately weigh the cognitive weight of all my experiences as a coddled naif reared in your twenties. I guess I do have a brain. I am dangerous. You were stupid and getting banged by an eighteen year old gangbanger, so you figured you might as well hangout on the corner too with him. I remember learning the signs: King love : Disciples down. I would retrace the steps and make the sign, and a feeling of power swelled within my thought and gesture seeming to promise significance, but would dissipate as fast as my hand would untangle from it. You must have felt something you wanted to feel: powerfull. You confided in me when I was older that you always felt so alone on the holidays, because you were the only child of older parents. There was never enough fervor around you, that you felt you deserved. Every birthday of mine was so important to you that it ceased being mine, it was much like a holiday in my honor, that I couldn't celebrate. Every year made a more heightened hysterics.

So you loved this boy. I say boy, because he wasn't no goddamn man. He was sly. Your mother hated him. And he was dangerous. You get knocked up. He shoots an immigrant street vender during winter, while high on cocaine; he thought the snow was falling coke. He is convicted of murder and goes to jail. Now I have a baby sister, and you marry him behind bars.

He starts fucking some other girl behind bars and dumps your ass. You are a party animal, and your sadness drives the party. My childhood accelerates, it becomes less seasonal and more like every book I know; I still must go back to a specific page to understand a plot development that changes the future.

You call me often now. My absolute independence terrifies you. What would I be if I didn't need you? Oh, mommy dearest? You lay your bleach strung hair down on your pillow. The phone obediently rests in it's cradle beside you. Mercurial, bi-polar, pharmacudical martyr, angry when you're angry, always pissed, selfish for gratitutde, and pitched at the highest nerve.

Every voice mail you leave me is tagged "urgent". I only get "urgent" messages from you. It's always something like this: (in a whiney slow drawl) "Tony, this is your mother; call me back it's very important." When I dial back it's usually something so insignificant or pity driven, that I can't even conjure an example of it now to make my point.

You left me three of these or equally vague messages on my voicemail tonight. I was at a friends house and didn't feel it was an appropriate time to answer the phone. My phone is not my master. When I visit with other people I like to preserve the sanctity of the moment by excising it of all personal peripherals. Or maybe I don't want to talk to you. I don't give a fuck. I don't have to itemize or explain my time to you or anyone else. I do what I do. You do what you do.

It was the first "real" day of winter because the afternoon rain became wet winter snow in the evening. I waited twenty minutes for the bus and was willing to jump in a cab the first minute. A scarf would have helped, because a hoodie under a flannel and a skullcap is no match against thin wet cold. Calling, while I was trudging through one of mother nature's moods seemed like a good time to accept your call.

"blah blah blah!" "Why didn't you answer your phone?!" What could you be doing that's so important?!" "You don't care about anyone!" "You think you're so important!" "Stay up there with your yuppie friends, and your cats, and you're stuck-up attitude!" "Oh yeah, have another drink Tony!" (she hangs up) *click*

"Hi, what's going on?" "I was at a friends house." "I don't know I was busy, I couldn't call you back." "What?" "Huh?" "What?" "You don't know me!" "You don't understand me!" "Listen! I'm yelling and screaming just like you, I bet you're happy because you can understand that!" "Hhahhahaha" *click*

Unlock the door - Ring - Answer: "Oh while you're too busy to answer your phone, I was calling you to tell you that your grandmother is in the hospital, but you don't give a shit, do you?" *click*

What I felt at that instant: Shock : Anger : Hatred : Worry. I call back: Endless ringing. Oh no you don't. No you don't bitch! I call back: Ringing. You are aren't you?! You're really fucking doing this! Don't do this! I call back: Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring. oh, you really are doing this?! You're actually doing this?

And you did. Why didn't you say she was in the hospital in one of your three messages you left me, all within three hours? Why didn't you tell me then? Is it because you knew I would have surely replied post-haste? You wanted me to call YOU back and ask what was the matter with YOU. You want all the anxiety and worry for yourself. It's always: "Oh! It's so terrible, but what about me?!"

I know the phone is ringing next to you. I know you can hear me calling. It's a sick satisfaction you receive when you don't answer. I know you're evil by knowing what satisfies you. I know this is giving you pleasure. I bet you hope she dies before I know what's going on or can talk to her; just so I have to live with the guilt. ("Of not giving a shit") You would love to braid a lasso of that and drag me nipping at your heels to the day one of us dies.

If the situation is so critical, why aren't you at the hospital? Either you don't give a shit or there's nothing serious to worry about. Wait, is she even in the hospital at all? Why would you lie about something like that? If you're not lying why the hell aren't you picking up the fucking phone?

1.54 a.m.


Blogger yogagrl28 said...

I think your mother should head on over to my families for Christmas. They'd mesh well.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I started reading this with the TV on in the background...thoughts all over the place. But a couple paragraphs in I muted the TV and my mind quieted and I just read it and absorbed every emotion in it. You have such a gift for expressing yourself.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Sherilla Lay said...

trapped in your world, you know you’re trapped in your world…

5:46 PM  

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