We are sitting on the couch in companionable
and I. I casually
that I turned 21
yesterday, I can now buy
legally. I make a naughty
her direction, full of fun and games.
have been a rough week, or else she's just
been stewing over this for a while, because
without much preamble, my mother is quietly
telling me that she's worried about me.
Her voice is shaking and I can hear her swallowing
back the tears as she asks me what I aim to do
with my life. I shrug, my mouth stuck in a
horrible mix between grimace and grin.
I really worry about you, you know that? You have
so much going for you, and sometimes I wonder if you
even realize it.
Gee, Mom, I feel all good
now. I know, have known for quite some time that
we need to sit down and have a little chat.
But I'm chicken, I don't know exactly what I
want to tell you yet. I hate confrontation. And
I don't want to let you down. Even though I have,
and I will, and you kind of know it already.
So, you're 21, have you given any thought to
what you want to do? Where do you see yourself
in a year?
Again, the stupid grin, the
careless shrug. She gets up, swallows, and goes
down the hall to her bedroom where she changes
for work and leaves.
It must be some sort
of endurance test I didn't know about, this
awful composure I maintain, the dreadful stony
face I show when people try to get through.
my inner child, she quivers and sobs and cries.