Mama D. was born in Hudson County, New Jersey, that’s what her certificate says. I have no idea where Hudson County is however it must be close to the Hudson River or wishes it were close. When Mama D.’s birth mother gave her up she probably didn’t know Mama D. would one day become Waitress of the Year at the Irish Pub, rated Best Boobs at Rocky’s Diner two years in a row till Sheila got hired, or find a hundred dollars in the neighbor’s front yard. She didn’t know Mama D. would grow up to be the best mom in the world on Tuesdays. She didn’t know Mama D.’s favorite book would be Great Expectations.
The other day I found a baby doll that looked like a real baby but it was missing a foot and a few fingers. The baby doll had real fake hair, dirty blond, and had a fat face with blood shot black rat eyes. The blood shot effect was clearly added with a red pen for special effect. I wondered why its foot was missing, crudely cut away with a jagged little knife or human teeth, clearly by someone sick and with a digital fetish.
Who would eat a baby doll’s foot? A cannibal child-beast? Big Foot?
So anyway, today, I was snooping in moms room. I found her birth certificate in her underwear drawer beneath pushup bras and bags of pot. Mom’s not a dealer but she won’t hesitate to sell to a friend in need, at least that’s what I’ve seen, but I won’t tell anyone about her business ventures. Mom hates to smoke and won’t tolerate smoke on her best dresses but that doesn’t mean she won’t let loose when the time is right. She hates to be alone when she gets home from work so she wakes me up and makes me read her to sleep. She hates to be alone in the dark so she sleeps with the lights on. “I want to die with friends,” she says. “In a big flambe.”
Mama D. is fond of luck and watermelon lipstick, of finding things meant for others, like abandoned earrings or 14 karat gold pendants. “I deserve this,” she always says when she finds something hot. I think she does, most of the time, but not always. I never call Mama D. Mama D. but I might start if she doesn’t stop.
“I’m worth more than I’m worth, child.” That’s her principal creed and Hubba Bubba is her favorite chewing gum. I hate gum and the power of words and second hand smoke. I hate that she needs a creed to lift her soul.
“This is my biological mom,” she said, pointing to the space for her mother’s thumbprint on her birth certificate next to the space for the footprint of the baby. “I had small feet,” she said, as she yanked that damn birth certificate from my hand. “Now look at me.” And I did. And I couldn’t imagine how she could have had such small feet, just a tad bigger than her mother’s thumb, an infant as small as the baby doll I found a few days ago.
“Stay out of my fucking drawer you dumb kid. Or I’ll cut you!” she hollered, meaning it and not at the same time while she sprayed a little regurgitated coffee of my cheek. I hate when mom speaks and when she belittles me in front of her past, ghosts and ghouls, tiny elephants in the room.
She looked haphazardly at her birth certificate and got spooked, flinched as if she saw an alien face jump off the page, mind freak, an acid flashback of her mother’s face postpartum perhaps. With bare hands she diligently folded the certificate with her baby footprint, tucked it beneath her bras and bags of pot, and closed the drawer.
“Safe at last,” she said as fucking serious as I’ve never heard her before. “And don’t touch those fucking bras, Sweet Toes. Or I’ll eat your little fingers for dinner.”
I swore I would never touch her bras again or wear one even if I were to grow really big boobs.
“Impossible,” she said. “Look at these.”