Posted in Almost Dorothy

I’ll Be There [after the Jackson 5]

Almost Dorothy Does Not Drink | Photo by Neil de la Flor

1. It’s not that easy to say out loud, ma says. But I’ll always be there for you to comfort you with a cigarette and an ice-cold six-pack. 

2. I’d rather be locked in a baseless basement, I tell ma, and forge a pact with pushy aliens.

3. Michael Jackson is an alien.

4. We are (usually) born with 5 fingers just like there were only 5 Jacksons.

5. What about Jesse Jackson, ma asks. Doesn’t he count? And Latoya? 

6. If I ever find an orange long-sleeve satin shirt with a red heart in the center of it, I’ll be in heaven.

7. Not New Haven, CT, ma says.

8. Ma got a CT scan last month.

9. She now has something new in her body that is alien. Something like a pirate without a ship but just as deadly.

10. Her lungs are lungs burdened by soot and something that looks like a baby’s sock.

11. It’s a tumor, ma says. A kind of growth that is like an unkind village.

12. People. 

13. I want to tell ma that it will be alright, that I’ll fill her heart with joy and laughter, that I’ll protect her with the sincerity of a mother/father-daughter/son pact, and that I’ll be there for her with a cigarette and an ice-cold six-pack.

14. But I won’t.


I'm not real, but I'm a writer.

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