Ma and I had a fight last night. She threw me in the brig, but we don’t have a ship and there’s no brig. She threw me in the closet instead. Ma has no human strength left so I took it upon myself to throw myself in the brig. I wanted ma to feel a moment of absolute power and control. This is what lifts her spirits in the age of the coronavirus.
This is (more or less) what happened: Once up on a time in a shitty suburban home on a warm and humid night beneath a half-ass moon a woman named ma poured herself a Trumptini: a toxic cocktail that is one part bleach, one part disinfectant, and rimmed with one Tide Pod (or whatever brand you have around). It was 6:49 PM on April 24th, 2020. The kitchen was apocalyptic. I told ma not to take a sip. Ma said, “You ain’t gonna stop me from drinking this drink. I do what I want when I want.” I reached for the glass. Ma reached for my hand. A scuffle broke out between the squirrels peeping-tomming in the window. Bobo the Mutt barked and licked his butt. “This is my goddamn drink,” ma blurted. “It could save my life.” “It won’t,” I told her. “It will kill you!” “I know,” ma said. “That will save my life.”
I thought about this for a moment. And then another moment. Ma always has things to say that make me think about the things I know and believe to be true. In a way, ma is right, death is a solution to life, but not this time, not today.
“Give me that fucking glass,” I shouted. Ma’s nostrils flared like Secretariat after winning the Kentucky Derby. (I love Kentucky Fried Chicken, but not as much as I love Church’s Chicken.) “Today isn’t the day,” I said. Ma said, “Every day is today. It’s all the same in this fucking pandemic lockdown madness. I gotta’ get out of this mess.” “You can’t,” I said. “Bobo the Mutt and I need you.”
Ma went all harlequin on us. Pantomiming her way through the middle part of our fight with a series middle fingers, fist pumps and ending with the Vulcan Salute. That’s when she spoke: “The President says we can disinfect ourselves from this plague.” I rolled the dice, “He also said he can Make American Great Again. Are you better off now that you were 6 weeks ago? A year ago? 4 years ago?” Ma shook her head. Neither yes. Neither no. She bobbled her head and got up. Glass in hand. Ready to strike anyone who tried to take it from her. “Don’t try and stop me, kid” she said. “I know what I’m doing.” “Fine,” I said. “Enjoy certain death.” “I will,” she said and stormed out of the kitchen.
Two hours later ma returned from the laundry room with the empty glass. It’s the first time she ever washed a load of clothes that didn’t turn out half bad. “Look,” she said taking my hand in her hand. “You’re just a kid, but you’re mine. I’ll never leave you like that, at least not without a proper cocktail glass.”
And that’s what happened last night. Today is a new day. One that I won’t take for granted.
(I apologize for using the word shitty and fucking. My not-so-best friend Diego says I shouldn’t curse or use bad words because it makes me sound immature and unreliable. I told him that it makes me even more reliable and credible because this is how real humans talk in the real world when they feel passionate about something. He told me that I’m not real and that whatever I say is a waste of words. I told him he’s a waste of words and a real and unreal jerk.)