When mom said she lost her camel in the desert I thought she meant she lost a real camel–the kind of camel with one or two humps, or the kind she gets when she wears her pink Juicy Couture sweat pants to Publix. I looked everywhere for her camel. Left. Right. I even looked in the boys and girls bathroom. Lifted a sewer cover and said hello, camel, hello. Mom drank a Cream Ale while I searched like a freak for her imaginary camel. Finally, mom got a bright idea. She started the VW and backed it up. She got out of the car and slammed the door shut. She bent over and found her camel where the car was parked–semi crushed and open lying face up next to a heavily used tissue. The box was empty except for a few specks of tobacco. Someone must have smoked every last cigarette then blew his or her nose. Look, mom said, a finger. It wasn’t a finger. It was a butt. (See right of “L” in “CAMEL”.) It’s a butt, I said. My ass, she said. You are, I said. Under my breath of course. We got in the car and left.
When mom and I were in New Mexico we visited Jesus Christ @ the Capilia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe. The little church is located in the old town section of Albuquerque, which is pronounced Albuquerque. It wasn’t really Jesus in person, but a painting of the young Christ, stud like and gorgeous as he must have been in old Jerusalem. Mom said he looked hot. I told mom she’s nuts. Mom wrote him a note and left it for him. Just in case, she wrote. 555-759-2011. Collect calls gladly accepted, your Sexiness.
Mom kidnapped me from Amanda B.’s house and locked me in the trunk of her car, which is really just the backseat of the car, which is a 1980s yellow Volkswagen beetle bug. Actually, the Volkswagen sounds like a beagle and doesn’t really have a trunk. I wished mom wasn’t drunk. I wasn’t sure where mom was taking me, but I saw a Fodor’s guide to New Mexico, so I guessed New Mexico or Fodor, which isn’t really a place on a map. It’s just a book with maps and ‘Best of’ lists. In record time we made it to Albuquerque. Mom supercharged on caffeine and beer and other stuff. We only stopped for gas twice and shared a hot dog with sauerkraut. Shoplifted a bottle of Coors Lite. I’m watching my figure, mom said like she always says. I think we’re headed for a rebirth in our relationship because mom mumbled something while sleep-driving between New Orleans and Dallas. She babbled something about Los Alomos and the Virgen de Guadalupe, the value of a nuclear family and keeping your legs shut. She wants to reorganize or revirginize me. Scrape the boys out of me. I heard a dog bark when she dumped me in the backseat as she sped away from Amanda B.’s house while Amanda B. held on to mom’s hair for dear life. It’ll grow back mom said as Amanda B., the B is for Bernstein and the B is always silent, shrunk to nothing in the rearview mirror. We’re not a family without the B., I said, as we spend away from Amanda B.’s. Bobo the Mutt backseat barking like a good dog. I was blind-folded and I couldn’t see anything and thus, therefore, I was able to see right through mom. Right through her plot to save my soul from Amanda B., to split us up into separate camps, and to show us she loves us even though she shows us something else.
Amanda B. and I are watching the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands and we saw this topless guy in the stadium and he had nipple missiles, which are long, pointy man nips that look like warheads or eraser tips. In any case, I’m not sure why ‘the’ has to go before the Netherlands or why the Netherlands is also called Holland and why isn’t never(the)less just neverless. What does FIFA stand for, anyway? First Idiot Farters Association? I mean, come on. The Netherlands, Holland, pick a name like Spain, which is only Spain, not ‘the’ Spain or Spalland. Amanda B. is rooting for Spain, she’s insane and incensed because I’m pulling for Turkmenistan because I was once in love with a Turk, or Turkamen? They make great flat bread with butter and stick to one name at a time. You can’t root for Turkmenistan, Amanda B. says. They’re not in the finals. Oh, I say. But, I can root for who I want. Deal with it.
Amanda B. and I both miss mom because we know it would be really fun if mom were here watching the finals with us. If you haven’t been following me lately, I busted out on mom and hid with Amanda B. Mom thinks we’re dead or long gone, but we’re just around the corner in Amanda’s sugar shack. Amanda B. likes treats. She dumped mom, which meant she also dumped me, because mom is the male version of Hunter S. Thompson. I hate rejection, so I left mom and chose to stay with Amanda B. because the B is silent when I need to think or just be Almost Dorothy. In any case, we’re thinking about calling mom over to welcome her back. Amanda B. shows me the unauthorized tattoo of a rat that mom (while drunk or stoned or sober) haphazardly drew on Amanda B.’s ass in the middle of the night while Amanda B. slept peacefully cause mom put sleeping pills in her milk. Amanda B. says we’ll call her after the game. I cross my fingers for good luck. Amanda B. crosses her fingers for good luck too as we sip from our 7-11 blue monster Slupees. Viva Turkmenistan, she says and winks I love you.
Programming Note: My Potty Mouth Interview series resumes tomorrow with an interview with the fabulous documentary filmmaker Sandrine Orabona who was one of the two cinematographers on Michael Jackson’s “This Is It.” Wonderful interview with an amazing, enlightened and inspirational figure. Fo’ sure, kids. Stay tuned.
Amanda B. and I went to Disney World to chill. We thought it would be good considering I just ran away from mom and she was trying to find me. When we left Amanda B.’s house, we closed all the windows and the blinds. We hid Amanda B.’s patio furniture in the garage so mom wouldn’t vandalize it. We put a for sale sign in the front yard so she’d think we skipped town or something like that. We even put fake blood on the front door so mom would freak and think something bad happened to us. Amanda B. said mom deserves it cause of how she acts when she’s in public or Publix. Said it will make mom calm down and be more respectful of other humans. Like hell, I said. Amanda B. laughed and we got our photograph taken with the crew–Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Snow White, the dwarves, and Donald Duck. All of them. The only character missing was Goofy, who was probably peeing on Amanda B.’s mailbox for good luck.
My first night with my new mom, Amanda B., didn’t go so well. She’s a vegetarian, so we didn’t eat any meat. I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do. We didn’t even have turkey bacon for breakfast this morning. At least I didn’t get burned by a cigarette, but I miss my real mom’s quirks. I’m not sure what I’m going to do because Amanda B.’s cat looks so delicious. I wonder if Amanda B. will notice her cat has a missing leg. The meaty one on the left side. I have to go. Obama is making a speech right now. God save the cat! Long live the cat!
I want to glide down Biscayne Bay in my pink and yellow muumuu. I want to call the cops on the muumuu monster called mom. I want to suck the madness out of the Gulf. I want to fly without wings. Mine the world with mines.
The scene: 9AM. Mom’s false teeth on the kitchen counter. Her push up bra unclasped. No bottom. A frozen chicken pot pie melting in the sink as her lipstick melts on the window sill. Sunday. My photograph of Squinny torn into a hundred tiny pieces on the breakfast table.
Mom said she was upset or pissed off because I had disrespected her when I had sexual relations with that Puerto Rican-Peruvian-Sephardic boy. She said I’d go to hell and my panties would burn in hell. Said that my privates would burn in hell. Said that I’m whore and that I would burn and burn and burn till I understood what she was talking about. You dirty little whore, she said. Just like you, I said. Just like you.
Mom smacked the wind cause I’m too friggin’ fast. I ran to my room. Assessed the importance of things like my Hello Kitty purse, red red ruby slippers, the pink lava lamp. I left my underwear behind. I left the lava lamp and potted cactus behind. I left the whole world behind and Bobo the Mutt too. He was furious at me for leaving him with mom. He looked at me and cried. He said don’t go, don’t leave me, in the language of dogs.
The world is not big enough anymore. I packed my mirror to remind me of who I was and where I’ve been. I scooped up all the pieces of Squinny and sealed her up in a pink envelope. I swiped a pack of mom’s cigarettes from the kitchen counter and then hauled ass out of that house as she hauled ass after me. I jump into the arms of Amanda B., who had waited for me in her getaway station wagon ever since she left mom and me. Hanging. Just in case I needed a lift away from Mars.
1. I think I just got laid. I didn’t tell mom but she knew because she asked why my neck had been attacked by a vampire goat. What a sloppy mess, she said. Get a grip next time. My date with the Puerto Rican-Peruvian-Sephardic boy went well. I love his red Camaro. I love the way he drives with his eyes closed and the windows open. We listened to a remix. Messed with the stick shift. Kissed in reverse.
2. When I got home, mom clicked the lamp light on and off like Glen Close did in Fatal Attraction. As a result, I hid my rabbit and puppy. As a result, mom started back at church the next day.
3. Mom prayed for the coming of the lambs. I don’t know why the lambs are coming, but mom said it has something to do with what happened last night. On my date. In the front or back seat. On the bank of Biscayne Bay. In front of fish. In the parking lot of Bank of America. On the ATM. Thank god you can’t get pregnant, mom said. I don’t think two boys can conceive yet. I was really pissed because I’ve always wanted a baby goat.
4. A stranger came running up to me. She or he couldn’t speak. Said something didn’t go so well on Biscayne Bay. Said I should run toward the firelight. Said I would regret the scene. I thought he or she was my BFF Squinny back from the dead trying to tell me something intelligent. Trying to tell me to stop playing with the girls or boys. Trying to make me go, run, forget the tongue and lips and what they do to the flesh.
5. If no one ever marries me, the stranger said, I’ll marry the sky.
6. I married the sky when he touched me up here and down there. I was ok with that so long as he didn’t stop. He didn’t stop.
7. Mom caused a stir at church. She wore the black mini skirt without underwear just like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct except mom looks nothing like Sharon Stone down there or up here. She wore a blond wig. She wore a white rose corsage and took a Flintstone vitamin before she left. The boys in the choir stopped singing. The priest stopped preaching. Jesus just stared at mom speechless. The janitor wanted to make out with her but she wasn’t into making out with boys on pews. She touched herself here and there as a result of the rapture. She was enraptured. Enraged. On her knees praying to God for the return of Amanda B. and my virginity. I prayed for mom’s lucky stars. Peace on Earth.
8. I met a new boy at church. The boy wore a white dress with puffy yellow sleeves. Mom wore flats. I wore my Almost Dorothy dress and red pumps. I brought the boy home even though he wore a ridiculous hat. Mom said that he isn’t a boy and would never be one. Not even in that getup. The boy told mom that mom isn’t a girl no matter how much make up she put on or how how short her skirt got. Mom gave the boy the finger. The boy in the girl’s dress gave mom the finger. I told them both to calm down and that I don’t care what’s between their legs, so long as they make me smile. Both of them looked at me and lifted their skirts. I saw Sharon Stone’s face and a plate of sushi. It made me laugh, the vacuum of space between their ears. I laughed at what makes a real boy and a real girl real real. When faced with a choice, I chose flight.
Today was a bad day. Mom cried all day and the baby birds trapped inside the attic. I’m sad because they won’t listen to me. The termite man will tent the house tomorrow. I climbed ladders for them. Cooed them toward nowhere safe.
Today was a bad day and the thunderstorms couldn’t hush the howling of mom or the wind or that thing that makes moms and the wind howl like mad, mad wolves. Or hatters. Howlers that not even the wind can muffle or silence.
Mom was screaming. Is screaming. Will never stop screaming for Amanda B. She will count on her lungs to feed her today. She hasn’t eaten in days. Hasn’t peed in the toilet for days. Hasn’t used my name in days. I am screaming.
In a moment it will begin to rain (again) and the Puerto Rican boy next door wants to take me on a date. Says he has something to show me. Says I am pretty in the light and dark. I wonder if he knows I’m a boy just like him. I wonder if he cares. I wonder if mom will care. If I take his offer and fly with him in his red Camaro, will I repeat mom? Will I die? Collapse into his arms? Vanish from the face of the unknown universe?
I wonder if I’m old enough to fly. I feel like I have the right to clear skyscrapers with my bare virgin hands. I have the right to examine the nature of boys in the backseat of sports cars on the birth of Biscayne Bay. I promised mom I’d be safe and she nodded yes and uh huh and then screamed uncontrollably for B. She nodded toward the door. Nodded toward the place where Amanda B. fled in her butch attire and flats. She nodded toward the exit where all stories begin and end. For mom and Amanda B. For mom and me. In a few days. More.
The aftermath has nothing to do with math or quantum cooking. It has to do with the absence of Amanda B., the woman who left mom and me for another life on this planet. The aftermath is what happens after a brown pelican dives into a sea of petroleum, the Gulf of Disaster. It’s a disaster and mom is a disaster and she doesn’t remember how to cook or clean or eat. She eats toast without the bread. She uses butter instead of sugar. She drives on the right side of the road. Drinks beer before 9AM. She calls our dog Bobo the Mutt Mr. Kitty Cat. She calls people by the same name, Amanda B., Amanda B. Mom thinks she is a fireman. Runs into every building screaming, Fire! Fire! Man, even the children mom rescues from non-burning buildings know to let her roll with it. Those babes don’t say a word. They just listen to mom’s gushing. Not even the therapist or the psychics can fix her or know where ‘she’ is at. I want to move out. I want to get a room at a hostel or hotel. I want to swim away from this disaster in my mermaid suit and find what mom has lost, or let go, to the sea.