Posted in Almost Dorothy, Characters, covid19, The Mother

Trumptini: Lysol Cocktail on the Rocks

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.)

 

 

 

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Characters, The Mother

The Seelie Court

Easter is ma’s favorite holiday, but it reminds me of the time we spent huddled together with our Seelie Court in a Port-A-Potty while hiding from the cops after throwing rolls of toilet paper at churchgoers. Easter is also ma’s favorite holiday because it’s the only holiday in recorded human history that celebrates someone who (supposedly) has (or is) risen from the dead. The kitchen table is set. The bacon is burnt. The eggs are too wet, but I don’t care because ma is risen from the bed. Bobo the Mutt howls aimlessly in the backyard because he is a fact of canine history. He is also risen from the dead.

“It’s incredible,” ma says. “Truly remarkable. A man rises from the dead when most men can’t even rise out of bed. Truly, remarkable.” (I never know where to place the comma. Commas are the common enemy.)

“Ma, you rose from the dead,”  I say.

“For that mimosa,” she says. “Let’s drink to that!”

We drink to that. We drink to this. Ma giggles. I laugh. I’m not of age, but it doesn’t matter because I’m not real and the cops can’t arrest magic. I’m not part of the official record of human history, anyway. I’m just a fiction unburdened by my own holiday.

“Pour me another one,” she says.

Ma is an insatiable bèbè.

It’s been 7 days since ma lost her job, or was fired, or laid off, or furloughed until better days. It hasn’t been a holiday and we’re still waiting for our Pandemic Impact Payment from the IRS. Ma has been a real hot & cold mess and her hair is falling out or off. I can’t tell if it’s the weave coming undone or her real hair or both. Ma got the chills and the shakes last night. She rattled her teeth and mumbled in Roman Numerals, which sound a lot like regular numbers, but more sophisticated. She kept repeating 21418, 21418, 21418. It was, by far, her best Glenn Close moment ever. I was terrified.

The first thing I do every morning is log onto ma’s busted up laptop from 2006 and visit the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard to see the total confirmed infections and total confirmed deaths in the United States and around the world. Every morning I visit the dashboard and hover the mouse over the county in which we live. Every morning I click on that bright red dot that reveals the total number of confirmed infections and deaths in my county.  Our country is all lit. I travel from state to state, city to city, to visit the dead. It’s a morbid Easter Egg Hunt. These red dots are all I have to make some sense out of this catastrophe. Ma doesn’t make much sense. She never did.

This morning I logged on again. Total confirmed deaths in the United States: 21,418. I closed the laptop and took a bit of burnt bacon. Ma looked at me all serious and crusty-eyed because she knows I only like medium rare bacon. “21,418,” she said. I nodded my head. She didn’t waste the last sip of her mimosa before she spoke again. “Real people don’t rise from the dead,” she said. “Not even fairies like you and me.”

Ma broke her smile. Bobo the Mutt went silent. I crossed my legs. The eggs.

 

**The Seelie Court were described as those fairies who would seek help from humans, warn those who have accidentally offended them, and return human kindness with favors of their own. Still, a fairy belonging to this court would avenge insults and could be prone to mischief.