I'm not that depressed,
considering that this
gigantic silver bullet with wings
is blasting me away from my whole entire life,
away from Lizzie Brody,
my best friend in the world,
away from Ray Johnston,
my first real boyfriend.
Not that depressed,
considering I've been kidnapped
by this monstrous steel pterodactyl
and it's flying me all the way to L.A.
to live with my father
who I've never even met
because he's such a scumbag
that he divorced my mother
before I was even born.
I'd say I'm doing reasonably well,
considering I'm being dragged
three thousand miles away from all my friends
and my school and my aunt Duffy
and the house I've lived in ever since I was born,
three thousand miles away from my mother,
and my mother's grave,
where she lies in a cold wooden box
under six feet of dirt,
just beginning to rot.
I'm not that depressed
considering that I'm trapped
on this jumbo poison dart
shooting me away from everything I love,
and there's this real weird guy
sitting in the seat right behind mine,
who keeps picking his nose
and eating it.
Aunt Duffy Drove Me to the Airport
And there was a second there
when I actually considered
getting down on my hands and knees
and begging her not to put me on this plane,
begging her not to send me away,
pleading with her to let me stay in Boston
and live with her instead.
But Duffy's so nice that I knew she'd say yes
and I knew that that would make me feel
like crawling under a boulder,
because her apartment just has
this one microscopic bedroom
and now that she's finally
got herself a new boyfriend,
the last thing she needs
is to have her fifteen-year-old niece
permanently camped out in her living room,
which is barely even big enough
to fit her couch.
So I contained my urge to grovel.
My Mother Hated Flying
Especially after September 11th.
She used to squeeze my hand so hard
during takeoffs and landings
that she'd cut off my circulation.
She'd screw her eyes closed and whisper this silly prayer someone taught her once.Something about manifold divine blessingsbeing unto the plane or the universeor some hippie-dippy thing like that.
And if there was even
a teensy bit of turbulence -- forget it.
She'd start apologizing to me
for every mean thing she'd ever said
or done or even thought about doing.
when the plane was lurching down the runway
and I didn't have Mom's hand to hold,
my heart flung itself up into my throat.
And for a minute there,
I couldn't even breathe.
I didn't know how much
I depended on
being depended on
When the flight attendant
leans in to ask me
if I'd like something to drink,
and the sun splashes across her face,
all these tiny little
blond hairs on her cheeks,
and tears rush into my eyes.
My mother had them, too.
I used to tease her about them.
Called it her peach fuzz.
It used to make her laugh.
If I could reach out
and stroke those little hairs
on the flight attendant's face,
without totally freaking her out,
I'd close my eyes
and I'd do it right now.
I'd touch my mother's cheek
one more time.
Maybe You're Wondering About It
But that's just tough.
Because I'm not even going to go in
to how she died.
Let's just say she knew that she was sick,
that she felt it burrowing,
felt it gnawing at her insides.
But the doctors wouldn't listen.
And when they finally found it,
there was nothing they could do.
Nothing she could do.
Nothing I could do.
Let's just say
she wasted away into a toothpick,
and leave it at that, okay?
That after a while
she was just a shadow
lying there on her bed.
And I guess we can say
that I was holding her hand
when it finally happened.
I Love to Read
But my life better not turn out
to be like one of those hideous books
where the mother dies
and so the girl has to
go live with her absentee father
and he turns out to be
an alcoholic heroin addict
who brutally beats her
and sexually molests her
thereby causing her to become
a bulimic ax murderer.
I love to read,
but I can't stand books like that.
And I flat out refuse
to have one of those lives
that I wouldn't even want
to read about.
And Speaking of Fathers
As soon as I was old enough
to notice that I didn't have one,
I started asking questions.
Like, "Where's my daddy?"
And, "How come Lizzie has a daddy,
but I don't?"
Mom's face would sort of slam shut
and all she'd say was,
"He divorced me before you were born."
If it wasn't for my aunt Duffy
I'd never have even found out
who my father was.
Copyrights & © 2004 by Sonya Sones
Excerpted from One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.