The fighting is over and mother is passed out on the couch like a rag doll. I cover her with one of those striped Mexican blankets that you can buy for $10.00 at gas stations all over the US.
I kiss her softly on the cheek and whisper, "I love you."
She does not tell me she loves me back.
I walk to the kitchen and think about how the chaos of this place tells you everything you might want to know about the story of my life. There is no hope here, no future, no light.
I wake up each morning and immediately start planning how I will get away. I go anywhere that isn't here. I go with anyone who isn't her.
"I'm leaving you," I say quietly to myself, because I am.
She doesn't know this about me-- how easy it will be for me to walk away from her and never look back. I think the things that you don't know about a person are the things that can break your heart.
I fix the curtains making them level again, knowing I'll be doing the same thing tomorrow because the hook was never secured properly. I turn on the hot water, squeeze in some yellow detergent, and swish it around with my hands till they burn fire-engine red. I watch the milky bubbles rise, making the mess in the sink disappear just like magic.
I dream of disappearing, too.