Saturday, April 16, 2005

Mothers and Fathers

Sometimes depression just creeps up on you, days, weeks and months go by before you realize it. That was never the case with me, it always hits me like an Acme anvil. I was standing in the shower crying, I had dry heaved in the shower for nearly 10 minutes before I could make the spasms stop.

I felt like a Goddamn pussy, fuck being a girl—it wasn’t an excuse in my book. I hugged myself and let the hot water run over me. I had taken some Xanax I found in the medicine cabinet so I was finally starting to calm down. Despite the warm water, goose bumps covered my body, and it wasn’t because of a warm fuzzy feeling.

I thought about the past few weeks, I thought about going back to Wyoming and coming clean—I thought about my mother. The salt from my tears left a bitter taste in my mouth.

“Fuck this shit.”

Turning off the water, I grabbed my towel and stepped from the shower I put my hair in a Barbara Eden, dolled up my face and threw on comfortable jeans and low cut tank, a vintage Yves Saint Laurent jacket and skinny scarf and I was off to grab dinner then head to the Pink Pussy.

Earlier I had listened to Don’s messages.

“Savannah, call me when you get this.”

“Savannah, this is Don, where are you?”

“Savannah, call me early if you can’t make it tomorrow.”

I stopped at a fancy sandwich shop and got turkey on wheat with extra spouts, plain potato chips and a ginger beer. I ate it as I walked juggling the sandwich and potato chips in one hand and the soda in the other. I chewed with purpose, and walked into the bar nearly an hour before my shift started.

Don stood behind the bar, a lowball glass in his hand. He never took his took his eyes off of me as he filled his glass with Wild Turkey. He knocked it back then spread his arms along the bar on each side.

“Glad to see you could make it.”

Seven hours later I found myself sitting on a tablecloth behind the bar with a Fat Tire in my hand. Before me on a tray was an assortment of deli foods, cold fried chicken, potato salad and bread. I listened as Don said goodnight to one of the waitresses, I keened my ears waiting for him to return.

It was Monday and the bar slowed down around 12:00, it was dead 2:00. The time was 2:30. An hour ago, Don asked me if I was hungry, when I said yes he disappeared and returned with the food now sitting in front of me.

I had stupidly thought he had invited everyone so I agreed to this late night meal. I knew I was in trouble when I heard him slide the gate down and lock the door.


I took another swig of beer and waited. Don returned and in an effortless move sat cross legged in front of me. He held out another beer to me and popped the top of one for himself.

“What’s going on?” I heard myself ask.

Fuck what the hell was I thinking.

Don, put the bottle to his lips then spoke. “My Father died this morning.”

“I’m sorry.”

Suddenly I was seven again holding my mothers hand as she smoked a cigarette outside of the hospital.

“Your Daddy died to today, so we can’t see him—ever." She took a drag off her cigarette.

“Ever again.” I still remembered how she flared her nostrils, then set out through the parking lot with determination dragging me behind her.

Shit, I didn’t know what the fuck to do for Don.

He stared at me as he drank his beer. I put mine down.

“Where’d you go?”

I blinked picking up a piece of salami, then I recounted how my father was taken to the emergency room with bleeding varices and died shortly after telling me that I was his baby and that he loved me.

I still remember the blood staining his mouth. My mother had led a clean life up until that point but at the moment of my fathers death I think she decided that it was best if she went with him, something she was still trying to accomplish.

Don looked at me, not with sympathy or pity, he just looked at me.


I pushed up on my knuckles and leaned across our picnic and kissed him gently on the mouth. When I pulled back he was just opening his eyes.

“Good night, thank you for dinner.”

Don watched me stand up, the followed suite.

“I hated my father, he beat the hell out of me and my brother, this was a celebration.”

I smiled. “Good for you.”

Scooping up my belongings I hit the street after Don opened the door for me. I sucked in a breath as the damnable wet fog found me and clung to me. I wrapped my jacket tighter and hopped on the number No. 6 to head home.

The apartment was quiet, and I was thankful. I sat on the couch for an hour fighting sleep knowing that whatever I would find in my dreams wouldn’t be good tonight.

When I was finally ready I washed up and climbed into my sheets—sheets that someone other than me had washed. I should buy something nice for Jane.

I dreamed of my mother.

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