What other choice did I have? It didn’t make sense for me to turn to her then. So what did I do now? I stood in the booth with the phone pressed to my ear and listened to her spitting mean hellos in my ear, probably with her hand thrown on her fat ass hip. I could see her head wrapped in a dingy scarf, pink rollers underneath that made her head bigger, along with the meanness that made her so her. I hated and needed her though. I knew she would make me feel worse for what I’d done .
To get a small bit of satisfaction, I stood holding the line, knowing she was too much of a nosy bitch to hang up. I just breathed in the receiver, not because I tried to but I was tired. Tired of the false starts. Tired of running in new directions. Tired of being blown by the winds that ultimately landed in me in a damn phone booth two miles from the house where my own mother stood on the line, yelling in my ear like she knew it me but wouldn’t say my name. Say my name, dammit!
It wasn’t like we’d talked in the last three years. Any mother who loved her daughter and hadn’t heard from her in that length of time should’ve had sense enough to say my name. To tell me, baby, come on home. Your room’s still the way you left it. I go in there to sit every day, hoping you’ll walk through the door. Baby, just come on home where you belong, the way mothers said it on TV.
But no, Irma was too mean of a bitch to say that. What was it she said the time my period started and learned about it by finding a pair of stained panties stuffed in the back of my closet because I didn’t understand why blood should be coming from my body at eleven? Told me I was ripe for making babies, I’d better not get it in my mind to start fucking and threw a pad at me that I had to figure out how to use on my own.
Listen to her.
“I said, hello! Hello, dammit!” This was something she kept saying on account of her life was so used to being wrapped up in shit that didn’t matter. The most she had to do this Saturday night was yell into the phone of somebody calling her from a damn phone booth. Evil ass bitch!
What started to weigh more heavily than her meanness were my legs getting weak. I could feel my bones trembling inside my skin. Then, my knees buckled as blue and red sirens lit up the night. Lord, help me. Why am I on this road? Who did you put in place for me to turn to besides her?
“Hello, I said!” She kept yelling. Probably the sirens made her more interested, who the hell knew.
My legs went from under me when I saw the tiny bag go into the back of the ambulance. I could only sit there, knowing that bag was attached to me as I looked at the pool of blood that had come from my body like a small leak. Then I saw the drippings a few feet away from me, when before, they looked like oil spots against the black pavement.
“Who is this?” she said in an even, but still in that I’m-a-mean-ass-bitch tone.
“Mama,” I sobbed, looking at the flashlights searching and moving in my direction.