come into the parlor
I invite my mom over and she never comes over because I live in the ghetto. I live in a dump. I live where she is not and I am free and she is not. So she doesn’t come over. She comes over after work and we sit in the communal parlor with the fancy sofa and marble fireplace with the giant pocket doors. I close them and sit down, taking a deep breath and ask for something I have never asked for. I can’t remember the last time I asked for something because I always had my own money since I was fourteen and she wouldn’t give it to me because she wouldn’t have it to give.
But I take a deep breath and ask her anyway. Smiling, I lower my eyes and feel nervous and serious. I think I know what her answer will be but I ask it anyway because I feel like I don’t have anywhere to go. I ask her for money. I need $200, please and I can pay you back. She smiles at me, crosses her hands on her lap and looks at me calmly and says, “No. I will not lend you money. You can and should just do this on your own.Work it out. I won’t lend it to you. ” I argue, “but you have it, but why not? If you needed it I would give it to you…” I trail off because she interrupts me, all business, “No, I would never ask you for money. And no, I will not give you any.”
I sit there in the ancient parlor and look at the carpet hoping some secret will be revealed in its pile and there isn’t anything. I think I says, smirkingly, “Well, thanks! Thats just great. What a good mom you are, I have never asked you for anything. But thanks.”
She looks at me with menace and says, “Baby girl, I have given you everything.” and she walks out the double doors, down my marble steps, into the ghetto to drive away in her red sports car. I close the door and go back inside, realizing what I knew all along. She made my bed for me and now I lay in it not knowing how to wash the sheets.