Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tango in a Box IX
Part One is HERE.
When you start your life out like I did, waiting for mom and dad to come home until the police come and it’s already been dark outside long enough for you to pee on yourself twice wrapped up inside the curtains holding your breath in case someone else is in the house with you, when you start out there, waiting, peeing again as strange men finally break open the front door and start flipping on all the lights, calling your name even though you’ve never heard their voices before, well, the relationships you’re going to build after that are heavily affected.
By the time your second mommy doesn’t come home, well, you’re sort of building a pattern, and then you might say all your relationships are the same. They’re all with DFACS psychologists and psychiatrists. Social workers. Teachers who go the extra mile. They all want to talk to you about what happened, meaning they want to be your friend. You bump around to different schools and different homes and different shrinks and you begin to think that that’s what a friend is, the guy who sits down with you and says, “Let’s start from the beginning.”
Because the people who don’t talk to you like that, regular everyday people, well, you can’t help but notice that if they look at you at all, it’s to check their reflection out in your glasses.
And then came Johnny. Johnny looked at my purple and black eye folding over on itself and just never asked “What happened?”
Because, it’s kind of obvious, isn’t it?
I mean, they have the folder right there in front of them, right?
And the prescription pad’s already out, they already know what they’re going to prescribe you, but they, like everyone else, they think that that’s the question that sets them apart from the crowd, the one that shows they care:
“Do you want to talk about what happened?”
And Johnny, he wasn’t checking his nose in my glasses, either. He looked straight at me, but I never had to formulate any stupid goddamned sentences to express my feelings about the burglars who turned out to be cops who kidnapped me and never let me see my mom and dad again.