Mom, I came over to see how things were going. You weren’t home. Must’ve been out at the grocery.
I saw everything, Mom. First I noticed the garbage cans knocked over on the front lawn like they hadn’t been used in awhile. Six of them, turned on their sides with their mouths hanging open like victims of an execution, laying in places at random,
as the overgrown grass blew against their rubber bodies.
The screen door was left open; a collection of torn, cardboard boxes overflowing into the front entrance, which I had to step over—which you must have to step over, too.
And with your poor hip, Mother?
I continued to look around with shock and awe. With disgust and nausea. I could hear them, the animals—no longer pets, no longer kitty cats with cute bells on their collars and soft fur—I heard them ruffling around underneath the living room trash, moans that struck me as pathetic and terrified. I couldn’t see them. Hiding in refuge from each other.
Then I saw it: The landfill in the kitchen. A collection of decomposing goods.
That’s why you are at the grocery all the time.
The central nerve of this condition is in your kitchen. Pulsing with bacterial goo, a Darwinian exploitation. It was then that I realized what you are. You are not my Mother. You are their mother now. Whatever grows from that compost is the life that you choose to nurture.
Since Dad left you…. since Robert and I got our own place together…. You, yearning for control over something, lost control over the only thing you have complete autonomy over:
I’m sorry I haven’t visited in awhile. It will never happen again.