She slowly pulled her car up around the circular driveway. The morning sun and dew made everything look like it was covered in a moist, sugary glaze of happiness. Women in workout clothes whizzed past her, rushing children wearing bookbags that covered most of their tiny bodies. As the passenger side rear door opened, she heard an exceptionally perky voice, “Hi, Mom! How are you today?”
She hated it when people that were not her child called her “Mom”. Especially when those people were happy, well-dressed, adult morning people. “Fine, and you?” she managed to say without clenching her teeth, she even surprised herself by how pleasant she sounded.
She never uses the word “fine”. There are so many wonderful words…why use the exceptionally boring ones?
Fine, you see, is kind of like the adult diaper of the English language. It encompasses all of the shitty emotions no one wants to admit to…while being discreet.
She wasn’t fine.
Had she answered honestly, she might have said tired, shitty, and/or guilt-ridden. But, as she was currently sitting on school property…she decided not to divulge such things.
Her son hopped out of the car and skipped happily to his classroom, unaware of the turf war going on in his troubled mother’s head. At seven, he does not need to be aware that life is not always untroubled.
She drove off, watching him…in her rearview mirror. She wanted to turn around…pick him up in her arms…and never let him go. Tears welled up in her eyes as she wished for rain…so no one would know she was crying.
If it hadn’t been for that fucking rooster…she might have gotten a decent night’s sleep. She might have been able to pull herself together. She might not have had to go out in public still wearing her jammies.
The rooster had become public enemy number one.
She could comfortably place all of her anger on that asshole bird. The 4 a.m. screeching that came from the neighbor’s yard was not the “cock-a-doodle-doo” she remembered singing about while in kindergarten. No, this sounded like Ted Nugent having drunken, consensual sex with a woodchipper. Eee-I-Eee-I-Oh.
Yes, it’s all the rooster’s fault. The rooster is still alive. The rooster could be held accountable.
Life was placed on an angry, rooster-shaming pause a few days ago.
The date was Sunday, September 7, 2014.
Sunday started off as a very pleasant day. It didn’t stay that way, in fact…it became one of the most unpleasant days she’d had in a year.
When he came in the house his expression was more sorrowful than a bad day of golfing could cause. The child was within earshot, so she didn’t want to probe…but she knew something was wrong.
Nothing could have prepared her for the news she was about to receive. “Chris killed himself last night,” came tumbling, inconsolably. Instantly, she felt helpless..
He could not mask the tears. She gasped, not for dramatic effect…but because she felt like the wind had been knocked out of her.
“What?” The word dribbled out of her lips, like mushroom gravy…trying to escape meatloaf.
Friday, at 1:30, his friends and family will gather to watch as he is placed in a box…dirt is thrown on him… and he goes into the ground.
“Fuck you, Chris. Why did you do this to us? One man, one gun, one bullet…instantaneously ripped out the heart of everyone that loved you. There will be no touching tribute by Billy Crystal. No videos proving that you were a good person,” she yelled at the sky…in vain.
We’ll just be a group of people…sadly standing around…cursing Chris for making us evaluate ourselves.
Although she was highly aware of the stages of grief, she chastised herself for being stuck in anger. Her anger, that could not be placed on the rooster…surfaced after everyone was in bed.
Suicide is often the finale in a series of unanswered cries for help.
She could have helped you. Why didn’t you let her help you?