I wasn’t surprised when I heard she burnt down the house. She’s been on Xanax for as long as I can remember. I sat in the waiting room while they looked up her room number, she only suffered minor injuries. My neighbor saw smoke and carried her out of the house before it completely went up in flames. I rubbed my finger along the scar on my shoulder. One of the few visible battle scars from being on the front lines of her addiction.
My mom, typical baby boomer, believed to her core that her and my dad would stay together forever. Same old story, she gained some weight after having us and couldn’t seem to get back to her once slim, childless body. They grew apart while raising kids and he chose a woman that was twenty years younger and untainted by the stress that comes with children. She was completely devastated. She had devoted her life to being his housewife and raising the kids and he had made up his mind. All my brothers and sisters had fortunately escaped and it was just me and my mom for about four years.
Shortly after he left, she started having trouble breathing and the doctor prescribed her Xanax for anxiety and that was how it all started.
When I was twelve I tried to flip my body around an iron bar of an old trailer while playing outside. The bar snapped and crashed down onto my mouth, smashing my head against the concrete and knocking me unconscious.
I woke up choking on my own vomit. I stumbled back to my house with ears buzzing and blurred vision. I could see blood splashing across the leaves along my path.
When I got home all the doors were locked. I banged on it a couple of times, nothing. I leaned and looked through the living room window and saw my mom, face down on the couch. I banged on the window, still nothing. Xanax, you son of a bitch.
Annoyed and extremely concussed, I grabbed the rock bunny statue sitting by the stairs and launched it through the window. Not to my surprise, and yours as well if you are familiar with Xanax, she still didn’t wake up.
I climbed through the broken window catching my shoulder on a sharp piece of glass. Hence the scar.
I shook her as hard as I could, dripping blood all over the couch and onto her clothes. “Mom! Wake up!”
Her eyes rolled behind her skull a few times before finally focusing on my face. She screamed and jumped up off the couch and rushed me into the bathroom. She grabbed a few tiny pieces of toilet paper and put it over my mouth and shoulder. They both soaked immediately. “Mom, I’m bleeding like crazy alright! I need a little more than a fucking cotton ball?” I was beginning to panic after seeing how much blood was pouring down the back of my neck, mouth and now, shoulder.
She swayed against the wall, “Honey, wha–wha happened? We have to get you to the hospital.” She was nodding off again. She caught a glimpse of the back of my head and fainted as soon as she saw the blood spilling out. Probably from shock, but mostly from the Xanax.
I ran into the kitchen, filled a pot full of ice water and threw it on her face. As always, worked like a charm. She sloppily grabbed the sink and raised herself up. I was starting to feel even more light headed and I threw up again on the bathroom floor. I wrapped my arm and head with a few shirts I found, they soaked immediately.
“Mom, please, we have to go to the doctor, I don’t know how to stop the bleeding.”
Nodding off, she murmured, “Okay honey, juss needa find my keys.”
I smacked her back awake, “Mom, wake the fuck up, you need to drive!”
She stumbled into the hallway and dumped her purse all over the floor and began laughing. “I know they are ssomewhere in here.”
I grabbed the keys off the table and threw them at her.
She gulped and brushed her hair out of her face pretending, and failing completely, to look sober, “Okkay, good yea thas was what I was saying, les go.”
I somehow managed to get her in the drivers seat and before I had a chance to get to the other side, she backed down the driveway and into the neighbor’s mailbox.
I ran down to the car and pushed her over to the passengers seat and climbed into the drivers seat. She laughed, “Whoah how did that happen,” and passed out again.
I had never driven before and I could barely see over the steering wheel but felt confident I could get there.
Remarkably, we made it to the hospital, which was only a few miles away and I parked in the drop off area. I saw a wheelchair by the door and figured I would use to get my mom inside without falling all over the place. Right when I reached for the wheelchair, the earth flipped upside down and I hit the floor.
I don’t remember much between fainting and the stitches. They made me stay in the hospital over night. The hospital assumed my mom was responsible for my injuries and put her in jail after she attacked a nurse over the accusations. I cringe thinking about how the events might have unfolded after I fainted.
The next morning they had a piteous counselor come talk to me about what happened. I assured her that it was all an accident and that my mother was having a hard time. I called my neighbor, whose mailbox my mom had hit, to pick me up from the hospital. Same neighbor that saved my mom from the fire. What a fucking Saint this guy.
I ate peanut butter and jellies for a week until they released my mom from jail and then I ate peanut butter and jellies for 3 more years until I reluctantly moved out. I couldn’t take it anymore.
Like I said, I wasn’t surprised she burnt down the house. She’s been on Xanax for as long as I can remember. Ever since my dad left. Fuck a partner that leaves you for someone twenty years younger. Fuck a man that leaves a good woman that sacrificed her career and body for a family. I guess thats why you should never put all of your eggs in someone else’s basket. Hide a few in your fucking underwear drawer or something. Better yet, weave your own damn basket.