Me: You don’t, Mama, you don’t need to check your medicine. I’ll give you—
Her: It was right here. Just let me--- (yanking things out of a carefully packed sack)
Me: MOM! I just fixed that—
Her: Isn’t it in here? (pulling her diapers out of the bag)
Me: No, that is NOT medicine. Give me the bag—(jerking it away from her)
Disinterested Brother from next room: I’m on the phone!
Her: (swatting ineffectually at my hands)
Me: Now! Listen…No, would you just…Listen! Let go! (I wrench it free of her.)
Her: No. (she pouts)
(We stare at each other.)
Me: (starting to cry) Where have you gone? Where is my mother? I don’t know you…
Her: Oh, honey--- (reaches to comfort me but also tries to grab bag)
Disinterested Brother: I’m on the PHONE!
Me: (grabbing everything) I’m putting it all up here!
Her: (plops onto bed) We’re broke.
Me: I’m starting a new job tomorrow. (sits down and tries to blog)
Her: We can’t pay them. At the home.
Me: Robert will help us.
Her: There’s not enough money in the account I tell you. You’ll bounce a check!
Me: I checked it yesterday. Yesterday when you HOUNDED ME…
Her: YOU DIDN’T CHECK IT!
Me (beating table with brother’s computer on it) I. DID. CHECK.
Newly Interested Brother tells friend: Hold on. I have to go in there and settle something…(bursts into room)
Brother: Quit beating that table with my computer!
Me: She is driving me---
Her: I tell her we don’t have the money—
Brother: (at me) But that’s no reason to—
(at Mother) Stop, Mama, you see what you do to her?
(at me) You can’t let her get you this way! She doesn’t know (makes spinning crazy sign at temple) You can’t win with her.
Me: I can’t take it!
Brother: Mama, just give her a break! (leaves room, telling friend on phone:) They were gonna break my computer.
SILENCE. I TYPE.
Mama: (muttering at me so brother can’t hear): You’ll go to jail when you bounce a check.