I’m not thinking of sexual abuse today, I am walking around looking at all the things I have been neglecting. Cleaning up things that need attention and care. Some are little, like cleaning off the kitchen counters, and scrubbing the bathtub from Maggie’s last bath. Others are the chicken coop which is a big job that needs revamping. Cleaning up broken glass in the basement, stocking up chicken food. Unplugging the freezer since there is nothing in it. And remembering to take the chair up for Fran’s boys. Do they do dishes? I want to ask her.
Then something will come along and remind me.
A faint wisp of memory, Grandma standing in the kitchen cutting home made noodles for chicken and noodles. I had come to stay with her while she was recuperating from gallbladder surgery. I had washed the dishes, and then moved on to sweeping the floor. But when I asked for my Uncle Vic to help with at least picking up the trash, I was told he didn’t have to do it, cause he was a boy and boys do outside things. I hated that he didn’t have to help clean his own house. But instead of going outside to do something else, he sat in the kitchen and gloated. A fleeting thought of the nerve as I realized the rules were different for everyone. How does that happen?
Grandma wore apron’s for the longest time, even when she went to her part time job cleaning the laundry on N. Dixie Drive. It was right next to Northridge Middle School, where I once hit the car in front of me, while watching the boys who were at football practice. (well really bumped into it as I momentarily forgot to put pressure on the brake, even though I had my foot on the peddle). They all turned around and clapped cause they heard the commotion. And next door to the middle school, across Timberlane Road was a trailer park where my Aunt Theresa lived for a while. I had been running around late one night with my best friend from high school, Diane and we had gone thereto try and get a ride back home. Theresa wasn’t there so I left a note saying to not tell Mom we had been there, she would be mad. And of course Mom just happened to be there the next morning, saw the note. I still got in to trouble. This happened right before I moved out of Mom’s house and into Grandma’s. I felt the hot flash of shame in my cheeks when I realized she had caught me. That sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Just from standing in the kitchen and remembering.