Smoking daughter story

Added: Shannon Lykes - Date: 06.12.2021 22:49 - Views: 11383 - Clicks: 5891

Fiction by Patricia Ann McNair. My mother was a toucher. She tapped her fingers on my wrist, and even though I was sixteen, not really a girl anymore, I loved it, the feel of her pink touch.

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Such small hands. He promised, she said. It was and outside, headlights went by in columns in the dark. Lots at first as the summer sun dropped, then fewer, fewer. Work, he said. Mom believed him. He wanted to meet me, she said. Met at the diner after her shift.

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The way her fingers curled around the handle of the coffee mug. The way she used them to brush the bangs from her eyes, wipe the rings of mascara out from the creases there. Come into my room and sat on my bed which rocked and dipped when she sat. She used to be small.

Sparrow small. I saw it in her old pictures. Shh now. So on this other night, the one when he was supposed to meet me, we sat on the couch that still had cat hairs in its cushions even though Shanty, our cat—my cat—had run away four months before. It was early summer hot, and we sat there in shorts and tank tops, hiding nothing. And I could tell that my mom was in need; her tiny hands made a ring around my wrist, and she hummed, like she would.

A distraction. She did it when she was afraid, like when we were driving on the interstate after my grandfather died and the sun was hours from up and the gas light was on and the car made some rattle noise and there was nothing around but fields of night, and deer dead on Smoking daughter story side of the road. She hummed while she ate. And she did it when she was anxious, this humming. My mother had beautiful teeth. Small hands and beautiful teeth.

A head turner, my grandfather—her dad—used to say. He said it up until the day he died, there in the hospital, while she sat next to his bed, holding his big hands in her little ones. Me down the hall getting a Pepsi from the machine. And I wished it could always be that way, my mother making he Smoking daughter story with her prettiness, her lovely smile, her eyes, her long neck.

A pretty face. A long neck. Small hands. Beautiful teeth. The rest of her is something else, something big and scarred. Scarred from when she ran into a tree one afternoon, that day when I was—what? Later, when I was older, a few years ago, and I started to ask. Her pretty face and delicate, soft hands and shiny smile were all I got to see of my mother back then.

I mean, not the exact same thing, she had dozens of these blouses, these fancy pants in her closet in all kinds of colors, dark mostly, and rich. Jewel colors, she called them.

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This next thing happened when I was ten. We were in the backyard, and it was summertime.

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Mom held an unlit cigarette in her fingers, trying to quit, she said; no willpower she said. It was a nice neighborhood, not the best in town, but good. Families, and men who had jobs and places to go during the day, and women who hung wash on the line when the weather was nice.

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And so we were out there in our yard sitting in the low, long lawn chairs Mom had bought on her latest paycheck day, their plastic seats slippery with sweat, their armrests too hot under the sun. It was summer. School was done and the rain that always seems Smoking daughter story soak our spring, had finally stopped. Things smelled green and new, and the neighbors who had gardens were out there digging in their flowerbeds, and the cicadas buzzed and the dog down the street barked a little and Shanty stretched in the cool grass under my chair and sipped at the air with her little pink nose and some kids a couple of houses over splashed and squealed in a wading pool.

And then my mom screams and tries to jump up from her chair. And Shanty is up and batting at it, but the wasp just bobs in the air and lazily—probably so full of blood do they do that, wasps? Drink your blood like mosquitoes? And my mother is crying. And the torn sleeve shows that there is more stretched cheese-skin on her arm, curling over and around her elbow. And that she will have to tell me everything.

My father drove like a crazy man. Speeding and taking corners like a driver in the movies or on a cop show. But especially when he was mad. Something set him off that day, my mom remembers and tells me. I think he said, nice dayor have a good weekendor see you tomorrow. What was that about? Who you smiling at?

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Friend of yours? That kind of thing. Was I smiling? I was so young. We were back in the kitchen now and Shanty was on the counter, her gold eyes on us at the table, tail switching. Mom had made a mixture of baking soda and water, was dabbing it on the red sting with a cotton ball and hissing through her lovely teeth.

She was in nothing but her bra and slacks, and I could see it all. The crazy white scars and so much skin the color of a flesh crayon.

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Her face was scraped a little from the grass, I think, and there was mud on the knees Smoking daughter story her pants. I rested my cheek on the cool Formica tabletop and watched her sideways. Not wanting to know, but needing to. With a pretty little flower bed and a knee-high white fence around it. Mean, maybe. And my mom is holding his hand, and has her other pretty little hand on his arm.

I imagined the car a big old mustard-colored Buick, also in the picture hurtling over the gravel ro, hitting the rises and lifting up a little before slamming back down, my mom and dad feeling it all in their stomachs, in their backs. I wonder if my mom screamed then, yelled at him to slow down, cut it out, relax. The mom I knew was never much of a yeller. I loved that tree. It must have been at least a hundred, as big around as it was. And in the fall it went bright red. And its leaves hung on for just about ever until they dropped, all at once it seemed like, and then those big bare branches made shapes in the sky.

Like art. It took my breath sometimes. The flesh of her arms shook. He had to know. He had to. She remembered some things, though. The sound of my father wailing. The smell of burned rubber and something else, sweet and meaty. She remembered weeping, too, when they passed the tree on the way to our trailer and she saw the trunk burned black and scarred, its bark pulled away like a scab. She remembered waking up in the dark for a long time after, months, maybe years, with her skin still burning and her heart aching and wanting—not my father, because she knew, like she might have known all along, that he was not a good man, not a man worth loving—but wanting to not be alone.

My mother stopped hiding her scars from me, even though she still hid them from the rest of the world as best she Smoking daughter story under her blouses, her pants. Instead we filled our plates over and over and ate every bit of whatever we had, filling in the spaces left over from the story, left over from the crash.

But then I got to be something other than stick-like, no longer flat as a board, the kids said, as a pancake, but rounder and filling out. It was a sudden change, I guess, so people noticed. And the skirts from the juniors department hugged my hips too tight—even the ones for the chubbies.

And I can remember my mom sitting behind me on a stool while I tried things on, and she was crying. Pleasingly plump. Boys liked me, my fleshy parts that made me different from the other girls. Now, though, it was records all together on a tape that hissed sometimes. Smoking daughter story before that, one or another of my moonlight partners would put his tongue in my mouth and his hand under the buttons of my blouse and I knew then the foggy warmth of want. And I leaned into it, this want: the moist hands on my skin, the hot breath on my neck, the rub and hardness of him, of any him.

Her love smell, I called it. But not out loud. Just to myself. And her small hands would stroke and pat me while she told me about him. Any him. He wore shiny, white shoes that looked like plastic and he had sandy hair that circled a pink bald spot on the top of his head.

Smoking daughter story

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