My mind awakens from the fog while lying on a pallet of blankets in the living room of a shotgun style house. If you entered through the front door, you walked in through the living room (my room) straight into my mother’s room. If you kept going, you’d be in the kitchen, with a bathroom to the left—“a shotgun house.” Standing in the entrance, you could shoot a gun straight through the back door.
A lamp was on, minus the shade. Mac, my mother’s boyfriend, knelt beside me.
“When am I going home?” I don’t remember being scared, just homesick.
“You are home.”
My mom sat on her bed smoking a joint. As I lay on the floor beneath the fog of my mother’s smoke I felt a hole of darkness open within my gut. I was falling through, spinning. I stared from where I was on the floor into the doorway of my mother’s room. There was an enormous waterbed with a mustard-yellow sheet and a crib against the wall with my new sister in it. I rolled over; there was simply nothing to keep me awake.
The house was alien to what I was used to. Maw-maw and Paw-paw’s house was brick with a yard. I had a swing set and a room. My mind did not have the capacity to wrap around the fact that I was now at home in a white house that had flaking paint. The air was thick, and heavy, even with the windows open. The sound of the cicadas and tires rolling over the gravel woke me up in the middle of the night.
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