“Mom, if you lose custody of me, I will never forgive you,” Pumpkin says.
I am standing in the kitchen making breakfast for myself and my life coach, Appalonia. She became my life coach after she gave me one simple instruction that changed my life. It was so simple, like most life changing tips, but it just never occurred to me.
“Let’s go to the bar,” she said.
“I can’t, I don’t get paid till tomorrow and I’m broke,” I replied. I had some weed and Patron at the house. It looked like a night in.
“Just drink till midnight then run your debit card, duh,” she replied. I referred to her as Coach from that moment on. We ended up staying till bar close, the only barflies on a Thursday night. We sang Paradise By The Dashboard Light at the top of our lungs; into an empty bar, into beer bottles, into shot glasses. The next day at work I still had glitter eye shadow in heavily creased eyes, a bar stamp on my hand and a hoarse voice. But, Pumpkin. Pumpkin was now standing in front of me yelling. At me, his mom.
“I’m gonna lose custody of you? You’re the one who is on probation, you’re the one with an ankle monitor, and you’re the one who told your probation officer the reason you can’t stay sober is because you live in a ‘using household’. What the fuck? You just rolled on your momma? Who the fuck does that?” I yelled, spatula in hand. I could smell the bacon burning, but he had me so pissed I didn’t care. “You’re the one on probation, not me. So why the hell am I the only one sitting around here fucking sober?”
“Mom, shut up and listen to me. He’s gonna drop you, you’re gonna come up dirty and they will take me,” he said, I could see the rage he was trying to control. He’s the one that got us into this mess and now he wants to blame me? Four more years and he would be eighteen and I wouldn’t have to deal with him, his probation office or the courts.
“You haven’t dropped clean once! Not once and so I ask you again, why the fuck am I the only sober one around here? Was sober, whatever, you know what the fuck I mean. You’re in jail every other week anyway from shit YOU do, so what’s the difference if you’re in a foster home rather than a jail cell? If you wanted to be home you wouldn’t be out in the streets” I yelled, waving the spatula. I had to take the pan off the burner, it had started to smoke.
“Holla,” Appalonia yelled in agreement from the dining room. She was trying to brush cigarette ash off her double DDs. That shelf caught everything, ashes, crumbs, and drops of Bud Light.
“That’s it, I’m out of here. I’m going to Dad’s house,” Pumpkin said, walking out of the kitchen. He went over to the phone and unplugged the device that tracks his ankle monitor, tucking it under his arm and heading to the door.
“Bitch, you burning my food?” Appalonia yelled from the dining room.
“What the fuck are you doing? They know when you unplug it, dumbass. Now the cops will be here any minute. I’m fucked up, we got all this pot in the house, Jesus Christ,” I said, trying to grab the monitor from him and plug it back in, like it would matter—they were coming.
*****The beginning of a book, people!!****