“You don’t believe in evolution?!” I shouted.
"It’s all around you mom! Plants, animals... PEOPLE! You’re literally surrounded by evolution!” I didn’t expect to get as high as I was. I knew better. I just wanted one more little hit to make dinner taste better. I can’t smoke at my mom’s house. I mean, I’m allowed but I shouldn’t. The majority of people in the world would agree that you shouldn’t smoke, f**k, or heavily drink at your mother’s house when you visit.
I am not in that majority.
There I was, thirty two years old and bent over my dresser drawer like teenager protecting my nudey magazine collection. I kept looking over my shoulder, pausing to listen for footsteps, feeling like a criminal.
My mother had asked me not to smoke in the house, she could always tell somehow if I had. She had the nose of a basset hound, but I had found a way to respectfully ignore her request.
I would crack windows, spray cologne, hell I'd even light candles. I was prepared to do anything. Anything, except go outside in the freezing temperatures of the brief but brisk winters of Ohio just to take a measly hit of weed before dinner.
As soon as the spark hits I heard a pounding on the hallway walls. It was my mother’s poor man’s intercom system.
POUND. POUND. POUND.
“Michael... Dinner is ready.”
There was a brief pause, and then...
“Is that smoke? What did I tell you about that in the house?”
F**k. I panicked.
I slammed the window shut and began fumigating the room with axe body spray.
The relationship with my mother had changed so much over the past few years. She found herself back in the pew of the church after my stepfather and her husband of seventeen years, Wayne passed away. She needed church. She needed a sense of belonging.
More than that, she needed something or someone to be mad at. She felt like someone messed up and took my her husband too soon. She was angry, and wanted to speak to the manager.
“WE WERE NOT MONKEYS!” MY MOTHER SCREAMED.
“I’m not saying WE were. Not US mom. No, you and I have always been human. I’m talking about where we came from.”
“No. We were never monkeys, Michael. God made us in his image and HE is NOT a monkey.” She argued.
“Maybe he is... Or was.” I responded.
My mother shook her head at me in anger and disapproval.
I was too high for this conversation.
The way she was so sure that God was real (and not a monkey) sent shivers down my spine.
They got to her. I believe that Christianity spreads the same way vampires do. The strongest one will sink his teeth in, you’ll drink some blood of Christ and then BOOM you have a craving, nay - a hunger for the holy spirit for the rest of your days.
My mother was never an overly religious woman. No, she was in a rock band. Well, she ran the lights for one.
Mom was cool.
I guess the older you get the more religious you become. I don’t blame her. It’s scary getting old. I'm just not scared enough to believe, yet.
Honestly, I think belief in the supernatural is almost well, supernatural. It get's harder to run away from Vampires once you get older. That’s why they tend to prey on the elderly.
We block out the idea of our parents getting older. We HATE thinking about it almost to the point of flat out ignoring it.
‘No, no, mom has always needed to catch her breathe when she walks up two or more stairs.’
We romanticize the idea of our parents as super heroes. Bulletproof and having the strength of ten men. Then you grow older and you realize they are just like you.
Fragile. Scared... Lonely.
FEAR; THE ULTIMATE MOTIVATOR.
My mother was one of the strongest and most independent women that I have ever met in my life. With that being said, if you were to ask me for a third descriptive word about my mother, it would be "Terrified."
She was crippled by fear and it just got worse after Wayne passed away and I was quickly becoming more and more worried about her.
I can’t leave. I can never leave. She won’t make it here on her own. Suddenly I was having flashbacks of her selling different types of technology because, “They didn’t work right anymore.” She still used a flip phone for God’s sake.
We argued, passionately for a good ten to fifteen minutes.
Finally I changed the subject. She got angry talking about it as well. And the next one, and the one after that.
Her words dripped with venom.
She swelled up like a dog who wanted you to know that it wasn’t safe to come near it.
She was hurt. Wounded.
The irony was, she was dealing with it like an animal in the wild would. Who if you remember from her adamant arguments, have no relation to us what so ever.
She was hissing and growling so no one could ever get too close ever again. Because if anyone would get that close and hurt her as bad as the pain from Wayne passing away, well, then she’d probably die too.
She never said it out loud, but I saw it in her eyes. She was... Alone. Left behind.
And very, very angry about it.