Hello, my name is Cornelia
and I’m not an addict or an alcoholic,
I am his Mom
and I am stubborn
a family trait.
My past behavior reflects
that I can be glaringly stupid too.
I had a moment of clarity recently
it seems my main problem
is that I’ve developed a nasty habit of speaking my mind
I also have some forgiveness issues.
I want my chocolate chip cake and ice-cream with the pirouette cookie
and I don’t want to share.
I want to sit on the right hand side of god
and then tell him how to run things.
I like pants
skirts are also nice.
I love my family
and I am embarrassed by them.
I invite suggestions
but will do what I want.
I tend to ignore gorillas in small rooms.
My problem is
I can’t have it all and I’m running out of time.
So my brain talks to me and says
Cornelia, choose already!
if all your hard work and effort
all the time you put in
all the tears
was worth it.
You are almost there.
Let go of the false hope
the alternate reality
where life is always fair
where you get Prince Charming --and the castle.
Just Be Happy!
But Just Be Happy--is bull.
You have to work to make yourself happy--it’s hard
you have to decide every day---you have to choose it.
Happy is a metaphor for good choices.
So stop moaning
about what you don’t have
about what life didn’t give you?
how you didn’t deserve to suffer
and about how tough it was
all those years
in the blistering heat
in the tropics
working as a roofer
twelve hour days
having to go home
crawl into bed
only to wake up and repeat the same thing the next day—year after year
to go shopping after work in filthy sweat stained raggedy clothes
walking through Safeway looking
like I was homeless
only I wasn’t—I was building a life
carving it out of stone—me and the other fossils
who could’ve done it better in your instruction book
yada, yada, yada
cause nobody wants to hear it!
Sometimes the only thing left
is to get down and pray
yes –pray, from a non believer
Pray for peace
Pray for enlightenment
Let go of the entitlement fantasy
Pray that your hijacked memory comes back
and that you see really wake-up before you get locked up or the reaper comes for your sorry ass.
Pray that you see what really matters
before you drown in that pit that you’ve dug for yourself.
Because there is one thing I do know
I was quite willing to get down there with you
to wander dark alleys
hunting for discarded scraps
forgetting about family
blanking out my own sanity
lost on some river in Egypt.
Face down, eyes closed, teeth grinding, always there
a phone call away, waiting for you to have one lousy moment of clarity.
I did manage to learn a few things though
I learned that
I count too
that my wants and needs are, just as important as yours
that if I constantly drive against traffic with you-- ignoring reality
that I am not taking care of me.
I learned that it’s not only okay to say no, it is a requirement.
So don’t ask me for help anymore.
Don’t ask me to sit quietly and watch
while you destroy the most precious thing in my life
one day at a time
bit by bit
because if you don’t care enough to help you
at least have the guts to leave me alone
because I could sure use some help right now.
Because I’m mom
and even though my brain is saying no
my heart is saying yes
because my off switch
and because even if I could turn it off
I will defy logic
and the law if need be
because that’s how I’m wired
but you already know that.
You are betting that Mom
will come and bail you out again and again
and tomorrow will magically be okay
and hell the world’s coming to an end anyway in 2012
Might as well go out smiling
kiss your bony butt goodbye
take your mom hostage with
drag her stupid ass through the mud too.
We could make up some
Mom’s coming to jail to visit me and bring money, so I can do more drugs-- T-shirts
make them this shitty brown color
or maybe a piss yellow
or how about a purple barf stain.
Purple’s my favorite color.
So when mom has to drop her laundry
to see your sorry ass in jail
she can tell herself it’s because she loves you
and it wasn’t really that bad
and then promise you again that she
will keep jumping back into that pit with you-- forever if need be
because she couldn’t possibly let you do it alone.
Someone might rape you
or stab you repeatedly
leaving your bloody corpse unrecognizable
and then she would have to bury you in a closed casket
and then mom would have to
dig up some old photo
before you were a drug addict
when you still resembled something loveable and pure
and pretend to all the relatives
and friends-- you still had,
that life had just dealt you a bad hand
and if you had just had some breaks
and a little help--you might still be alive today
only--that would be a lie
because it really wasn’t about that at all
If the truth were to finally come out
long after your rotten corpse
and the cockroaches crawled around
your intestines and had millions of babies
your ruptured skeleton
buried in an unmarked grave
that the real reason you died
the real reason you wasted your life
even though you had it all
was all because you made some bad choices.