Mom wants
to go shopping. She thinks if she buys enough dresses she can change her thirty-five-year-old body into a twenty-five-year-old body. She wants Dad to go with her.

Another Sunday Afternoon

I want to see "Grease". I think if I see it enough times I can change my fourteen-year-old body into Olivia Newton-John's body. I want Dad to come with me.

Dad says he'll go to the movie now and go shopping at night.

Mom says I'm a spoiled brat and she's sick of scheduling her life around me.

I tell Mom she's a grouch and just because she's in a bad mood doesn't mean she has to take it out on us.

Dad gets nervous.

I say, "I'm sick of appeasing Mom when she gets in these moods."

Mom tries to hit me, but I'm big enough to slide to the side and then sock her in the stomach.

She yells at Dad. She goes to the refrigerator to get hard fruit for hurling.

At this age, I'm adept at dodging fruit, and it knocks over knickknacks in the kitchen.

Mom's pissed. She hisses to Dad, "Stop her this second."

"Sweetie, please stop," my dad begs, "For me."

I want to protect Dad, from Mom who walks over him, so I say, "No, tell her to stop."

His fist comes fast, too big to dodge.

The police take me to Aunt Sal's where the peace helps me heal.

In six weeks the phone rings and my father sings with a whisper in my ear, "I love you babe, I need you, come back here."

And I do.

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