Week 2

Week 1
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8: two times blue

There isn't a color for what I feel today. I heard Marcus has gone to live in Ohio with his cousins. Nobody seems to know what happened to his folks. Marion said she heard they had a big fight about moving somewhere, Marcus' mom threw a plate at his dad, and then they both walked out and left Marcus at home with his sister overnight.

I don't know how Marion finds out this stuff. I used to think it came from her folks, but since I've been living there, I haven't heard either of them say anything about Marcus or his parents.

My Mom is still in the hospital, but I think she might come home tomorrow. But what if she doesn't? Or what if she moves away like Marcus' folks, and I have to go live with my Dad?

I used to think I was safe at home, that whatever else happened in the world there was Mom and me, and it wouldn't change anything inside our house. But now I keep seeing all these outside events making big waves in my life, in Marcus's, even in Marion's.

I don't know anything I can do about it.

9: at home and in trouble

Mom is home from the hospital again, but now she's kind of mad at me because I asked if I could stay with Marion for a few more days. Mom doesn't seem like she's well yet.

When I got to Marion's this afternoon, her mom said Mom was at our house, and I could gather up my things and go home. It was nicer than that, it wasn't like "Get out!" So I called Mom and asked if I could stay one more night.

Mom's voice was really weird, sort of flat and "whatever".

I said I wanted to finish a jigsaw puzzle with Marion, although truthfully it was that I just didn't want to go home. Marion's folks may talk about oddball things at dinner, but they're really nice. I feel safe here.

So I went over to our house, but I left my extra clothes and my books at Marion's so I'd have an excuse to go back. Mom was sitting in front of the TV, just kind of staring into space. The TV wasn't on.

She wouldn't make a decision about dinner, and she looked so strange when I said I left my books over at Marion's that I just said goodnight and walked out of the room. Instead of going to my bedroom, I went out the hall window and down the fire escape.

Marion's mom thinks Mom knows I'm here. I guess I'll be in trouble when Mom notices I'm gone. But who knows when that will happen? I just want to stay somewhere where people don't go off into crying jags and then do things that hurt the people around them.

I'll probably go home tomorrow.

10: word on the street

I saw Nick this afternoon, and remembered how he had lost his job. I wanted ask him what the guy on the TV had to do with it, but he was doing some kind of deal with a really hard guy named PD or Petey.

Marion kept tugging me away from him, so I just waved and went on by.

Mom is still vegged out in the living room. I don't think she ever went to bed last night, so she didn't realize I never slept at home. Tonight I can ask to "sleep-over" with Marion, and maybe she'll say yes.

If not, I'll just slip out again.

This can't last forever, even if it feels like it now. Maybe I'll get used to Mom being so flat and not there. Maybe Dad will call the school and I can go live with him. Maybe Mom will win the lottery.

Maybe I'll quit wishing for the moon.

11: my kitten

I found a kitten today in the carport next door. I'm pretty sure it's a stray. It only has one ear—the other is torn completely off. It makes the kitten look a little evil.

It acted really hungry, so I took some lunchmeat from our fridge and fed it. It only bit my hand twice.

I'm going to call it Lop. I snuck it into my bedroom, and I'll feed it twice a day, once in the morning and once after I get home from school. As long as Mom is busy staring at the ceiling, she'll never notice. Even if she does find out, I can always say, but I've had this kitten for a long time. Don't you remember?

Only problem with this plan is, now I have to live at home. No more sneaking out to stay over at Marion's. Still, with a kitten, I won't mind it so much.

12: shopping for presents

No school this week, we're on "session break". Mom won't let me put up Christmas decorations, and I don't think she's been out of the house to get presents. I got my present early (Lop, my kitten). So I decided to shop for something to cheer her up.

I called Marion, but she didn't answer. I think her family might have gone to visit someone out of state. Anyway, I can go by myself.

It's hard to figure out what to buy for Mom. She doesn't need clothes, and I can't afford anything very expensive. She doesn't read much, so a book won't work. No sense getting her something for the kitchen. Besides, I don't think that will help her get out of the dumps.

What she really needs is a boyfriend, I guess.

I'll find something for Lop while I'm shopping too. Kittens are easier - they love shoestrings and paper bags, and play with dust bunnies. Lop makes this my best Christmas ever!

13: quiet afternoon

Lop is so funny, woke me up this morning chasing a fly in the window. The fly was between the glass and the screen, and couldn't escape, and Lop couldn't reach it. So much buzzing and mewing, and Lop's claws on the glass.

It made me think of the way I felt the other night when I was wishing so hard for something magic or miraculous to save me.

I found out who the man on the TV was that night. He's the President, George Bush. I feel really stupid that I didn't know that, but I didn't. I knew who Scott was that set Mom off, though. I'm not totally ignorant.

I got Mom a new pair of gloves for Christmas, really nice ones with leather on the palm. They're supposed to be driving gloves, but Mom will like them anyway. She can't drive anymore, and we don't have a car anyway. I took off the tag that said "driving gloves" when I took the price tag off.

I got Lop a new shoe-string and a big paper bag from the grocery store on the corner by school. This kitty has a HUGE thing for shoestrings! I can hardly get my shoes tied when Lop is around.

I'll wrap Mom's present for Christmas morning, but I won't make Lop wait. Kitties don't understand waiting or Christmas—and the longer it is until Mom finds out about Lop, the better.

Oh, I got some kitty food at the grocery too, so the bag will smell just right to Lop.

14: downtown blues

I forgot to tell you what happened yesterday when I went shopping. I saw Nick again. He looked really sick, leaning against a wall downtown, and Marion wasn't with me. So I went up to talk to him.

"Are you all right?" I asked him. He had some kind of blue stuff in his hand, and he just sort of slid down the wall til he was sitting on the sidewalk.

I got scared that he was really sick, but then he started giggling. "I got a Christmas present." He showed me the blue plastic packets he was holding.

I guess Marion was right. He's not anybody I want to talk to.


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