Setting It Straight

December 16, 2009
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The last time I saw my mother, my saint, the way she really is was three years ago to the day. Since that day, every time I think about her I see the devastation that her life had become. I see the wrecked lives of those in her past, doused and tossed aside by her, like the waning spark of a cigarette butt flicked hastily out the window of a passing car.

The whole thing was my fault. My mom is about to be murdered. If I had stayed home more, talked to her more, done more, maybe her life wouldn’t have turned out the trainwreck that it did. She was responsible for the death of the one person that meant more to me than anything in the world, and I would erase what little soul she has left.

Walking up the steps of the desolate motel where she uses, I felt a quiet resignation come over me like that of the complete stillness before a car crash. She had failed as a basic human being. I had made up my mind. The rotten wood of the balcony creaked like the bones of an old man as I made my way through the doorway. Normal thinking ceased to exist and was taken over completely by the gruesome thoughts of the insane. I opened the door quietly, so as not to let her hear but in the manic state that drugs brings to their users, she picked up on my slight footfalls.

“Cam…What… How…”

I took a step into the room. My mind, unobeyingly, flashed back to us sitting at the kitchen table, to when we were a family. I knew that I had to make this quick or risk not doing it at all. I took another step toward the woman who had once given me birth, nurtured me when I was sick, and who was slowly destroyed her own life. I raised the .22.

I squeezed the hairpin trigger and the gun exploded in my hand. Sweet silence surrounded me. The rabid animal that I had once cared for lay dead on the floor, dead like my mom, dead like my childhood, dead like my soul, dead like the life she had squeezed from all whom she had come in contact with. Without flinching I turned and began running north toward my better and ruined life.

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