As I Push Through

March 30, 2008
As I push through
The harsh school corridor,
A thought dances in my head.
My mother
Has always been late
Her entire life.
When she was born,
She was due half a month
Before her actual birth.
For my sixth birthday
At the Fun-Station,
All my friends and family
Had been held up outside
In the freezing cold
Because she had wanted
To curl her hair.
Right now, I am waiting
Like always.
Now, I am far from six;
I am thirteen whole years,
And through those seven
Years, she had never changed.
And today, I realized,
That it was no difference.

My mom was different
From the other moms.
Terrie’s mom was famous
For her mashed potatoes.
Gracie and her mom
Were crafty with magic fingers.
Katie and Mrs. Yules
Were known for their
Hearty laughter
And good spirit.
My mom and me?
We have musical talent,
But what is the use
If you’re late?
Being late
Might make people think
That you’re lazy.
Being a Davis has taught
Me to just be yourself.
Hey, how am I supposed
To do that, if she is keeping
Me late to band practice?

Kacie, the band manager,
Has always been on my case.
She thinks that just because
That I’m a teenager, means
All I want to do is party, drink,
And go shopping.
She really does
Have a social life, huh?
Sometimes, after practice,
I see her frenching
The drummer’s brother.
Who knew she would have
It in her?

That’s something that you
Either hate or love about life.
You can love
How unpredictable it is,
Or you can want to see your outcome,
And if it isn’t what you’d like,
You go overboard
In trying to get it
To be what you want.
I’m in the middle.
Most of the times,
Its fun to be spontaneous,
But other times, I just want my life
To be just relaxing.
But running down the stairs
From the second floor,
Feels different somehow.

The truth is, I hate
Having to get people
To like me.
Being myself is hard,
Especially when in my heart,
I’m a weird person, not a person
That Dottie and her friends
Want to hang out with.
It seems so easy
Having everyone adore you,
No matter what.
Don’t get me wrong.
Terrie, Gracie, and Katie
Are the best.
But I know every single
Eighth grade girl envies
Dottie’s crew.
The popular people,
The rich kids,
The gorgeous guys,
The smiles and high fives.
I know everyone wants it.
That’s just another thing
About life
That you have to live with.

Rushing to the library is hard.
I heard its warm for January,
But that doesn’t stop me
From leaving my coat
On the heater in my living room.

Mother Nature must believe
That us New Yorkers are stupid.
You know, when the day looks
All bright and sunny and beautiful
But really, it’s at its coldest.
Another thing to hate.
If pictures are worth a thousand words,
Then how can it be pretty looking,
While being chilly and cold.
Mother Nature must also believe
That she doesn’t need to look
Her best as long
As she does her job.

My teeth are chattering
And clunking,
And when a gust of wind blows,
I almost fall.
I am frozen and need
A burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth
Hot chocolate.
And maybe music.
In all of my short life,
Music has been in my ears,
Sadly I left my MP3 Player home.
As soon as I close my eyes
And wish,
I hear very loud rap music.
Now, that is a kind of music
That you’d say I detest, but at least
It is something.

Then, I think again.
It could be Dottie
In her cousin’s car.
And looking back, I wish I could
Take it back, because that’s where
It all started.
With me thinking all about Dottie.
In general, me thinking too much.
I do that sometimes. Think a lot, I mean.
Deep thinker is something
That doesn’t run in my family,
But somehow I inherited it
From something.
And deep down I wish
That I could give it back.
In all of my life, it has
Gotten me into the biggest
But I still look at where the noise
Is coming from. I still do.
I guess I’m also curious.

Hoping that when I look back
I don’t find anything
That looks like it just jumped out
From Seventeen, I look.
And I guess that since my mouth
Is hanging out, its not good.
I see my brother, A.J. hugging a tree.
This may or may not
Be weird.
But knowing my brother for thirteen years,
I can tell this is weird.
He litters for God’s sake!
Heck, he likes to litter!

Running to him in my
Miraculous recovery of
its-too-cold-itis, I notice he’s
I do not mean, oh, he just has a shiny nose,
What I mean is oh! he has beads of sweat
Dripping down his nose.
And he might not get super straight A’s,
He and I know both
Not to ever take a ride from a stranger.
“What are you doing?!”
Right now, he stopped hugging the bark,
But he’s panting, and pointing
To a mysteriously hot red convertible.
“Yeah, A.J., I know it’s a
Sweet ride, don’t get technical.
Where’s mom? She’s gonna
Have you hung if you rode
With a stranger,”
Boy, he does have fun being
The oldest and getting to yell
At us younger ones.

“Oh, shut up, Janie,”
If this is his way of
Saying “thank you” to me
Of saving his butt from that stranger,
It must be in code.
“That is mom, look,”
¾Heavy pant¾
“I have to tell you something-”
Did he think I was delirious
Or something? I could so tell
That my mother would never
Drive that fast,
Or waste money on a car,
Or have a bandana in her hair.
Now, what do you know?
He starts dragging me to the car!
I try to muster up,
“Abuser”, but his hand
Is over my mouth,
Which I do not want to bite,
No matter how much fun that it
Looks like in the movies.
Plus, who wants to eat sweat? Not me.

“Hey, Jay? Who’s this chick?”
The bandana is a bright yellow,
And my mother barely wears the color
Red so I am shocked.
I guess that since my brother had gotten
To her first, he’s teaching her to say
“Dude”, “chick” “whatever” and “bite me”.
That is so unfair. How dare he
Think to turn my own mother
Against me!

“Your daughter. Now kick it into
High-gear and take me
To the high school’s field.
I have football practice on
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
That’s also when Janie has band practice,”
I cannot believe
That he is taking this so far.
This is not happening, this isn’t happening,
Not happening!
I’m just going to go to practice, then walk home.
After that, I’ll finish half of my homework, take a break,
Watch a little tube, and sleep. Nothing big.
Not happening.

The next thing makes me hate life at the most.
This stranger with excellent shoe taste actually
Starts to drive.
“I have a son and a daughter? Sweet!”
That gets me really, really angry.
Why don’t they know I cannot
Take a joke?!
I wish I could just take this joke
And hand it straight back to them.
Either that or throw an egg
Straight at them.
Either will be fine.

* * * * *

It suddenly gets extremely
Awkward once A.J.
Has left.
This lady is running off the mouth,
And suddenly, I cannot take it at all.
“Do you have diarrhea of the mouth?”
This weirdo actually stops
The car, places her pointer
Finger on her lips, and thinks.
While cars beep in the back round,
I take hold of the wheel and yell at this woman.
“What the heck
Are you doing?! We could have
Gotten killed by that taxi!” I point
To a yellow cab and hear the driver shout
Things that would make street
Rappers’ ears turn red.

This lady, decides to crane
Her neck out of the freezing window,
And actually yell out,
“That’s not a nice word!”
Then comes back inside to find me.
(Possibly shocked more or less.)
“Ha, ha! That dude has a problem
Or what?”

Once we’re at Butch’s house,
I look her straight in the eye and say,
“Listen, Lady. I think you’re the one
With the whole problem. Why in the world
Did you stop the car?
We both could’ve died!
And where is my mother?”
Suddenly as I said this, I think it came
Back to her.

Tears were in her eyes, and I thought
She was seriously
About to say that she is herself,
Like it might have done so in the movies.
But sadly, what comes out of her mouth is entirely
“Dude, chill.
It was only a cab driver. No big!
Pick you up in an hour?”
An hour? No, that was what it would
Have been if she was not late.
Too late for that, isn’t it?
So I decide to say that only half
Or less because I’m late.
She nods and blasts the radio
Into my ear while chewing loudly
On some gum that I would
Like to pull out and stick it into
Her auburn hair.
But I don’t.
All I do is
Clench my fists,
Bite my tongue, and
Walk away.

Life is not as I thought it would be
To have a cool mother.
Someone to talk with
About boys.
About my problems.
And the occasional shoe shopping.
Is that seriously too much?
At night, I had always wished.
I wished for
A puppy,
A little sister,
A fever to get out of a test,
A karaoke set,
A new wardrobe,
A bigger house,
But most of the times
Was a mother that was more of a friend
Than a mother at all.
Now I got my wish.
My mom now acts like me
And my friends
More than a strict,
Nearly middle-aged woman.
I want my wish back.
This is another thing to hate or love
About life.
If you get wishes, they will usually
Backfire or never happen
Or even come true, but slowly
Decay into nothingness.
Life has many laws,
But wish-making is a truly
Bittersweet consequence.

Basically, the band isn’t really a band.
Just a few people piling
Together to make music.
There’s five of us, including
Kacie the evil band manager.
Other than her, you have Butch.
Butch is the kind of kid
With a haircut looking like a girl’s.
Just without the bows
And sliver of grape jelly.
He’s our drummer, and almost
Broke the set, but our manager from Hell
Went nuts on his case.
Then you have Morey, the bassist.
Morey’s pretty shy and quiet,
And sings backup.
After him, we’ve got Jenny.
Jenny just learned guitar and doesn’t
Even know how to tune it, so most
Of the times I need to.
And of course, you all know me.
The freak with an even freakier mom.

We’re all thinking of a name
This afternoon.
Most of them are…
Lets just say, trash.
Then Morey comes up with
“These Four Walls,”
I actually like that name.
Afterward, we all hear
A car horn.
You know, a really loud one, one
That can make you jump.
Btu this is no ordinary car horn.
I know very well because of my brother,
That this one belongs to a car
In particular.
This one belongs to a convertible.
Oh, yes. You better believe it.
Not only does that lady
Want me to believe we’re related,
Or make me late again,
She wants me to turn fifty shades
Of pink
In front of the whole band.
I cannot help it.
I burst out of there
(Almost stopped by a more-than-angry Kacie.)
And ran straight into the car.
“What the heck!
You could have called me! But no!
Instead you make all of New York
Hear how embarrassing you are!”
This time her head is cocked,
And she looks like she’s thinking real
Hard. Too hard.
“Look, just take me home. Where’s A.J.?”

“Oh, you mean Jay? The cute one?”
The cute one?!

“You do know he’s your son….”
Is she out of her mind?

“Oh, I know.
Where is he again?”
She’s about
To start driving,
But I notice that the car has
Been set to reverse.
I think she is out of her mind.
“Mom? Did you even get
Your license when you were young?”
I start to change it into drive,
When she starts smiling at me
With her almost-white teeth,
And her freckle-y skin, and
Begins to pull into
The high school’s field.

In the morning, I kick into
Routine mode.
I normally hate routines,
But on Saturdays its just necessary.
Stay in bed
For five minutes, eat breakfast,
Watch TV, and read.
Its been like that for around five years,
And yet it is one of those things
Where you can do it
Over and over
While not getting tired of it.
Like your favorite C.D.
My mom comes up
To me in a big T-shirt and
“What about a sleepover?
That’d be pretty
Awesome, huh?
I already invited a few girls
From your school,”
Actually, this would be
A good thing.
If my mother really knew
Who my friends were,
Which she doesn’t.

I groan, and she looks
Surprised, as if this was going to
Suddenly make me grin from
Ear to ear.
“Who’d you invite?”
I almost kicked
Myself for that.
Asking “who’d you invite”
Might key in for
“how’d you know
I wanted it” but I actually meant
“who’s coming, and it better be good”

Behind my back
I crossed my fingers and
Hoped for the best.
“Oh, you know.
Those cool girls you talk
to on the phone,” She’s smiling.
What’s sad about this, is that
She thinks she’s doing good.
But I know that she’s doing bad.
In my phone?
I had Dottie in my phone because
Gracie and Terrie wanted
To prank call her, and we did.
But we didn’t last it until three seconds,
Since she heard our laughter.
So I ask my mother
If she really did invite
Everyone, including Dottie,
And to my un-shock,
She did.

On Monday, it was a day
Where you just know it wont
Be as well as you want.
I woke up with a stomach-ache,
And a scratchy throat,
But I always
Go to school.
No matter what.

* * * * *
What do you know?
It is horrible.
I found out, that my
Mother had gotten lost
And had gotten struck
By something,
And got younger.
My brother is just a teeny
Tiny bit creepy
With what he knows, which is
Possibly everything.
He said we had to
Tell one doctor
That we trusted, and tell him
What was going on.
One that studied the body,
Especially parts
Of the brain,
Because there might have been
A fracture, that only
Doctors and specialists
Could tell.
Well it looks like Mr. Smarty-Pants
doesn’t know everything.

But that was this morning.
Right now
Its lunch, and Dottie wants
To talk to me privately
In the bathroom.
You can tell that its bad,
On account that she smirked
So much.
But at this moment,
I am going into stall number
Three of the girls’
First floor bathroom, looking
For a pink note card
Scented in apple-spice
Just for the new year.
And once I found
The note,
I blank out.
On that cute little paper,
Is something hideous,
And mean.

“I know your
Mother’s secret.
See you at the party”

After that, I realized
That Dottie is just a cold-hearted
Person. Well, not from those words.
But from the back, sure,
She was definitely
Mean and cold-hearted.

“I wont tell…
As long as you do everything
I say”

Later in the halls,
She asked me if I’ll agree to it.
Of course, I say
Yes, but in the
Bitterest and cruelest
Way possible that I can.

That night I write a letter.
Usually, I write when
I am mad.
I write until my fingers are numb,
Then open it up,
And send it to an advice column
In which I do not care
If I receive something back.
I just want my life the
Way it was.

Dear Teen-Help,
Hi, my life
Has not been all
That right,
So that is why
I am writing to you.
Lets just say my mother
Is not herself,
And a kid at school
Is not their nicest,
And sort of controlling me.
I want my life back.
I need it back.

So its not my best writing,
But the rest of it
Is not worth sharing,
So lets just say
The End
And call it a night.

The few days
At school were living
And breathing
My grades went
Down since my mother
Normally helped
Me out.
But now in place
Of a mom
Is a person like me.
A self-centered
Control freak
With cute shoes.
I also
Had to be
Dottie’s slave
Which includes:
Carrying her books,
Doing her homework
(With barely enough time
For mine),
And telling her she
Looks great twenty-four-seven.
I am now one of
Her fashion slaves
In which once I wanted
To be.
But now it is totally
The opposite.
At school,
All my friends think
That my mom is actually
My cousin.
They don’t know a thing.
And by the end of the week,
I remember
Something my mother said.

I remembered the sleep-over.
Is today and normally,
I love Fridays.
Now I want to throw myself
Off of a bridge.

I am expected
To play games,
Laugh with my friends,
And be happy.
Which I cannot; my mother
Is a clone of me.
(In a bad way.)
Which is once again
A hatred of life.
Your wishes may not only
Be the thing to backfire,
You also have your family
And friends
To do that for you.

You know that
Sick, cruel feeling?
The one you get that makes
You realize
Why they make
Adult diapers?
Only just without
The old-person-ness.
Well that feeling has taken
Its way
In my stomach.
The pit sits there,
Waiting to be moved.
Urging for me to
Get sick
All over.
In the end, I don’t get sick,
Because right now,
I am planning a party
In which I don’t even want.
And yet, right now
Is a different feeling.
Now its just that way
You get when you know
That something is going
To go wrong.

My mom actually
Bought a piñata.
It’s a pink pig, with a bow
On top.
Right now is Dottie’s
Turn, and she is hanging
Out with Meg,
Who she made me
She swings, and makes it,
Which just gives
Everyone another reason
To love her.

But suddenly, I hear my mom’s
Young voice, and she starts
To swing.
Except, she misses,
And it knocks me
In the eye.

Next thing I know,
I hear and see
Lights all around me.
The colors swirl into
A magnificent,
Marvelous sight,
In which I want to turn off.
I want to scream.
I cannot see all of these
I can only see the left
Because in my right eye,
Is total darkness.

I found out
That baseball bats
Plus right-eyes do not
Mix very well.
My eye had to be
Re-placed inside of my head,
And now it has a cool
Eye-patch on it,
Instead of my normal
Green and brown ones.

In my mail-box,
I am placed a letter.
It is green
And pretty with sparkly print.
On the return address,
It reads: Teen-Help
So I tear open it.
I have been home for a while now,
And my eye has almost
I am now in need of advice,
So I think I start to cry.
I’m not entirely sure.

The note
Is too long
For words to speak.
It has all of this junk for
Bullying and why bullies
Do the things they do.
They say that Dottie is
The bully; making me
Make her life better.
The last
Made me think.
And I know that
Thinking hard is
My specialty,
But this truly made
Me think.
Stand up for what you want.
It means that I can
Do what I want.
Live as I please.
Say what I’d like.
Dottie wasn’t making me listen,
I was making myself listen.
I now know,
What I have to do.

The next Monday that I have
To go to school, I am
I am also confident,
Cool and casual.
So what do you know?
I march straight up
To Dottie and tell
Her like it is.
“Listen, Dottie,
I don’t care if you know
My mother’s secret.
Its my life, and you
Do not have the control
To run it.
So tell your friends,
Woo! Like I care!
I’ve got my friends
Who’ll stick
To me
No matter what.”
After that, Dottie turns
Around, faces me,
And turns bright pink.

She sounds scared,
“You mean…you’re
Stopping? No one
Has stopped before,”
No, maybe not scared,
Nervous is more like it.

“Yes, I am stopping and
There’s nothing
That you can do about it,”
So I stride away from her
And I place my arms
Linking to my friends
And we walk away.
Even though they think
That I was just confronting
Dottie of something,
And know not a thing
Of my mom,
I still feel my best.
I was never able
To confront anyone
Like I just did.

Half a month
Later, and you’ve
Got me,
My brother,
And my mom
Sitting on a Doctor’s bench.
We’re at some doctor
That has known us
Since we were
All born.
He’s even known
Mom since she was
Our age. That’s how old
He is.
But he’s a kind man, really.
Don’t let
The big white whiskers
That are coming out of his
Ears and nose fool you.

This doctor tells me things
That I do not
Think I needed to hear.
He says a whole bunch
Of things
That I cant understand
But A.J. is happily nodding,
Oblivious to me and my
Scrunched up face.
A.J. says he’ll tell me when
Mom takes some potion.

The doctor hands my mom
A bottle, and tells her
To drink it.
She asks what it is,
And he says to just drink it.
Little does he know
That my mother
Has a bad case of
So he tells us that we
Need to convince
Her to drink it,
Or else it will
Wear out, and she will
Be stuck like this

In a week,
All you hear from our
Breakfast table is
“I am not
Touching that
Bottle until
You tell me what the
Heck is inside.
Get it?”
My mother is styling
The oat-meal I made
On her bottom lip,
And it is drying quickly.

“Listen brat, that drink
Will make you
Normal again.
Drink it and we’ll all
Live happily ever after.
A.J. likes to growl when he
doesn’t get his way,
And this is just the time
For it to happen.

But I go to school,
Knowing my mom wont
Ever drink
The drink.
She’ll just stay home,
And possibly check her
Myspace, and e-mail her
On-line friends.

Dottie doesn’t talk
To me at school.
And strangely,
No one talks about me, either,
Since no one was pointing
And whispering to my face.
Just a normal
Day of school.

When I get home, with an
Alright almost-grin on my face,
I hear something.
I hear a shrill voice against
My brother’s voice.
The voice is the old one…
Of my mother’s?
“Mom?” The voice
Just comes out of me,
I don’t even think its mine.

“Is that you?
Come over here, I want
To talk to you.”
Yes, that’s her.
Barking orders all over
And in that same
Shrill voice.
She says that she just needed
To change back.
Even though she missed
Being a friend,
She missed being our mothers
Even more.
I asked her how she knew
That I was unhappy,
And she said
A mother just knows
Which is totally a lie
Because I find my
Teen-Help letter not in the place
That I had left it.

My mother is tucking me in
Like when I was six.
She is kissing me in good-night
Like when I was six.
Smiling me that warm smile of hers
Like when I was six.

And I know that it will stay this way
For a while, but I still do it.
I wish for it to stay this way
And even though I know
It wont happen forever,
It’ll be happening for now,
And that’s just as good.
Which is something
That you have to love
About life.

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