40, Pale Pink, Fire


I was 5 years old when my mother turned 40 and I thought she was old. I put that number in my head as a sign that would tell me when my life was over because to me, my mother was old and boring. She worked all day and cook dinner, then went to bed by 8pm. I never wanted to be 40. I wanted to ride my bike forever. My mother did not run in the three acres behind my house, she did not go to Pizza Hut on Friday night and hope Stacey Adams said hi to her as he walked in. My mother did not French kiss him on the stairs leading to the baptismal fount. She was 40 and I was fun.

I had four kids, two grandkids, three step-sons and three dogs. I was ignoring my birthday coming up. I refused to go to bed at 8pm so I spend Friday nights at a dive bar still French kissing Stacey Adams in public, this time he didn’t just say hi to me as he walked into the place to be on a Friday but he walked in with his arms around me telling me how beautiful I was. My life was pale pink. Just pink enough to be happy but not too bright pink to make you want to puke. I had a two-story brick house in the magical land known as the suburbs, a place a poor kid like me didn’t even know existing until it was my home and my kids were all alive and relatively happy. As happy as kids generations deep in trauma could be. That trauma is what kept my life pale pink and not blinding bright pink. I was not Barbie; I was a dimmer version of her and that was fine with me. Not bright enough for anyone to notice but pink enough to be happy.

I sat in the conference room with Stacey. Both of us in the deepest silence I have ever been in. It was my 40th birthday and I sat in the middle of a hot fire that was burning down my life. The funeral home lady came in and sat down with a fire orange folder full of papers and a black bag she put on the table. She opened the folder and the fire burned. I signed my name and put the date on each paper March 15th, 2017. I was 40 now and Anthony was dead, I was signing his death certificate and paying for his funeral. I had never spent $10,000 on anything but today I set 10 thousand whole dollars on fire to make sure that everyone knew that Anthony was the best thing I had ever made but somehow couldn’t save. My life was no longer happy pale pink. It was hot burning fire orange like that folder and I was 40.

My favorite place to share online is Patreon.

Become a patron to get the good stuff: private podcasts, Angry Kitty Ranch updates, and exclusive writings...