My mom’s a rare bird.
As I sit across from her at the dinner table, I hear the squeak of her chair, the yell of her teeth, the scrape of her fork.
Sometimes I say something and she won’t even hear me, just keeps looking at her nails, her thoughts resting there on the ring finger.
And I look to the empty chair to my right, the dust collecting on the lime green fabric. The dark, molding of the wall surrounding the chair, advertising it. I sip my coke, and peel myself from the table. At least he didn’t have to see what she turned out to be like.
When dinner ends, or rather just becomes too unbearably loud, I go to my room, turn on the stereo and slide in a disc. One of his. It starts off far away, getting closer; evolving.
I can hear the slap of his black high top converse, the whip of his hair in a ponytail, the puff of his cigarette. The sound of his pocket knife carving into his desk chair, the curl of his eyes when he smiled, the crack of his bony hands when the gun went off.
I take out the disc and put it back on his shelf, where he left it.