Being Forgotten

I’m seven
Another Friday afternoon
Going to the office, having to call you, again, to come pick me up, pick up S

You say, voice distant on the telephone and not because of actual distance, that you didn’t forget, sounding airy and yet dismissive of me stating the facts
The secretary listening in but not caring, shifting papers, just wanting to go home herself

I don’t figure out until years later that if you could leave me and just pick up S you would

You didn’t want me but I didn’t understand that then
It was you and another baby sister you would pit against me and a father that preferred his computer and TV over everything else and a stepgrandfather who stomped most everyone down, except maybe you and S and K and G but everyone else was just garbage because we wouldn’t worship his lies and hate
Mostly it was about not rocking the boat and having you explode over the tiniest thing

You made sure I was afraid, afraid of you, of myself, of everything

Sometimes I think I’m still that seven year old little girl who just wants her mother to remember her but is aware at the periphery that it will never happen

Abandoned though picked up from the lost and found after being stuck behind a smelly, grubby sweater and held between two fingers as if touching me would infect you with some horrible disease

The stinky sock loved me more though it kept searching for its pair

Dust bunnies cried tears for me but all that dust covered up their caring

Silent walls rattle with your rage but I couldn’t hide from you, fear pressing from every aside

Sophia accidentally hitting me in the nose makes me proud of the one and only nosebleed I’ve ever had because it was something the other kids had done.  I fit in even though I felt and knew I really didn’t.  It was nice while it lasted.

But then I’m eight and another year and the girls have abandoned me as well because boys have cooties which I don’t believe exists so I played with boys instead
They were nicer and treated me better even if they were stupid for tearing the arms off their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

There’s still screaming at home and Willow can’t hide and the Killer Tomatoes have vanished and the Odd Couple take psychiatric advice from Bob Newhart while awaiting triage at the 4077th but you still expect the Waltons but have ended up with the Bundys more like the Buckets but without the flowers and accents

And then change and hell and yelling

But that seven year old is still waiting, hoping, barely, not to get thrown out with the crushed milk cartons and moldy bread and the crumpled napkins

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