fifteenth and main

There were watermarks on the concrete outside my house. They trailed down the sidewalk and off into the street. I followed them until they disappeared drying out on the hot asphalt. It was smack in the middle of July in the hottest summer I can remember being alive for. The sun was merciless. It beat down on us all day from it’s high vantage point and laughed at our attempts to cool down. Ice melted quick in your hands and then fans only blew hot air. I was living with my two gay uncles in New York City that summer because my mother had to go into treatment or rehab or whatever you want to call it. She was nutcase and what my uncles call a “functional junkie.” I like it with them because they treated me like the adult I was. At thirteen I had practically raised myself and I wasn’t up for negotiations on going backwards.
I walked back to the house. I was sweating through my tank top; it was wet beneath my small boobs and down the back along my spine. I wanted to crawl into a walk in freezer and never come out. There was no where to go and I couldn’t afford the movies so I just wandered around the neighborhood until my uncles came home and made me watch MASH with them. Inside the house the walls were covered with art, some they had made, and some their friends had made, and I didn’t think any of it was any good.
“Ya well what do you know,” tony said, my uncles boyfriend.
“I know that this doesn’t look like a farm and a farm house in Northshire Connecticut, it looks like bad acid trip,” I said. And he stormed off into the kitchen. I found out later it was one of the few he had painted.
Tony and I didn’t always get a long. My uncle Daniel was always mediating between us because he had the temper of a thirteen-year-old girl and me of a thirty-year-old woman on a drinking bender. I liked to pull his hair and he liked to slap me sometimes but at the end of the day it felt like family.
I walked through the house touching all the paintings and poured myself a cold glass of milk in the kitchen. I sat on the counter and put my feet in the sink and ran the water on them as cold as I could get it. It was the closest I ever had to a country club. Cold Milk and Cold Water a life of luxury. I laughed at myself.
I was always really small for my age. My mother kept saying, “ya I know I think this year you’re really gonna grow, just shoot up like bean poll.” But then the year would pass and I would maybe grown a half inch, maybe. I was small and frail and wheezed when I climbed the stairs. It wasn’t until I came out to live with Daniel and Tony and they took me to a doctor that I found out I was a pre me baby. That means I was a rebellious little fucker and came popping way too early. It also meant that my mother was using drugs while she pregnant with me and that I was in for a lifetime of doctor appointments and thin arms.
Awesome mom. Thanks.

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