Tuesday June 5 2012


Up bright and early at 8:45 a.m.


Darren generously gives me a ride to the airport. And so starts my trip to Florida to see my mom. I’m hoping for a revival.


Airport security entertainment...

An old man having to walk through the metal detector at least ten times. After a pat down they discover it was his personal wet wipes that caused the alarm to keep going off.

A spritely lady reacts to her big black purse being examined, “Protect my bag. I don’t want anyone putting a bomb in it!” The security employees raise their eyebrows.


Hurry up and wait. The airport way of life.


In flight.

I imagine all my problems and woes as little monsters standing on the ground with their tentacles reaching out to me in desperation...

“No, Robert! Come back! You can’t leave us! You can’t escape! We’ll be waiting for you when you return!”


Coffee and a Biscoff Cookie comfort me.

Reading Ghost World, borrowed from Kristin.

Landing in Detroit. This long narrow concourse tunnel with multi-colored lights glowing in sync with the ambient soundtrack, I remember this from my pervious visits here.

Walking. Eye candy. People watching. The short cute girl in purple tights carrying a yellow Bugatti bag. The tall Kardashian lady sipping on her Starbucks mocha frappuccino and glued to her Blackberry. The little white blonde toddler strapped with her prized Hello Kitty backpack. 


In flight. 

Peanut Butter Bagel. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Raspberry Lemonade.

I’ve got earplugs in my ears and as I chew these chips the sound is colossal in my head, so loud that I’m convinced everyone in the cabin is cringing at every crunch.


A little reading. A little napping. And I’ve arrived. Orlando. It’s all palm trees and humidity from here.


Finally I’m reunited with my mom. She pulls up at the arrivals. Big unbeatable smiles on our faces and a warm hug.

Jokingly I say, “Hey! It’s been a few years.” But I believe it was only last Thanksgiving.

We drive an hour or so to Bartow and stop at a church she’s been involved at for a choir practice. I observe from the empty pews. The voice instructor, a confident black worship leader on the keyboards, encourages the women, “It’s nothing but words until it comes from here [points to the heart].”

Here I am inside a church again. It’s been a while for me. I feel a spirit of warmness and peace, but that’s usually the case whenever my mom is present anyway. I wait outside underneath the Spanish moss overgrown on a big tree, reading and communicating with Margot off and on through text...

Her: “You know what I think hurts the most is that you were capable of jumping into a ‘relationship’ so quickly with someone else. Nice to know I was so easy to be replaced. It stings so much. I hate you and never want to see your face again. I hope that bitch was worth her trouble.”

Me: “I’m opening up to other people, yes. but I am in no way jumping into a relationship with anyone. you are not easy to replace and that is not what I’m doing. do you think it doesn’t sting for me too that you could easily jump into bed with another? cause it does. but that is what we allowed for each other that time ago when we separated.”

There is more to this text-versation. I understand being upset but I still fail to see the logic in demonizing me for my rebound-ish behavior when she’s done the same thing. Double standards. She just doesn’t see it. But I do still care about her and her feelings. I try to be empathetic. But in my heart I have let this go already. I shouldn’t be dealing with this battle. I should be focused on the more positive things/people in my life right now. That’s what I want to do.

Choir practice is over. My mom and I head to her and my stepdad Jimmy’s cozy little two-bedroom house. My mom warms up dinner for us.

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings. Green Beans. Okra. Tomatoes.

I am reminded of old times when I used to live with them in Ocean Lakes. We’d usually eat dinner together. And here I am 3 years later. This is therapeutic.


Afterwards, I sit down and show my mom a few pointers on how to use our recently acquired smart phones.


Mom: “I love you.”

Me: “I know. That’s why I’m here.”

She’s off to sleep. And I catch up on some writing. Then, take a break and go for a night walk to the Circle K up the street. Chatting with Kristin while the crickets chirp and the semi-trucks zoom by. I give her the family history rundown. Some of the stories seem so bizarre and dark to her. I guess they are.

I pick up a half-gallon of milk and a pack of Djarums.


Back at the house. Eating a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats.

Sleep around 2:30 a.m.

[i] All images by me.

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