The ending with my momma begins when a Mrs. Watson comes to visit us. I couldn’t a been but eight or so, too young to understand why a Mrs. Watson would be squeezed into our living room, if you could call it that. She wanted to sit down and momma was rushing around pushing the papers off the couch and shoving the bottles and ashtrays under it and all the while acting stranger than a sick dog. So I’m not understanding a thing except momma’s having a fit inside. Seems as obvious to me as the full moon outside, but she’s pretending we’d just been rearranging things and that’s why the room’s a mess, like it never was anything but a mess. The Mrs. Lady finally sits down. And she’d made it clear she wanted to talk to me too other wise I’d been outside and gone the minute she showed up. But she kept talking to me, how’s your school, how’s your friends, do you like to help your mom making dinner. A kid can smell something’s up when they’re asking questions like. Make dinner? I’d watched enough TV to know what she meant by that. And I’d watched enough to pretend that yes of course we cooked in pots, eat on dishes and then wash them up. That’s why there’s a big black garbage bag next to the sink. Momma didn’t think to push that into the bathroom or something and the lady’s looking at me too hard for me to be of any help saving my momma. So we’re all sitting now, actually I’m sitting on a table ‘cause we’re out of chairs, there being only half the couch not covered with stuff and one kitchen chair not broken. So I’m here to be sure Rawling’s getting all she needs for school and growing up, or something like that, Mrs. Watson says. Then the subject of the boyfriends comes up and that’s when the Mrs. says straight at my momma that young girls shouldn’t have to be sharing the house with too many boyfriends. And momma’s saying she only sees the boyfriends for tea during the day. And I’m sitting on the edge of the coffee table, my legs swinging like some big clock because I hate to see my momma have to lie. Even at eight years old, I know there ain’t one bit of tea ‘round here for 100 miles.
So after that I was sleeping better for a while ‘til one day I wake up in the middle of the night, hearing furniture banging and whispering so loud my momma may as well been screaming. I know the boyfriend’s back. Then I hear the voices outside and I look out my window to see what’s going on and that’s when I see this boyfriend shove my momma in the car. They drive away. I’m all alone.