Bushwick: Parte Una.

Mom said, “Fuck this,” as she handed me clothing soaked in feces, mold or whatever was in that floodwater. I wanted to ask her for the quarter to put in our curse jar, kept on dashboard of our van, but decided this was not a good time to fuck with her.

“She said she had never heard so many dirty words from such little mouths…”

Did I owe the curse jar another quarter for thinking a “fuck”? It was my teacher Mrs. Aaron who suggested using a curse jar. She said she had never heard so many dirty words from such little mouths as she did in our 9th grade class.

Mom walked, dripping water between our van and the basement apartment steps.  I tried to wring out the clothing as she handed each piece to me, twisting and squeezing the fabric, which gushed water all over me. When she handed me a pile of wet towels that looked like a slimy seal, I said, “Fuck that,” and let the towels fall to the van floor.  I did not touch it. The back of the van looked like a swamp. I noted I owed the curse jar another quarter.

The good thing about this move was that we didn’t have to pack.  She said, “We are done.” At that moment I looked out the car window and realized it was a sunny day. Whenever I was anywhere near the basement apartment I felt gloom and saw overcast skies, thinking of the approaching rain that usually never came. Mom hunched over the wheel of the car.  I looked at her.  I said, “Can we go?” She turned the key in the ignition and I smiled.

Click HERE for Part II of this story, Bushwick: Parte Dos.


featured photo credit:  Photo by Jhon Valdes Klinger