home and away

I’ve spent all day at some fun, sxsw-type conference with friends and am planning to go back out again but have stopped back at home to change. the family is having dinner, so I sit down with them– just my mom and dad and one of my brothers, actually– and my mom starts pissing me off and I don’t feel like humoring her or backing down– so I start to say all the horrible things I feel– like, it always has to be about you— which feels like the greatest sacrilege, speaking such a huge, bald truth. my brother leaps to her defense, putting me right back in my place, making reference to what I’ve been doing before I came to the table– and it’s true that out with my friends I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine and smoked some pot– but I know that’s not really why I’m saying the things I’m saying, that they’re true. I keep saying this, and my brother mimicks me, you keep saying that, (his voice going up) ‘it’s true, it’s true.’ at that point I lose it, so angry at being made into a cartoon, and fling my plate at the wall like a frisbee, and, amazingly, it doesn’t shatter, only bounces off and crosses the room and bounces off the opposite wall and ricochets back again, finally clattering the the floor whole. we all just kind of sit there for a minute, processing, and then I get up and walk off to change.

I’m in maine, walking down a sandy road, when I glance over and notice some people standing by several tall bushes that line the roadside, and as I walk by, I realize they’re blueberry bushes just laden with fat fruit. I rush off the road and over to the nearest bush, exclaiming to the person who’s walking with me, look! look! blueberries!— but she just doesn’t get my ecstasies. I’m thinking of huron mountain, thinking of the best kind of home I know, represented here and now in these dark-shining berries– and it’s better now, here, something I have discovered all on my own– more generous than the mean little bushes of michigan. there are people riding horseback along the road, and I want that, too, want all of it, am so full and grateful and happy.

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