posted on May, 2 2014 @ 08:47 AM
Another piece on "Panhandle Imagined"
The bedroom is normally pitch black but when I open my eyes there is a sliver of light piercing into the room. I am waking up to the sound of crying
and muffled words. I throw back the covers and cautiously make my way to the door. Through that sliver of light I hear the voices of my mother and my
brother coming from the living room. I slowly walk to the door and stand listening to the sounds, trying to make sense of them. The sobbing and crying
are growing louder and I find my self scared by their intensity. I am fearful of opening the door any wider.
Slowly, I push the door open and enter the room. There in a pale halo of light I find my mother sitting on the couch and my brother on his knees in
front of her, pleading with her. The house is dark except for this small area where we are. The dim light casts frightening shadows across the cold
As my eyes adjust to the light I see my mother has a shotgun under her chin and her fingers are on the trigger. My brother is pleading with her to
give him the gun. “Please momma, give me the gun,” he insists! She does not answer him but continues to sob.
I am confused but join my brother on the floor. Kneeling before her, we plead and beg. My stomach is heaving with emotion and my tears are dripping
from my chin and cheeks. My brother reaches out and tries to lift my mother's fingers from the trigger but is unable to do so.
I continue to plead, while he focuses his efforts to release my mom's grip on the gun. She resists his efforts and shakes her head no. Mom can barely
make eye contact. Her head is down and she has the shotgun trapped with her legs and arms. We are trying to pull it away from her but she is much
stronger than us.
The single reading lamp next to the couch plays upon the scene with a yellowish cast making the scene even more macabre. My mother's sobbing
continues as we pull and beg and plead, again and again. Finally, with a great sob of surrender she shutters and releases the gun.
My brother quickly runs from the room with it and goes out the back door. I climb up on the couch and throw my arms around her. My brother is gone
for several minutes and I am left holding my mother, cradling and comforting her as a mother would comfort her child. I kiss her cheek and taste her
salty tears. I brush her long hair back out of her eyes with my tiny hands. She looks at me from her tortured face and mouths that she loves me. I
hold her tighter. She responds by hugging me until I can barely catch my breath.
My brother returns to the room and mom moves over and he sits on the other side of her. She pulls us in closer to her. I can feel her body still
heaving periodicaly as she holds back sobs. We sit together on the couch, holding on for dear life, until emotionally exhausted I fall asleep.
I awake in the morning sleeping next to my brother on the couch and there is a blanket covering us. I sit up with a start, looking to see where she
is. I am relieved to see she is in the kitchen making breakfast for us and the smell of homemade pancakes fills the room.
“Doug, go wake up your sister and bring her to the table,” she tells him. My brother goes into our sister Patty's room and picks her up out of
her crib and brings her to the table and puts her in a highchair. Mercifully, she must have slept the entire night.
We sit around the table in our usual places. My mother opens the oven and brings fourth a stack of hotcakes she has been keeping warm. My mother
places a small stack of cakes on each of our plates. We smear them with margarine and then she pours some warm homemade syrup on them. It is thin and
watery, more like maple flavored water. We hungerily eat them and tell her how good they are. She smiles at our complements. Our sister Patty plays
with the pancake in front of her tearing with her fingers, licking her fingers and makes a silly face and we laugh. We don't talk about what