my young mom

My mom left my old man for a few months once. It was after he booted me out for being brave. It is my belief that she saw me being brave and decided, what the hell, why not give it a try. I admired her for that. It could not have been easy but I guess it was easier than the alternative had become.

My mom is a young mom. She has long black hair, with some gray, and blue eyes. She is thin and people say she’s pretty. I don’t say that because I don’t like to think about my mom that way. My sister goes out with guys older than our mom. I might go on a date with someone as old as my mom but I wouldn’t get married. Forty-seven is too old to have kids in my opinion. I haven’t made a survey but I’m guessing most forty-seven year old women would agree with me this time.

I like going places with my mom. People think we are a couple because she’s a young mom. One time when I was twenty she took me to a bar to have lunch and I ordered a beer and the waitress carded me and I said, “I’m twenty but this is my mom so just get me a damn drink, okay?” She didn’t believe it. She had to see both our driver’s licenses. Then she liked me a lot. I think chicks like guys who have lunch and drinks with their moms. They like to think their sons will do that with them someday. But sons only do that for good moms and most moms skip that part and just expect to get taken to lunch. The waitress looked like another girl I was in love with then. I asked her if she knew the girl I was in love with. She did. That’s New Mexico for you.

My mom came to a poetry reading I was doing at a coffee shop in Taos. The coffee shop’s name is Café Tazza. This is Italian. It means coffee cup. That’s a cute name for a coffee shop. Tazza also means toilet in Italian slang but as I’m the only person from northern New Mexico who knows a lot of dirty stuff in Italian the name is still okay. Makes me giggle even though I like the place and they have fine coffee. Café toilet.

I was reading poems and then sitting with my mom. I was reading some poems with some English dirty words. They are good poems though so I wasn’t ashamed. There was a handsome chicano man with his children there. I was glad that he was taking his children to see poetry and not a Rated R movie. Too many parents do that. I thought he’d be mad at me for writing poems with dirty words and then reading them to his kids but he clapped harder than anybody else and his kids didn’t notice the dirty words. Made me glad to be a human being for a change. I hope he reads this so he knows I think he’s completely great and I’ll bet his kids love him a lot and he never has to shout them out of his house for good.

There was an artist there too (one I noticed—Taos has about 10,000 people and 120 galleries—I may have missed several other artists). He was sketching things. He probably thought I was my mom’s boyfriend but I think I’ve already cleared up that nonsense. He was a shy artist. He was pretty handsome and rugged looking like he knew all about life but it hadn’t fucked him up it just made him rugged and shy and gave him a lot to paint about.

On account of being a writer, and a paranoiac, I tend to notice everything that everyone is doing. I noticed that artist was liking my mom. So I called her, “Mom,” really loud because I didn’t want to mess with an artist’s day.

He sketched her. When he was finishing I made myself scarce. I saw him though on account of I have to see everything or I go nuts. He took the sketch to her and told her some nice shy guy things. Maybe she told him she was married even though she was living at her parents’ house. I hope she didn’t tell him that but she probably did. She didn’t leave my old man as much as go somewhere else to wait it out. But she’s never loved anyone else so it’s natural. I saw the sketch. It wasn’t bad at all.

My dad is a handsome guy. More than me. My girlfriends say so. His eyes are green. He never used to treat my mom so well. Never beat her or anything but just kind of ignored her and made cracks about the books she found entertaining and maybe he found stupid. We’re all from a completely small town in a totally ridiculous state. We’re not hicks. We go to college—my sister and I have each travelled—and my mom’s a pianist, and my dad’s a doctor but we are small town. I don’t think my dad realizes that I’ve got a mom and he’s got a wife that artists in mountain town cafés sketch and fall in love with. Fuck my dad for that.

My mom went back to him after a few months. She says he’s figured it out. She could be right. That would be great.

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