It was hot and we wanted to go to the lake but to do that we needed a car so me and Stephanie walked over to our cousin Joe's house to ask him to take us.
He was smoking a joint and sitting on a sagging striped lawn(more) chair like the sort people take to watch a parade but all you can see from Joe's house are seagulls fighting over crabs in the bay. He was sweating and looked almost personally offended by the weather. "Hell yeah, good idea," Joe said. He pushed his dirty toes into some flip-flops and we all climbed up into his truck.
"Let's get Dawn," John said, and he accelerated down the gravel street a few hundred metres. Stephanie shouted hi and we went in, picking our way through the living-room over clothes and garbage. In the kitchen Dawn was making cake. There were dishes piled high and yesterday's dinner still in half-empty pots on the stove. Stefanie said "Come on, lets go swimming," and Dawn just nodded and stopped what she was doing. She turned the stove off but left the batter and greased pans on the counter. "You can finish that later," Joe said.
We bumped up the logging road. Broom grew on every side of us, spinning casts of pollen in the air. No trespassing signs were posted but this was a famous swimming spot, with clear, green water. It was the town reservoir, ironically on Indian land. Whereas we got our water from wells.
There was no one there and we jumped in with just our t-shirts and underwear on. It was so cold we all yelled.
Joe smiled and said he hoped people in the town would all be able to taste four dirty Indians in every sip of water.(less)
Time goes one way. She knew this. That is why she took one last look around her before she left.
The framed old photo of them as a family, smiling back at her from the coffee table they purchased for $5.00 at a yard sale. The green carpe(more)t beneath her feet, matted from all sorts of nastiness carried in on tennis shoes and work boots. The kitchen cabinet doors left open exposed a clutter of dishes, pots, pans, and the occasional roach scurrying across a plate. Linoleum that was outdated, filthy and torn in places. She took a deep breath in to remember the smell of here. The odor of rotting garbage.
She walked one last time to the room she had since she was two. She vowed she would never live like this again. Her cloths piled in the corner. Cut out pictures from glamor magazines tacked to the walls. She only cut out the lips of the models. Pretty painted mouths covered the stained walls.
She picked a few items of clothing and stuffed them in a brown paper bag, this would do for luggage.
When your entire family is drowning in alcohol and stupid with drugs, you just can't sick around to be another victim of addiction. She was no longer going to join them in a downward spiral of wasting life. She had no idea where she was going but it would no longer be here. This is the end of this nightmare. The fighting the yelling the hate the evil that lurked in this house, in this family - was poison. Eighteen years of this was enough.
She walked to the front door, looked around one last time. Where was she going?