I remember how white cotton glows in pale moon light.
I was small enough to pull my pillow from it's cover, bury it under the blanket and crawl into the pillow case to "fool" my mother when she came in to say goodnight.
She would pull back the blanket, always say, "Where is, David, I wonder?" I remember giggling, laughing so hard that my other brothers laughed in spite of themselves. I shared a bedroom with my three older brothers.
There were seven of us all together. My mother was an RN. She worked the night shift on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday nights at the hospital. It made sense to us, as I recall, because babysitters were expensive. Plus, what crazy person is going to come in and watch seven little kids? Those who tried, didn't often come back.
But, so...Friday nights, Saturday nights...like the Billy Joel song, we owned the days, but my father owned the nights. And the nights were long. They were very long.
Even though my mother had her own car he would take her to work, pick her up the following morning. I never really thought too much about that until a therapist asked if I had ever considered the possibility that he did that so that he knew for sure that she would not, could not, come home unexpectedly.
Details, she wanted the details (my therapist). But when I mentioned how the smell of Vaseline makes me nauseous, she started crying. As I told her that, as a four year old, there is an overwhelming need to put something in there afterward, to fill the hole, make it feel better, she got up and left the room. She said that was the "Human" response as I recounted the experiences like reading from a grocery list.
Who cares, really? That was then and this is now. I can't change it, I argued, make it go away, or bring my little brother back. Because, I think, that was what brought me there, really. He died in 1985 at twenty-eight. But, I made the appointment on the premise that my marriage was crumbling, falling apart.
..."and elsewhere," white cotton still glows in pale moon light as I wandered through the house in the middle of the night because of the nightmares. Being stabbed, shot, set on fire. By assailants in shadows with no faces, only arms and huge hands, with a detached and depraved indifference, as though, they were making the morning coffee.
With practiced perfection and under a conspiracy of complicity I would wander into his room, lay on his bed and wait for him. Because, then...he did not seem so mean the rest of the day. Sometimes.
It was the first big push that I remember most...
I am still pushing back.