123 / 365 – Walls

DAGNY KIELLAND

My mom stopped by. Didn’t call, didn’t knock. Just walked in. Thank god I had just cleaned up, hauled all the bags out to the dumpster. When does that ever happen? It was a lot of bags. Washed the dishes. I even had the laundry picked up. I had to shove it in the closet was all. That door is staying locked after this, that’s definite.

She’s worried about me. I know the speech. The whole thing. She’s been worried about me since I twelve or thirteen, whenever I got boobs. It’s been a horror show for her ever since. She should have just had sons. She has no clue the kind of trouble they get into. She has no clue the trouble girls get into anymore either, but her imagination works her harder when it comes to her daughter.

She says my problem is I’m gloomy. She says this is why John doesn’t come home on weekends. Because there’s nothing cheerful here to welcome him home. You can see what I mean about not having a clue about men. She’s waving her arms wide to show me how barren the walls are. Yeah, I can fucking see them. And you don’t have a clue what that means.

You go into somebody’s house and you see their furniture and the pictures that are hanging on the walls. And maybe the stupid things they hang on the wall in their kitchen, with those cute phrases that probably sounded good in the gift shop but I always think, after looking at that for a month, how come you’re not throwing it outside in the brush pile? You see all that stuff and you think you have some idea about them, but you don’t know anything about them. Everybody has that crap on their walls. It doesn’t mean anything.

If I hung up something like that, I think John would think something was wrong with me. Think I got religion or something. He used to ask me that, back when we were first seeing each other, the first times we made out. He’d say, “You’re not religious are you?” Like if I were more Lutheran, maybe it would mean he wasn’t going to get to fuck me.

I should shut up. I always get in a bad mood when my mother stops by.

She must have stopped at the Aerie on her way over, had a couple of beers, or maybe some schnapps to get her going. Usually she doesn’t say her what’s on her mind, even though I already know it. She doesn’t have to shout. Just walking around sullenly, stopping at staring at things, marks in the carpet, dirt on the stove, a dish in the sink, or picking up a shirt or a pair of shorts on the floor, like its an old fish. I know just what she’s thinking. She doesn’t need to say anything.

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