I Used to Read my Thirteen-Year-Old Daughter’s Mind.
I’m a prisoner in a car filled with enough shit to last a month in the wilderness. We’ve gone to a lot of trouble to pack up and move into moldy cabins, that smell like mice and armpits. We’re going to camp and my stupid-ass mother is going to be the camp nurse because that’s the only way we can afford it. I just want to stay the fuck home. I could stay by myself. No one would have to know. I wouldn’t even play my flute and we could tell people the lights are on timers. I could eat cereal and peanut butter. Ramen noodles. My whole damn summer, ruined!
My dumb little brother is excited about going. He thinks it’s going to be an adventure. He doesn’t realize it’s going to be a bunch of cliquish rich brats whining that their hair dryers don’t work and their fucking nail polish is chipped. And it’s gonna be hot as Satan’s balls in those cabins. No phones. No internet. Jesus Christ on a skateboard, why was I born into this family?
If my crazy mother doesn’t stop singing along with that damn Willie Nelson tape, I’m going to poke pencils in my ears. Yeah, Willie, you asshole, that’s right we’re on the road again.
We’re somewhere in rural Maine. It’s late at night and raining so hard we can’t see the road. We keep stopping at motels and Bed and Breakfast places but they’re all full. Who the hell would come here? I can tell mom is tired, she’s looking stressed so I’m keeping quiet. I almost feel bad that we hid the Willie Nelson tape the last time we stopped for a break. I was going to throw it in the trash at the gas station but decided to just shove it down behind the seat. Whatever the hell she’s listening to now is even worse. And why must she sing?
We’ve been driving in the rain for hours. We keep pulling over to look at the map with the yellow highlights on our route and we almost got stuck in a ditch. I wonder if I could report her for child endangerment. She always has these ideas that we need adventures. Doesn’t she realize she’s old and she should just give up on that? I have my own adventures that she doesn’t know about but she’s ruining that like she ruins everything.
What a bitch!
Eileen Vorbach Collins is a Baltimore native. She writes because it’s cheaper than therapy. See more of her work at https://sites.google.com/view/eileenvorbachcollins and https://twitter.com/evorbachcollins