#ThursThreads, week 524


I sat down across from myself. Was I ever really that young? 

The youth of his (my) face was betrayed by his eyes, sparkling in the light, but wary, apprehensive, darting away from direct contact. 

“You know who I am, right?” He nodded, but only slightly, as if he was waiting for me to tell him how he was wrong. 

“It’s alright. This isn’t exactly an everyday kind of thing.” He didn’t respond. I wanted to hug him, and I knew he’d let me, but touching messed up the device that allowed me to be here. 

“Anyway, you must have questions.” He just shrugged. 
I pointed at my hairless scalp. “1998.” 

My wedding ring. “2004, although yours might be different.”

I sighed. There was so much I wanted to say. The ‘How am I doing so far’ question wasn’t just in his head. 

“Okay, look. Two things.” I held his eyes. “Fuck ‘em. And run.”

He blushed at the first word. How innocent I was. “Fuck ‘em, you hear me? Everyone who tells you you’re not good enough. They’re wrong. Just wrong.

“It won’t be much longer until you can get out of here. When you do, run. Don’t look back. And when they tell you you’re wrong, that you’re a bad kid, that you’re abandoning your family, what do you say?”

He didn’t speak, but I saw the wheels turning, trying to see a different path forward.

C’mon, kid. You’re smart enough to get this.

“Fuck ‘em?”

“Fuck ‘em.”


#ThursThreads, week 523


Whiskey with a Ghost

Maybe your dead can’t talk, but in my experience, they never shut up. Sometimes the brown liquid muffled their voices. On nights like tonight, though, I just got pissed.

“You know that I loved you and did my best. Life was hard and we did what we could do, all things considered.”

I took another sip and paused before speaking. Yelling was a game both of them taught me, but I was trying to do better.

“Did you though? Did you ever think about what I was learning from you?”

“I tried to teach you so many things.”

“Yes. I know you did. By constantly questioning everything I did, you taught me not to trust myself.

“By finding fault in everything,” my voice caught, and I took another sip. “You taught me that I was never going to be good enough. Did you ever notice how hard the world was for me?”

“I know school was rough. Those kids were so mean to you.”

“Uh-huh. And when I got home, did you let me know I’d always be good enough in your eyes, no matter what the bullies said? Did you make home a place where I knew I could be me and that I’d be okay?”

“We loved you!”

“But did you ever like me?” I drained my glass and poured another.

“You know you shouldn’t drink that stuff.”

“And you should have realized that your problems weren’t my problems. Go away, mom. Or at least shut up.”