The Con Artist’s Daughter-Freewrite

September 9th is my birthday.
I got a text from my mom this morning, September 5th, that read, I wish that we were better friends.
Her birthday is September 8th.
Every other year to celebrate she sends me a watch.
And in the between years she sends the same amount of cash as my age.
Last year it was 39 dollars so this year I expect something that ticks.
Her text bewilders me and I have yet to respond.
I am fascinated by her. And confused by her.
Embarrassed of her at times yet unashamed.
She, like a Midwestern town, is a good place to be from.
I have no idea how to behave around her nor do I ever know exactly what to say.
I judge her relentlessly and remain distant because I just don’t want to become her.
Unfortunately I cannot fight the tide.
Last night, September 4th I convinced a crowd of strangers that I was from Newcastle, England
just by changing my tone of voice.
I flow in and out of reality naturally and this is skill I know that I acquired from her, somehow
She may or may not have gone to college being a nurse for so long but when I watched her I could never tell what was truth and what was put on because she did the dumbest things at times like loving a loser and taking drugs and now I try to make sure that I don’t do any of the above but every year I wake to find I have done nothing but…
My mom is a legend to some and they tell me how bad and hard she was back in the day, how talented and quick she was at cooking and sewing and anything that made some money and now she is turning 58 and in my estimation has a whole bunch of nothing to show for it and I don’t know why I hate her so since she is just trying to live, just like me.
We are 18 years apart in age and that makes me respect her less and by all means is not a good enough reason to behave the way that I do because I should be forgiving right and kind right and all of the things that good Christians are and honest right and patient but I can’t. I can’t.
I’ve seen her steal and I’ve seen her lie and I’ve seen her put the love of a man before me and I’ve seen her high and I’ve seen her beaten and I’ve watched her sin. But she changed my diapers too and washed me up and carried me about the town for a while a long time ago and I have to at least be grateful.
Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I see everything that I hate about her.
Sometimes I feel so blessed that she didn’t force me to always live with her.
And every year around our birthdays we do this small talk dance around each other where she pretends she actually loves me because Jesus is forcing her to. But as soon as she unwraps whatever present I have sent her we fall silent until the next Autumn.
She says she wants to be better friends but friends don’t text they call. She can’t call me because what would we talk about we have nothing in common at all except the same facial expressions when we are conning the world.
I’ve known her for nearly 40 years and still she is a mystery. I have no idea what motivates her but I don’t think there truly is anything because I’ve been witness to her fake names and addresses her boyfriends and husbands her thievery and horrible attitudes and the way her voice smiles when telemarketers call her home.
We can’t be friends, I’m still growing up and out and away and scared and weird and working on forgetting all the bruises and hatred and pain and overlooking. To me she is like a painting instead of a person, a magician’s final act and the disease I have to work hard not to contract.
September 9th is my birthday and it’s just around the corner
I got a text from my mom this morning, September 5th, that read, I wish that we were better friends and I’m at a loss for words.
Her birthday is September 8th, so essentially I am her present.
Every other year to celebrate she sends me a watch she probably stole or probably was given.
And in the between years she sends the same amount of cash as my age which makes me laugh inside.
Last year it was 39 dollars so this year I expect something that ticks.

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