The school of home


Today, I am mad. I am mad because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and I refused to make an effort to roll over to the right side and try again.

I am mad because the coffee beans spilled out of the coffee maker and into the dirty sink when I tried to dump the water to clear out the mysterious floater in the water carafe. I used a paper towel to collect the beans and try to save my garbage disposal, as I learned the hard way as a little girl that garbage disposals do not like fish rocks, and the beans decided to fall to the tiled kitchen floor that drives me mad because the previous homeowners never sealed the grout so all it knows how to do is turn crumbs into black cracks. I am mad because I yelled shit as if it’s the only word in my vocabulary.

I am mad because then the brewed coffee splashed all over my hot pink Old Navy zip up that my mom bought me in high school and I can’t believe I have to wear it today. I am mad because the black coffee also splashed on a published essay I was reading from a fresh, white literary magazine who should have accepted my work years ago.

I am mad because today is a day where everything in my house is ganging up against me, the toothpaste spitting globs when I used the method of rolling it from the bottom to save every last penny. I sat down to write this, reaching to turn on the Walmart lamp next to my desk and the light bulb burned out. I laughed because that light bulb has worked for ten months and today is the day it chooses to burn out.

I am mad because of a box that sits on my desk, the one my mom just gave me as a gift that I have filled with unpaid bills and unanswered wedding RSVPs and it says, “HOME IS WHERE THE STORY BEGINS,” literally written in all caps. I am mad because every story I’ve ever written is about some version of home, and I am not in the mood to assume the posture of admitting that my mother is right.

I am mad because of the book that sits on my nightstand that tells me that the Bible is about God, not about me, and I should read it to learn more about his character and stop fixating on who I am and what I need. I am mad because I thought it was all about me and I like stewing in selfishness and I am not ready to confess that I pore over the tear-stained pages waiting for my pile of ashes to combust.

I am mad because I can’t decide if this metaphor about ashes even makes sense, so I Google, “Do ashes combust?” and it says that even if you were to heat ashes, the fuel is missing.

Today, I am mad.

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