Every gluteal muscle in the room cramps to the point of atrophy. An eau of freshly wet pants sweetly lingers. Thirty-something little faces are devoured by a worried stasis. My desk has a cubby. It’s contents are gathered by a single primitive swipe. The woman responsible has arms which are stoic with kitchen scars, preceding jailhouse tats in terms of viciousness. Time thrashes around them with sickening violence. School supplies drip from her sinister cradle, hitting the floor in an anxious staccato. My arm is stretched into steep acclivity, forcibly glued to her hip. I invest in her drag. Her wrist is an untimely certificate which I accept. My classroom door shuts with a hollow thud and I graduate first grade.
Mom called today.
“I think I’m having an existential crisis.” She says as I’m stepping off of the train. “Forty-four years since I've seen these photos.” My feet break through the platform’s brick and mortar. “Forty-four years.” Bricks settle mid-velocity, orbiting me, polka dotted with black chewing gum which acts as tiny bottomless maws. “Fuck him.” Dark saliva drips from the sky’s new uvula. Drool hits my cheek. “When I look at them -” A brick punches my open mouth. I taste soot. “- I realize -” The tiny ravening mouths cackle harmoniously. “how sad of a little girl I was.”
I’m on my living room floor. I’m 5. I’m wearing black socks. The sliding glass door is open. A creek outside surfs boulders in its path. It fills the air with a hymnal of white-noise. Our new kitten’s left eye is a congested red-brown blister which drips mucus and threads of blood when he blinks. He lounges and plays with Fluffy, our older, more aloof, cat. There’s a banging at our front door and Mom runs from the kitchen to it’s peephole. She runs with the fleeting velocity that only a distressed mom can, like the entire apartment moves around her, like the air around her twists violently into fatigue and vomits melancholia and anxiety endlessly from every dimensional opening. I am worried. She runs to the sliding glass door and latches it shut. I’m hurried down the only hallway we have with my two brothers. “HERE!” There are blunt crude thuds on the glass behind us. At the end of the hall is her bedroom door. We're almost there. “HERE!” I turn and look past my mom, down the hall behind us. I see a mocha fist holding white at the end of a thickly bristled arm, black bristles which I suspect eject like quills on impact. I feel a weird stinging all over. “HERE! YOU MONEY HUNGRY BITCH!” I purse my lips and speak softly to the void. “Dad.”
“Don’t cry.” … “It’s okay.” I say. “You’re okay.” Bricks evaporate and dry pale mulch on them shrivels into nothing. Dusk’s chewing-gum disintegrates into calcium. The train departs. There is only darkness and it’s many eyes. I’m swallowed whole by a cacophony of blinks and stares. I hang from the neck on the phone’s line; a shepherd's crook pulling me deeper into whatever.
It’s Saturday morning. I’m 7. My belly is full of Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s bastardized version. I’m wearing linen pajama bottoms with a thread count subsisting in the negatives. Our television has 11 channels including the T.V. guide. It’s set to channel 13. Pogs are stacked neatly in front of me, which I hurl a heavier plastic pog into. They scatter. One of them has an eightball on it. Blankets and pillows turn the floor to a ripple of dead color. I haven’t seen Mom since last night. She opens the front door holding a repurposed Dole Premium banana box we got at the foodbank. It has a towel over it. She stands in the doorway. She looks at me, her cheeks are raw. “Fluffy’s dead.” She says. I laugh but she’s not kidding. My heart breaks for the first time. I become a squiggle in a tuft of watercolor quotients. I feel water thrash through an empty place. I drown.
The many eyes and mouths surrounding me shut. Things fall back into place; rail tracks, gravel, the highway and it’s resilient bramble, the overpass I plan to cross. Dusk fades back to the Oregon sky and it’s trademark pale grey clumps. The platform’s brick and mortar lock back into formation as I descend back to solid ground. My sneaker kisses the brick sweetly.
“I love you Mom.” I say. We hang up, I go home.
 One of the words for red-brown is rufous. The cat’s name is Rufus.
 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10,12,13. 13 has cartoons on Saturday mornings.