I steered my sister around in a shopping cart today with her arm stretched as far as it will go yelling, "Onward! Wait... I think I see the... yeah! Turn around! I see... yeah, I saw cake supplies back there!" Winding around the store several times, my sister and I aren't efficient grocery shoppers.
We get back in the car with bags of birthday supplies. Two of us driving down Old Las Vegas highway with windows down and Magic FM in the speakers.
Her face changes.
"I don't know why I'm a person. Or even what a person is. So life feels scary."
Tears. Mo's tears come fast but they go away even faster.
"I don't like being scared and confused. Nobody else seems scared and confused."
My heart jumps into my throat.
"I have a hard time doing stuff when I don't even know why I'm doing it. I'm scared because I can't find why I'm doing it."
Today I remembered.
I can't write on the first page of a notebook.
That I can't be alone in this New Mexican life. A face over my shoulder or a curious ear on the other side of the wall.
I feel alone in my closet. Yeah. I feel alone in my closet.
Today I made a cake. But only half of the cake wanted to come out of the pan. Which is totally cool. Cakes are allowed to express themselves too.
Today I watched my brother play guitar.
Today I ran into an old friend. I'm glad you fly airplanes and race motorcycles, and yes, your dad has told me that a four year college education is an enormous waste of time and money. No, I haven't talked to the other guys. Yeah, I still drink coffee. No, I don't know if the coffee I drink is fair trade. Yeah, I heard about Tiger Woods. I recommend the lamb gyro. Say hi to your sister for me.
"Here's to Trev's 16th because Rani loves it."
Thanks, Dad. I'll raise my can of diet coke because I love you. Not because you've been successful in convincing me that toasting is classy or retro or something. Also, the lavender button up was a good choice.
"Rani, I meditate before I go to sleep. People think it may be hippie or weird. But it's just trying really hard to relax. I think about wind. Lots of wind with thousands of leaves. Then I can go to sleep."
Dear 8 year old Mo,
Find a time warp and jump in it.
You don't need me.
I know I'm supposed to work really really hard to make our relationship a good one, to push and shove until you say my name, but the truth is, dear colorful machine, is I don't know if you're worth it.
And I kind of like my butterfly catcher. I'd have to clean it up or paint flames on it or something if I wanted to use it in our relationship.
I'm sure you're nice and all, but I'm not going to look for any piece of my purpose in your ups, downs and trends or look for satisfaction in the times you pat me on the back via paycheck or fame.
Say hi to that kid by the fire for me.