A place for a


Goodbye, Mama

I lie around on my couch, look around my room. It’s been a mess for weeks now. I feel mory from having told some girl on Facebook that she should get rid of her piercing. First time I have ever been called a bully. Once more baffled by the intense emotions that social pressure can generate, I let the moment sink in and listen to the sound of dust settling among the other dirt.

The door to my flat is open to let the air stream wipe through my little room and pass right out into the corridor. Outside, steps approach. I put my fingers into my ears, anticipating the ringing bell, but it doesn’t ring.

The people outside my room behave quietly. Who is this?

I unwillingly stand up and open the door. My mother and grandmother stand before me. I forbade them to come, but they came anyway.

Did I ever say I hate my mother?

I do not now.

Before my eyes, I see two alien people. I haven’t seen them in half a year, but they had left me meals at the doorstep a few times. I had ached a bit from sentiment, then thrown them away.

My mother looks the same kind of depressed as the last times. My grandmother looks heart-wrenchingly hopeful and naive.

Some distant needy childlike me tells me to feel guilty for not caring about them. To give in. It’s not much more than a faint memory of a gone conditioning. I feel strong.

Some childlike pride tells me to protest against them ignoring my wish.

Yet there is nothing to protest against. Protest is a hallmark of insecurity, but the only thing I feel is anger at two people who disrespect my wishes.

One and a half years of solitude have a way of stripping the magic off of words. Mother. GrandmotherEquality.

I don’t care if you are my mother. I don’t care if you are Obama. I don’t care if you are Jesus Christ. I want nothing to do with you. 

I am calm as I speak. I stand tall. I do not smile, I do not flinch, I do not trepidate. I told you not to come and I meant it. I want nothing to do with you.

Why, timorously asks the person who plays the grandmother. It surprises me, surprises me that the answer is simple. There is no why necessary. It is my decision.

But I need those letters sent to my old address, she says. No, I don’t. Take them with you and leave.

But I said I would only need a year, she says. I take as long as I want to. If it takes forever, it will be so.

Leave and do not come back. I do not want you in my life.

If I see you here once more, I will hurt you.

I do not want to hurt them physically. But I need to speak the threat. And I need to fulfill it eventually. Words without consequences are meaningless.

Because I am not protesting anymore. I am no more concerned with having them accept my right to be left alone. I am concerned with actually being left alone.

Why am I so calm? Why am I so cold. Is that not my family?

No. The masculine men with whom I am honored to share time with every week in the MMA gym. The ones who shout at me. They are my family now. None of them I know well enough to call friend, but each of them I love more than I ever loved these people. And although I hardly exchanged two sentences with each of them, they know me better than these two people ever have.

I choose my family. I choose my name. I choose what I do. I do what I want.

I choose to turn around and go back inside, oblivious to their blank stares. I choose to leave the door open to let the air stream wipe through my room. No need to shut the door before their nose. No need to demonstrate anything. No need for drama.

I surprisedly notice how much more of a man I have become. How peaceful the pain has made me.

Goodbye, mama. Do not come back.

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