Loose Connections (Prose)
Loose Connections Transcript
We used to be poor.
Lived in the ghetto of a little town in Georgia,
where our house was broken into by people desperately searching for something valuable.
They stole my dad's car keys, and drove the old piece of junk into a ditch to strip it for parts.
Somewhere out there is a 1998 Ford Escort radio buzzing and shuddering out 107.5 The Eagle, interspersed with long shots of static like there’s a loose connection somewhere...and the classic rock can't help but be lost in transmission.
I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes, and how can I blame them when everybody’s just looking for something that will fill them up inside?
I think I was lucky, in a way that not many people ever are, because my house may have been small but my home was massive.
It was built on the happiness of two high school sweethearts and when the bills came pouring in, my mother would pull us close and smile because God gave her two beautiful little girls and another on the way and she’d find a way to pay and she'd stay happy as she'd always been.
And then one day my dad finished school and we moved across the country for a new job, and he bought a new car; one with a radio that didn't buzz and shudder out classic rock interspersed with long shots of silence because of a loose connection somewhere.
We used to be poor.
And at the same time, richer than ever.
My dad, he worked a lot after that move. Two high school sweethearts always working and snapping and shouting for quiet but they made money, lots of it. And my dad he started to notice that his daughters were wilting like flowers who had lived in an open field before man erected some great wall with a long shadow. His son became starved for affection and love, searching for it in older sisters who weren't even grown yet. They cried and they suffered and they wept, I wept. It took a long time for me to realize it but we were poorer than ever, and I wanted to scream and beg my parents to make us rich again but they didn't understand
That the scars and the tears were remnants of a half-hearted attempt at vindication for ourselves and if its any indication of the future of our wealth I can foresee living endlessly in trepidation of the future, because how can I protect a family that doesn’t want to be protected?
So I paint my lips red in sorrow and defeat and step into the stilettos that don’t quite fit in with my skinny legs and girlish frame and I pretend to be a woman… I pretend to be brave and confident and bold and when everyone around me is sold on the facade I shut my eyes and hold back tears because I don’t know how the hell I ended up here.
We used to be rich.
In a way that nobody could take from us but ourselves.
Someday when I look into the mirror and recognize myself again, I will find that 1998 Ford Escort radio that buzzes and shudders out static and I’ll bring it home with me, back to the two high school sweethearts who built a life out of nothing, and they’ll know; that a goddamn stack of cash never made us rich, that old radio that buzzed and shuddered out static did.
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© 2018 Marie Allred