Dan London

Goldfish Pond In a Bricked-In Garden

I stood in the middle of the kitchen. My step-mother sat in the dining room. My dad stood at the far end of the kitchen. I was between them both. It was usually my dad that was between us. I didn't want that. It was her. She made it like that. She pulled and pulled on him. Made him feel like there was a battle for his time. I didn't want that. I just wanted him to be there when I played hockey. He always had been there. If he wasn't coaching me. He'd be up in the stands. I would always skate up to take the face off and look up at him. He'd make a gesture and I'd know what he meant. I'd know to "keep low" or to slow down the pace of the game. Hockey was the one thing in my life that made me stand out. As soon as I skated out onto the ice I was different. I had talent. I knew I did. I sat at the loser table at high school. Here I had a C on my jersey. Captain. Picked by the other players. Now he wasn't there. He wasn't in the stands for me. He wasn't behind the bench. It was too cold for her. Even in the warm room. It was too cold. As we stood in the kitchen she screamed. She yelled. She was tired of me calling her "hey". She wanted me to use her name. I couldn't. I was brought up calling adults Mr. and Mrs. I couldn't call her that. She said she was treated like shit. That nobody cared about her. She left the room. Storming outside. My dad turned to me. He asked me if I could call her "ma". No way. It was only a year after my MOM had died. I couldn't. I couldn't. I looked out the window and saw her pacing in the back yard. Talking to herself. He said, "I'm tired of being in the middle." I was tired of being nowhere.


All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Dan London.
Published on e-Stories.org on 11.09.2006.


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