TEXAS FAMILY PORTRAIT - misti rainwater-lites


I don't want any breakfast. I’m still constipated from yesterday. There is no room. I'll drink two or three cups of coffee later. I put a dollop of vanilla ice cream in my coffee. That gives my day a real boost. I will hang out with my son. He will call me Pink Power Ranger. He will call me Mary Jane. He will call me Gwen. He will call me Mommy. We might dance and celebrate life right along with Richard Simmons. Perhaps we will venture outside to investigate the mud puddle. Maybe I'll sit in a chair in the carport while my son draws spider brains with sidewalk chalk. My husband will call me on his lunch break and on his drive home from work. His calls usually go straight to voice mail. The friendly student loan people will call two or three times. I am most popular with them.


I eat the orange yogurt super fast so my tongue won't know what it's tasting. I put in the bargain exercise dvd and hula hoop for half an hour. I ignore the texts from Jaci asking me to meet her at the fetish boutique (black leather chokers are half off today only!). When the UPS guy knocks on the door I open the door wearing something more substantial than a leopard print bra and thong. Tomorrow I will conquer the haunted potty and suicide oven.


Oh sure yeah of course he was fucking adorable in his retro princess skates and pigtail braids, scrawny arms decked out in temporary tattoo sleeves, two sizes too small cartoon kitty shorts. All the perverts would dream up songs that would never sell.

His father blames me for the speech impediment, the weird moments of awkward fumbling clarity from the boy's lollipop sucking mouth.

"Mommy? Is it okay if instead of playing rugby or chess I twirl fire batons and stand on ponies?"
"You can do whatever the fuck you want, Harry. This is Texas."

My husband the ball swinging cowboy takes to town in his dragon flame retard truck, looking for sensible pussy and the usual tonics that will help him forget the whole goddamn lifestyle for at least five or six hours.

Misti Rainwater-Lites
A Sport and a Pastime
James Salter