Copyright 2008 by Nirvana Huntington
When my mom came home from the asylum, she showed me a picture that another patient had drawn in her journal. It was of my mother, but she had wings and a halo. There was a wire attaching the halo that disappeared behind her head. Her short black hair was shiny and in a sort of bob, and her wings were white and small but beautiful. Her breasts came to a point against her soft gray shirt. My real mother, who had no wings, no halo, held the journal in her lap, resting it against the skin on her wide thighs. She pointed to it with one dirty fingernail, hands shaking from the medication. A child, I gawked at the vivid colors, an aura of colored pencil surrounding her. They blended into each other so gracefully that it was hard to believe that it was ordinary Crayola.
Patients weren't allowed to have anything sharp, she said. That’s why when he needed his pencils sharpened for his masterpiece, he had to ask the nurse. When we brought her makeup bag to the asylum along with some clothes and her journal, they opened her makeup bag at the front desk and poured it on the counter, swirl of rings and black. They took the makeup sharpener and told me to write her name on the back of it with a white paint pen. They told us that she would get it back before she came home. “JIL H,” I wrote in sloppy handwriting. The pen smeared and left its color and scent on my hands for days.
Underneath my angel mother was her name, written in tag. It reminded me of my uncle Joe, and how he tagged our recycling bin when we lived on seventh east. This was before my mother kicked him out when he got a DUI and got my mother’s brand new Toyota 4-Runner impounded. Years after we moved, I would drive by and see it from afar, a yellow scribble across the bright blue.
Nirvana Huntington is a young aspiring writer in
Salt Lake City, Utah. She hopes to persue a career in non-fiction
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