Jodi, After Mom Died

Sonia Feigelson and Jackson Frons

After mom died I cried in the following public places: chemistry class, world history class, the market, Margo Massinter’s surprise birthday party at Topaz Asian Fusion Steakhouse, the Hot Topic on Harvey Street. Also, I bought a My Chemical Romance poster there.

After mom died, everything tremored. All the super normal dumb shit went: twaaaaaang. Like my triangle in Mr. Gaffney’s band class.

Mom died in a car accident. Actually, it was cancer. Just kidding. Mom got hit by a bus. I wish it had been something better. See, whenever I say, “hit by a bus,” it’s at least a tiny bit funny. Anyone getting hit by a bus is funny. Even mom. Even after she died.

Mom died in a hot pink satin tracksuit and after mom died, I wore my matching hot pink satin tracksuit to school and the other kids whispered around their lockers but I pretended the sounds they made were fluttering paparazzi lenses. I was mom’s only child. I am, therefore, unique and important to the world.

After mom died, I thought I might be famous. I had the same last name as the person whose statue sat in front of the Janet Feinberg memorial pre-school.

After mom died this guy Corey wanted to kiss me. He had a car. Mom drove a Nissan Ultima. Corey’s car was made in Europe. Corey said: “You seem deep.”

His face looked like it was made of folded paper.

“Yeah,” I said, “I used to think that way, but now, after mom died, I realize that nobody is really actually deep. Nobody is anything more or less than around or not around. Except birds. One time in kindergarten a hawk pooped in my hair and it took mom hours to wash it out.”

After mom died the bus driver sent us a bouquet of flowers. The bus driver was very fat.

After mom died I bought a journal. On the front page of the journal I wrote: “Before Dad Dies.” I started lying a lot. The sky turned green. I went by Jodi. “I go by Jodi now,” I told the secretary in Principal Hudnut’s office. She asked me if I would like a tissue. Mom did not allow nicknames.

I went to the town park after mom died and swung myself on the swings and looked at the intersection where mom was hit by the bus and wondered if any pre-schoolers watched mom get hit by a bus and I wondered if the seventeen feet and five inches she traveled in the air before shattering her skull on the curb was cartoonish and funny, cartoonish and sad, or not cartoonish but still a little funny because, you know, hit by a bus.

After mom died Corey and I skipped class to smoke cigarettes and lean on dumpsters. Corey said: “Let’s get drunk.”

We went to a liquor store to buy liquor but Corey’s fake ID didn’t work and my fake ID didn’t exist so we walked across the street to a Greek butcher and ate greasy lamb gyros. I think lamb gyros taste like wet Styrofoam.

After mom died I didn’t want to be an only child anymore.

After mom died my mind was like glass. I don’t really know what that means but it sounds cool. See? My mind was like glass after mom died.

After mom died I used the word fuck.

Corey said, “Don’t think about me dying. Be happy. I’m not going to die.”

After mom died quiet I got loud. I felt lonely in crowds. I looked up the bus driver. His kids were fucking fat too.

After mom died I was like a balloon and Corey said, “I love you, I think,” and we were lying in the town park and the cloudy sky lowered down onto me and the wet dirt teemed with worms and bugs and it stuck to my arms and I wanted Corey to grab me and press down on me. I said, “Please don’t let me talk.”

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Sonia Feigelson is a small Jew and Jackson Frons is a tall Jew. Both are in MFA programs and have published in various places.