Lee made sure to be out of bed early before his mother woke. Her heavy white thigh peeking out from under the gown that had bunched around her waist in the night was the last thing he saw before slipping past her open bedroom door. Previously, it had made him nauseous seeing his mother like that, especially when he’d been forced to sleep in bed with her, but not recently. Now it only made him angry. He’d been released from the Youth House three days ago. He hadn’t said more than two words to her since he came home.
Home…What a joke.
He ran up the stairs from the basement flat and out into the dirty Bronx sunshine. The lively heat on his skin was a contradiction to the coldness he was feeling beneath it and he continued running until he reached 183rd Street where he ducked behind a pillar and breathed in heavily the smoky shade of the subway terminal.
It was May 10th, 1953. Mother’s Day.
He muttered to himself in a Texas accent as husbands and children passed by, probably taking the moms out for their special day. Or to church. Flowers and pretty hats and red lipstick and grotesque smiles.
I’m my own father… mother never gave a damn…There were a dozen cigarette butts beneath Lee’s cowboy boots when an elderly lady walked by, handing out pamphlets. He had no idea what she was selling. On a whim, he reached out. He related to what he read.