Cackalacky Blues

by nicolecallihan

Last weekend I was back in Hickory, the town where I was born, and being under that sky felt so unfamiliar to me, even when I was driving passed the Dairy Queen where I lived on cherry-dipped cones and passed the mall where I saw my first trapeze artist and passed Mama Heaton’s house where I ran around barefoot for the first seven or so years of my life. There was this moment, out at the Snack bar, polishing off our plates of fried food when Eva (who has taken to wetting herself since starting preschool) was yelling and ripping off her diaper (which she insisted on wearing instead of her sweet tiny My Little Pony panties), and her feet were filthy and bare (because she had peed in the one pair of shoes I had brought from Brooklyn), and the other diners were staring, and I was gesturing to the waitress for Banana Cream Pie but I was thinking, ohmygod, this is what I was trying to escape. But then I remembered, it wasn’t me who had tried to escape, it was my mother, and I guess she had. Hadn’t she? I mean, isn’t that why everything felt so foreign to me?