Bubbles on the roof
I watch the rain drops pounding on the porch roof outside my window and think of people dying.
I’m ten years old my mother is screaming in the other room because my uncles want to take her back to the hospital because she simply refuses to take her medicine, and when they tell her she has to, she uncovers the bottle and pours all the pills down her throat until she chokes – screaming at my uncles when they try to make her cough them up.
The bubbles always remind me of tiny soldiers’ helmets and I watch them come out of the gutter from the upper roof and charge towards the drain leading to the ground below. Rain dropping down on them like bombs, each bubble bursting is a dead man.
Beyond the roof, the trees begin to bud – not green yet, but tiny bits of brown verging on yellow that suggest spring.
I hate this season because my mother hates it, always telling me to watch out for when the cold ends, but she never says why.
Her voices always tell her incomplete things; always warn her about dangers, but never specifically the cause.
So she is always afraid, and so am I.
Everything scares me at times like this, even my breath against the glass – as if I expect to breathe once and see no pale circle and know that I am dead.
One of my uncles opens my door, telling me briefly, not to leave my room, making me feel like I’m being punished for what is going on in the other room.
Then he is gone, leaving me to the falling rain, leaving me to watch the bubbles charging from spout to spout, and wondering which one is me and whether I will make it before the rain bursts me open.
At this point, my mother’s screaming stops.