calendars (Samhain)

My mom always kept a very plain calendar in the kitchen by the microwave, insisting that she was the only one who could mark events on it- no matter how important or necessary. She’d had this month crisscrossed with dates, mostly appointments at various clinics that Mom often dragged me to in order to see if the latest quack cure or fad diet would ‘cure’ whatever unnamed ailment I ‘had’ at the time, but a few ordinary events like a friend’s birthday and trash day were hidden among the scrawls and spider web-like patterns connecting all the doctor days.

“Samhain? Are you okay, honey?” Mom asked offhandedly, mussing my already-unkempt hair and walking off to do some other chore around the house. Mom never was one to be helping with homework, anyways, always playing the “I’m not good at homework” excuse whenever I asked her to confirm that I’d gotten a complicated answer right.

“Yeah, I’m just fine, Mom.” But Mom didn’t acknowledge my answer, instead opting to turn on the vacuum cleaner and go over the already-clean hardwood floor. “Nice to know you care…”

Yesterday, Argentina had driven me home from school, having just gotten out of her test retake that she’d had to stay after and noticing that I was the only one left waiting in the nearing-winter temperatures. Sure, the leaves were still falling off of the trees, but the majority of them had already provided the layer that’d end up choking the grass underneath when the snow came. Nobody bothered to rake up the leaves, especially the holier-than-thou “charity workers” from church who were too busy screaming about the Starbucks cups to live up to their promises of beautifying the neighborhood. The teachers at school were hypocritical, anyways- screaming about how they were “oppressed” because the infamous red cups didn’t have Merry Christmas emblazoned on them anymore, but insisted on praying in class even when students complained to the counselors that the intrusive displays of religion made them uncomfortable. But for all of their talk about how “righteous” they were, they still didn’t close school down on Thanksgiving, leading to Argentina choosing to break her dad’s rule about not letting me into her van in order to fulfill my parents’ request to drive me the long way home instead of letting me freeze in the cold.

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