I moved my boxes in today. My white Pit Bull, Vito (named that because he looks like an Italian gangster), has had a confused look on his face since we got here. Like Dorothy to Toto, I said, “We’re not in New York City anymore.” Before I could even begin unpacking, my parents called me into the living room to sit down and “talk.” My mother wanted to know how my broken elbow was. But, before she could finish the sentence, my father said, “I think you should take your dog back.”
“Take him back?? To the pound?”
“Whatever. You can’t afford her.”
“It’s a him. He has a name. It’s Vito.”
“Tell me something, you obviously don’t have any idea how to manage your finances, how do you expect to support a dog?”
“They kill dogs like this every day at the pound, because no one wants Pit Bulls.”
“That wasn’t the question I asked you.” At that point, my mother chimed in, “Ivan, please, her arm is broken.”
“That’s nice, Linda, but I asked Myra a question, and I’m still waiting for a response.”
“I’m not taking him back. He’s my dog. And my best friend.” He then started laughing hysterically. I was near tears. He continued – after all, he was on a roll. “You should get a fish. They’re cheaper.” My mother, feigning sadness, couldn’t help but laugh, too. They were both bursting at the seams. I remained stoic, and tried my best to not become the six year old who cries in front of her criticizing dysfunctional parents.
He then said that when it comes to finances, I’m a schmuck. I said that when it came to life, he was a schmuck. He started yelling like crazy, and that was my cue to exit. Vito followed me up to my childhood bedroom.
I sat there and looked around…all the pictures of me – the little girl with big dreams…such hope and anticipation for life as an adult. Oh my God. How long will I have to be here? It’s so quiet out here. Not like the sounds of the city. Where, even if I was poor, broke, and lonely, I was part of something. An energy. A place where it was all happening.
My mother then came into my room, face flushed, quickly closing the door behind her and speaking in hushed tones. She brandishes a ten dollar bill. “Listen to me carefully. I stole this from your father’s wallet. I want you to go on J-Date. You’re a grown woman already. Your dog is like your boyfriend, and that’s not normal, I’m sorry. Give up on poems, or whatever you do. You need to find a husband who can support you. Please. Please, Myra. I beg of you. Do it for me. Okay?” I just looked at her and nodded. She left, and I stared at the pink walls of my room.
Vito is asleep on my lap. Even he knows it’s downhill from here. I see the outdated computer against the wall. I go to it and turn it on. Not to go on J-Date, but to find out how to create a blog. Because, I wonder how many of you have crazy parents too.