I have come to understand that my role in this family is to be the toilet.
It’s my job to eat the shit and keep it down.
Sometimes my sister comes over and pretends to be interested in my life. But when I just tell her about the shit I have eaten in the last three days — like my brother jerking me around on a phone he asked for that I not only had to do all the work on, but also had to babysit his kids to get the chaos away from my parents, right after I pushed my mother a half mile though a plaza, shop with her, then negotiate when she wanted my father to come in and he was too zonked from pills and bad hip, as just one example — she blanches and goes all chokey.
Of course, she eats shit too; that is the role of a retail manager, to be consumed by demands from bosses, customers and staff. That’s why adding mine is just too much. She does try, though; my brother is consumed with demands from his family, agrivating his Attention Defecit Disorder.
I started seeing the shit when I was very, very young. And very quickly I was taught that when I saw shit I had to eat it; my father didn’t understand, and my mother just liked to sit in her own filth, as she tells me even today when she works to guilt me into eating her shit about resisting the responsibility to get up to pee, for example.
Eat the shit. Like the shit of my own nature, as “stupid” as it is (“Stupid” was my nickname in the family until Seventh grade when the shrink told them to stop.)
I am the cesspool, the septic system, the sewage eater.
And who the hell likes a toilet?