The NGO cold-hustle meeting went as well as could be expected, “send me some shit via email, I’m incredibly busy you see, maybe later, blahblahblah.” The woman I went to see was on her way out as director, so simply pawned me off to the new guy who was so archetypically HOT, he was a caricature: the British Explorer (which was once upon a time the Colonial Diplomat but has now transformed into the Business Savvy Savior-the Bible and sword is now the resume and the pen-ha!) Think Oliver Steeds, only clean, deliciously clean; I would eat off him in a heartbeat, and (Ah! Me!) he knew it. I don’t think that hurt my chances actually-not that he was AT ALL interested-but only that it sort of rounded out my desperation: “so I have some good ideas and I’ve done some cool shit, but right now I’m really, really hungry, you know?” Yea…he knew.
The meeting happened near a nice local beach, so I used what money I had left to jump in a taxi, pick up the Little One and go back (I had to send a message to my mother to ask her to bring more money to get us home). We had some lovely gal-time for awhile until the sun became to much for her and she started complaining of the heat and of the threat of turning black, my mind locked into the looming office behind me and it’s promises and it’s temptations just out of reach (I could actually see Explorer’s window), I sent her off to go splash in the waves. But she was too scared of the water and instead wandered off way down the shore into the distance. She stood there looking bored, looking back at me, and I earnestly waved my arms trying to signal her to come back but she thought I was insisting she go splash so she stoically ignored me and wouldn’t move.
Suddenly she sprang to life and leapt, no FLEW up the sand dunes in the direction of the restaurants to greet my mother who had just arrived. The feeling of jealousy in the pit of my stomach was like a giant pus bubble bursting, filling the air with its stink. She came running to me along the edge of the beach filled with debris, cans, and broken bottles-Careless and Carefree. When she got to me, all she could breathlessly pant was, “Mukaka”. Apparently, the stench of my pus bubble had a sound, though I could have sworn I was just being concerned:
“Why didn’t you come back when I told you? What if something had happened? Why did you go so far away in the first place and yet you didn’t even go splashing around like I told you and yet you were complaining of being hot???” I was not shouting, just questioning, incessantly. Her shoulders slumped, her eyes dulled and looked at me with something far worse than anger or sadness or even fear; she looked weary and disgusted (how the HELL does an eight year old know what bitching is? AND so WHAT if I WAS?!? I’m the one who is HERE. C-A-R-I-NG!!!) She went mute; my mother was approaching behind her, in the distance, and she kept looking back like, “God, get me out of this!” (How can someone so EAGERLY await a person who will dump them in an office room for six plus hours with nothing but cookies to eat; the same person who forgot you were awake the other morning 15 minutes after you came and greeted her??) I couldn’t help it, I had to go on; this was now worse than the silence; I was now, whining: “Yea. I can see you’re waiting for Mukaka. You think all my questions are tiresome and quarrelsome; well, I’m NOT her (SHUT UP) and I will NEVER be her (PLEASE SHUT UP!!) I am JUST me and this is HOW I am (can you JUST SHUT the FUCK UP!!) I only finally stopped at the arrival of my mother. “So you’re taking her.” I declare, “Wha-to my meeting??” she stumbles, as she freezes in the midst of handing me cab fare, “yea, I can just take a taxi home,” I reply, defiantely grabbing the cash (am I SERIOUSLY trying to test an eight year old?!?) Vannesa gathers her things, looking none too bothered-which BOTHERS ME! My mother is confused but assumes all of this angst is all directed at her. They leaving, I am crying.
I did not learn my lessons from the past, though I arrogantly tried to pass them on. I did not stand my ground, but folded under the weight of my own bitterness; I keep crashing into Vannesa’s Eyeore-like shanty of Peace then going, “Damn, these tornadoes.” But you see, I am both the “foster parent” and the child; I get so caught up in being fucked up, I forget to ask the question: how do I NOT fuck this up?
“It’s all my mother’s fault; it’s all my mother’s fault”, who is signing, me or her? Which is the cause and which is the effect, and where is the Good I was told I was fed? My stomach hurts, but I am too hungry to stop and check what I am eating…