I need a haircut.

My hair is too long. The bangs are dropping into my eyes and it’s taking too much time to fix in the mornings.

I’ve just spent the weekend moving all my worldly goods from the house into the apartment I was afraid I wasn’t going to get. The apartment people called me late Friday to let me know that I could come in the next day to sign the lease and take possession of the apartment. I boldly asked my father if we could use his truck to move the furniture. I was shocked when he actually said yes. My brother-in-law, my little brother, little sister, mother and I moved our furniture, clothes and etceteras from one place to another on Saturday and Sunday. I have muscle aching that I never even knew I owned.

The apartment is a nice little two bedroom, two bath place that’s more spacious than I expected. And, thankfully, our stuff doesn’t make it seem like it’s to cramped. I’m glad we seem to have found something we could live with.

And I need to color my hair. I think the roots are about an inch thick now and it’s starting to look too tacky. Of course, if I get my hair cut back into the original cut, with about a good inch off the bangs and tapered around my face, then the dark roots will just make the cut look fashionably fake.

My car is acting up in ways that make me worried. It’s making this little rattling noise that gets worse when I accelerate. It’s still stalling big-time. The car seems to be heating up way too fast for comfort, especially considering the overheating incident a few weeks ago. And the AC is on the fritz. It’s almost enough to make me take public transportation. Except that I like in Pasadena, and there isn’t public transport to work or any other relevant place.

Somehow, the thought that my hair needs to be cut, is comforting. A little slice of normal in the middle of all of this chaos. a mundane thing to do, an everyday day concern to preoccupy my thoughts.

My mother seems to be better, even though I think that’s she into denial mode. She won’t talk about what happened, and there is a part of me that’s thankful for that. I can’t stand knowing what happened, can barely bring myself to think about it and acknowledge it. There’s even a selfish part of me that just wants to blame her for it because that would just make things so much easier. Which is stupid, really, since I know from personal experience that my father can be a first-class bastard without ever really trying.

What do you do when you have to be the parent? When I was small I took control of my sisters. It wasn’t even really my choice. My mom didn’t drive, doesn’t drive, and wouldn’t even go out to the grocery store without my father. So my sisters and I would go to the corner store and do all the little things that needed to get done. As soon as I was old enough I started making the phone calls for my mom. To the light company, the telephone company, the schools. I learned how to cook and clean and make sure that my sisters were taken care of because Mom would go after my dad to wherever he happened to be working that week and I would have to make sure we were okay while she was gone. Now here I am again, doing the same old song and dance.

I’m going to have to go on a budget, like it or not. Unfortunately, no on in my family has ever been good at saving money or living on a strict budget. Looks like we’ll all have to learn.

My little sister asked me if I realize the commitment I’ve made by moving in with our mother, or rather by moving our mother in with me. I know. This means that I will be responsible for her forever. she never was very good at taking care of herself. She was almost good at taking care of us, but miserable when it came to taking care of herself. Which, when you think about it, makes perfect sense. It explains why she stayed married to him all those years. It explains why he always felt he could treat her any way he wanted. And it explains why her daughters were always so hell-bent on living without needing anyone.

My longest relationship was 8 months long. And it wasn’t even serious. Looking back, I can say clearly that I’ve never been in a serious relationship. Sad statement for someone my age.

I don’t want to have to call the telephone company to get a phone number. And I don’t want to have to call the light company to have electricity turned on, in my name, in my apartment. I don’t want to have to talk to my mechanic and try to find out why my car is still broken when he said that it was fixed. And I don’t want to be the strong one for my family, knowing what to way and when to say it.

I want someone to sit down with me, hold me tight and tell me that everything’s going to be fine. And I want to hear those words in a voice I can trust, with a determined note, like it’s true. And I want someone to handle things for me, to make my phone calls and figure out how the bills are going to get paid next month and how my little brother is going to get to and from school every single day. I want someone to take care of me. Is that so wrong?

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/palomacruz) and (Facebook).

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