The day before my mother disappeared, at the age of sixteen, I went into the kitchen, took out all the six packs, and carted them outside to the driveway. It was a warm late summer afternoon. My mother, with her small frame and fragile bones, with her dark brown hair and glassy eyes full of infinite unreachable distances, watched fearfully from the window as I proceeded to shatter the bottles, one by one, on the hot tar.
In my teens I used to tell people that my mother died of cancer. I did that because it’s easier than to say that she was just gone. It is easier than to say that one day she went out into the fog and never returned. It’s easier than to say that she left me standing there on the lawn, methodically shattering brown bottles on the driveway, my heart filled with bitter resignation, watching with strange wonderment as the pavement was transmuted into a river of foam.