Every evening ma would sit me on a stool, run her fingers lovingly through my hair, brushing with gentle downward strokes as she sipped from her bottle of Jack Daniels.
She would tell me about my daddy, “Your daddy was the devil incarnate, raped me at fourteen behind Jed’s liquor store, would have been alive today if yer grandma hadn’t found him with her shotgun.”
She would continue ranting and raging, till her anger abating she would return to brushing my hair with those gentle downwards strokes, ” You are my little angel, my little angel, think I’ll put a pink ribbon in your hair tomorrow, would you like that “
Mornings as ma struggled to dress and out the door to work, grandma would visit, arching her eyes while staring at me with that funny look, asking if she could fix me some eggs for breakfast.
There came a morning when grandma came over to cook me breakfast and ma was still in bed, so grandma went in the bedroom to wake her and came out with a sorrowful expression.
” Your ma’s dead, guess you’re with me now and first thing we gotta do is cut that hair and make you look more like the boy your ma never wanted, she crossed the line in raising you.”