Birthday Lunch

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

I was supposed to go my mothers house for lunch today

Only

I really didn’t want to

It was supposed to be a celebration

A celebration for me

I was turning 29

Somewhere between young and old

Somewhere between birth and death

I would’ve preferred going to a restaurant for lunch

Neutral territory

But nope

I was headed to her castle

She had the advantage there

She had the high ground

If I spoke my mind

If I expressed what I was really feeling

If I told the truth

She would kick me out

And

I’d ruin her lunch

No one wanted that drama

And boy could she be dramatic

She would make me pray before eating

She expected me to pretend I wanted to participate in the chanting of these magic words

We would all hold hands

Close our eyes

Bow our heads

And someone would say a few magic words

I stopped bowing my head and closing my eyes years ago

I didn’t understand why she made others participate in this

Why couldn’t she pray to herself?

Why did I have to be asked to play along with her delusions?

She knew how I felt

She knew where I stood

We had argued many many times

Ever since I was a little kid

I questioned her God

She expected me to play along anyways

This didn’t seem fair

Like a lack of respect

She didn’t care what I believed in

It didn’t matter

I’d be in her house

Her territory

Pretending to talk to her God

I didn’t care if she practiced her magic in front of me

I just didn’t want to be asked pretend to believe what she believed

Why couldn’t we do our own thing?

The people that wanted to pray

They would bow their own heads

Close their own eyes

And chant their own magic words

And I could eat

I wanted to say something

‘Chester, what do you want for your birthday this year?’

‘I want to go to a restaurant, have a drink and not be asked to fake it.’

‘To fake what?’

‘To fake it all.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘I don’t want to pretend to pray.’

This is where the drama would start

Just by being honest

Just by respecting my own beliefs

My own mind

But no

If I said this

She would take it personal

It’d be like I punched her in the gut

She’d probably cry

And I’d sit there

They’d say that I was ungrateful

disrespectful

She made all this food

And made us gather at her house

And I didn’t appreciate it.

Such bullshit

I really didn’t care what she believed in

I just didn’t want to be asked to join

That was fair, wasn’t it?

I’d never ask her to pretend that she didn’t believe what she believed

So why should she ask me to fake it?

To fake it for her sake?

Why did she always have to push her beliefs onto me?

I didn’t do that to her

I knew why she did

She thought I’d burn in hell if I didn’t fake it

And

She couldn’t stand the idea of her least favorite child burning in hell

‘Just chant your magic words to yourself

And understand

I’m on my own journey

I have my own beliefs

My own way of thinking

Don’t force me to do anything I don’t believe in

Because

I think that’s fuckeed up

Forcing others to practice your religion

It’s cruel

It’s not right

You can pray for me

Just don’t pray with me’

I wish I could say this

But instead

I’ll fake it

Fake it all

I’ll pretend I want to be there

I’ll pretend like I care

I’ll pretend like the magic words mean something

I’ll pretend to laugh

I’ll pretend to be happy

I’ll pretend that it’s a fun celebration of another year for me on this small spinning rock that we are all temporarily stuck on together

If she ever reads my writings

She might write me out of her will

Oh well

I never cared about her money

The money she now has from her new husband

I remember growing up broke as shit

With her getting drunk on wine every night

Clothes from goodwill

Food donations from the church

We got by

Somehow

And she hated being poor

Being middle class now definitely suited her

If she ever respected me

Then we might be able to have a relationship

But for now

I’ll be the fake son she wishes she had.

Happy birthday to me.







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