Manatease me, brother. Because you like to. Because it’s “our thing,” and having something makes it okay, makes it good. But don’t look at me with glazed eyes, with ocean green irises. Don’t sit in the passenger seat and ask me why I cry because you pop pills. Don’t ask me to spill my heart out to you in line at the Smoothie King. I don’t have it in me.
You thanked me two weeks ago. You said, “Laura, you’ve been like a mother.” I feel like a mother. I feel like I birthed you. I rubbed mom’s pregnant belly and asked when my baby was coming.
When we went kayaking with Aunt Jan in Georgia, the manatee came right up to your paddle, opened it’s mouth around it. You put your hand in the water, said the thing felt like sopping sand paper.
They could become extinct, Matthew. The world could know its last manatee. You tell me while waiting for our mango paradise smoothies that you want to kill yourself. Well, the West Indian Manatees have no natural predators, are like you. You put five blue pills into your mouth every day and swallow.
Don’t ask me why I cry because you pop pills. Don’t tell me that you hate your life because you know that I would jump into the ocean to save a manatee, but I don’t know how to pull you out this time.