Welcome Home, Son

by writeorbust

I have a picture of Neil in the family album sleeping on our couch when he was a video game playing, backwards baseball cap wearing kid of thirteen. He wasn’t family, but a lot of neighborhood kids have made it into that album over the years by hanging around enough to achieve quasi-family status. A few years later on, when Neil dropped out of the world of expectations and took up the nomadic lifestyle of the chronic ganja smoking hacky sacker, we all wished him luck. We saw him only a few times after that, times he showed up unexpectedly for Thanksgiving dinner smoking a fat blunt and sorely in need of a bed, bath ... and beyond. As I passed the stuffing, I asked about his parents, and he told me he hadn’t seen them in years, wasn’t exactly what you'd call welcome there. Neil was killed last year by a train in Auburn CA, walking down the tracks with his headphones on just before Thanksgiving; the obit said his body was brought back east for a private family funeral.

6S

writeorbust, author of Wait Until Your Mother Works Here, lives in Pennsylvania with a rotating cast of cats and family members. She writes short stories, poetry, and plays on the backs of envelopes. A few have made into print and production.