I do not like having to turn the TV up when I hear your yelling slipping under my bedroom door and dropping from the vents.
I do not like having to remember where the vacuum is because I know I'll have to use it on the carpet from the glass I just heard smash.
I do not like having to lie to my little sister who's crying, cuddling her puppy, while I tell her it's nothing serious.
I do not like seeing the blinds shift, the windows rattle, and feeling my ears compress a little when the two of you slam your doors over and over again to punctuate your invalid insults to one another.
I hate the temporary silence; knowing the two of you are in separate rooms, watching TV but not really watching TV - just going through the argument in your head, thinking of new things to scream, reloading your guns and getting ready for the next round.
I do not like hearing loud booms and slaps and thuds but no one's voice.
I don't like hearing the hate and bitterness that spews from your mouths, and the venomous, evil things you say about each other, your own children, and each others families.
I don't like the deadbolt on my door being necessary.
I don't like pretending to sleep just so I can convince myself that maybe I eventually can.
I don't like the way the house looks the next morning, because earthquakes don't cause precise holes in the wall like you do; or microwaves ending up in a very different room from where they were once plugged in at... like you do.
I don't like the neighbor's awkward stares and polite waves the next morning while I'm walking down the drive way to pick up the newspaper.
I cannot stand the lack of respect to marriage.
I cannot stand the lack of love.
Dear mom and dad:
- [August 4th, 1995]