TROSA Thrift Store
things mama taught me that mostly are true
one. don’t ever trust someone who’s talking to you from across a counter. this is because sometimes the pet store lady will tell you the guinea pig your mama bought for a classroom pet is definitely not female, but then when it is female after all you end up with a mess of wood chips and half-eaten babies. and then tanya with the braids who you’ve been trying to be friends with all year will say that’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen but she will look at you when she says it like you’re the most disgusting thing and now she’ll never be your friend, ever, and she’ll make lisa and courtney start calling you guinea pig girl which is mean without even being clever, which just makes the whole thing worse.
two. never spend money on something you can get for free. like, i get free piano lessons on saturday from the music teacher at school by promising to clean her boards twice a week. and mom takes me to a consignment store up the street every thursday afternoon to practice, and every thursday afternoon mom runs her fingers across the scratched wooden top of the piano while I do my scales and tells the salesperson, we’re still thinking about this one. but when I see a t-shirt I like on a rack on the way to the bathroom and stick it in my backpack, mom makes me take it back the next day because not paying for something isn’t the same thing as stealing.
three. don’t believe everything your teachers say but do be nice to them because they make peanuts for pay and almost no one has a job as hard. still, i’m just twelve and my mind needs to be enriched, not stuffed in a corner all day long doing multiplication tables which is why its important to ask questions even if they sound rude like why are we making pilgrim hats on thanksgiving instead of tombstones for all the native americans we slaughtered so we could grow corn?
four. everyone deserves a second chance. though i’m not exactly sure what mom means by everyone. like, is the lady at the pet store an exception? and maybe mom’s boyfriends don’t deserve second chances either but I will have to ask her about that because this is what she calls a gray area. still, i know drug addicts for sure get second chances and also mamas who just one time forget your birthday and also maybe that fifth grade teacher who smacked a kid in the face for calling her a cunt. i know she's an adult and she should control herself but she had pretty hair and a pretty smile and now she’ll never be my afterschool teacher again and will probably spend the rest of her life working at a bank.
five. you don’t know how much time you have left. i for sure know this one is true on account of that boy who worked at the baskin robbins up the street, the one with the red hair who sometimes put extra ice cream on my scoop and sometimes walked past our apartment on his way home from work. he got hit by a car last week and now he’s dead. i know cause i heard the sirens and then i read about it in the news. and now there’s a little white cross and a bunch of flowers and a brown teddy bear on the corner where he got hit and it makes me think of how things disappear and you just don’t ever know where they’ve gone, things like ideas and the words to songs and the summer days when you could still go outside with your shirt off and also what your papa’s face looked like when he smiled at you and also your mama’s hair when she comes home with it all cut off and you don’t know why but when you see it, you just can’t stop crying.