Every house has rules.
The rules change as you get older and your folks get tired but before then you get trained to them. Things like
Take off your shoes at the door.
Don't leave your wet towel in the bedroom floor.
Take the medicine and stop complaining.
Sounds simple enough.
But I was never good at following the rules. They always felt too heavy, and too thick to swallow.
But some rules you follow out of sheer damn survival. So yea, I'll take my shoes off at the door because by now I've learned to tread lightly here. Where every creaking floorboard is a cannon fire of disrespect that will make you erupt a salvo of venom I dont have the medicine to heal, and follow it with a silence that only a mortician understands. I have been a dead man in this house before.
I pick up the wet towels out of the bedroom floor no matter how much blood it leaves on the carpet. I didnt mean to spill it there but a man can only clench his fist so hard and grind his teeth until the gum line screams red relief.
But I cant take the medicine, i cant swallow this pill that says "you've got no reason to be diseased. Just wash your face" but this leprosy that gnaw's away my eyelids and makes me stare at my ceiling for hours thinking of the most poetic ways to kill myself doesnt just go away because you disagree with the reason it exists. I'm sorry that your sickness grew in you and metastasized in my brain and now its eating it's way out. But hey there are kids starving somewhere right?
And even though that's the truth it's not a truth you can stand to hear so you say "dont lie" and like a dog that you're responsible for I get beat for scratching the fleas you refused to treat because how dare I itch when you've done so much to care for me.
And yes, I am grateful. Grateful for every blood soaked jacket sleeve. Grateful for every sleepless night.
Grateful for all the kindness, and all the love, and all the dinners, and all the lullabies and all the endless nights of me sobbing and you holding me even if you didnt understand why. Thank you, I dont like your rules. But I do like you. So pardon me while I misbehave