I had never heard silence quite like the silence I heard the night my brother and father drunkenly decided to steal a bearcat from the local petting zoo. The silence came after my mother stopped with all the yelling and threw an empty glass at the wall. The glass wasn’t coming towards anyone i...
<p>I had never heard silence quite like the silence I heard the night my brother and father drunkenly decided to steal a bearcat from the local petting zoo. The silence came after my mother stopped with all the yelling and threw an empty glass at the wall. The glass wasn’t coming towards anyone in particular, but we all ducked anyway, hands in our hair. The buzz of the fluorescent lamps was gone and stinkbugs and crickets had evicted themselves from the house without giving notice. My mother could make it so that nothing sounded like even more of nothing. Or maybe this silence was all in my head, like in movies when there’s that hollow ringing a solider hears after a grenade goes off next to him.</p>
<p>My mother was often angry with my father, seeing as the man was prone to fucking up, and considering my brother, Dylan, was priming himself to take up our father’s business in fuck-upery. She yelled a lot and wouldn’t share the same bed with the man, but – would you believe it? – she still chose the living room couch even after that night my father robbed a zoo.</p>
<p>My mother’s voice was hoarse by the end. “Can somebody get me a glass of water?”</p>
<p>“What glass do you want?” said my drunk, idiot brother. “There’s Flintstones, or there’s some Disney plastic ones.”</p>
<p>“Does it matter? It’s fucking water,” said my mother while giving the table she was leaning on the death grip.</p>
<p>“This one’s got The Little Mermaid on it,” said Dylan, and he handed my mother the water. She gulped it down and set the plastic cup on the table.</p>
<p>“This might be the most retarded thing you’ve ever done,” my mother remarked.</p>
<p>My father had a bloody Kleenex glued to his face. He squinted one eye closed in an attempt to look inside his beer can. “I don’t think I want to explain myself.”</p>
<p>“You don’t want to explain yourself?”</p>
<p>“Well, when you go to all these lengths to attack me like that, Margret, what good is it now? All you’re doing is hurting people’s feelings.”</p>
<p>My father wore plaid shirts covered in oil stains from the motorcycles he fixed up in his garage. His shirt stretched over his belly like he was pregnant, the buttons barely holding it all together. Couldn’t even find a shirt that fit. Ot...