Edge of Seventeen
She laughed from the doorway. She had friends, or whatever you call someone you're about to play a prank with: calling my mom at midnight, pretending to be an Italian restaurant, did you order the hot pastrami, ma'am?
This prank was taken seriously, in the way a WASP panics when money might be spent unnecessarily.
My sister was, perhaps in that vein, serious about my recovery. She was jealous I weighed 90 pounds, but otherwise unaffected. We shared laughs about food. But deep under the surface, there was a storm she was not ready for. In the way a WASP child learns to suppress their emotions, my sister was already well on her way to being an alcoholic herself, like our mother, earning a gold star for still being functional.
She was still laughing from the doorway, and rushed over to my car, the one I was about to crash on the highway because I didn't check my blind spot. I was oblivious; a teenager without parental guidance because I was yelled at when I tried, for anything at all.
My sister handed me a pad of post-it notes through my car window. On them was written: medicated and motivated.
I had to laugh. But underneath I was experiencing her same fear, the storm that was about to occur: not just on highway 89, but many later endless hospital stays, rehab centers, treatment programs.
We laughed together, but were cringing separately.
As I drove away, I placed the post-it notes on the dashboard. Later that day, after the crash, she would witness me throwing my entire dinner away in the trash; I had failed to be the unnoticed WASP on the wall.
We both suffered that day, but laughing was our tonic. We laughed at the absurdity of our situation, our parents. We always will.
It was a happy moment, because that's as happy as it got when I was seventeen.