I tell Momma dat I'm about ta git a shower n' she says, "Don't take all the warm water." I smile n' say, "I won't."

'Cause we only gots one bathroom now, I's gotta make an announcement when I'm gunna be in dur for awhile. I'm basically a tellin' her if she's gotta take a dump in da next twenty minutes, she's, well, shit outta luck. 'Less she wants ta do it in an empty coffee can or sumptin'.

I grabs me a towel n' a washcloth from da mini-closet n' den I make muh way inta da bathroom. Everythang be red: da curtains, da rug, even da daggum toilet seat. Ain't like we obsessed wit da color or nuthin'— It's jus' whut people gave us.

After I sets da towel and da washcloth own da bathroom counter, I closes da door. Now I be starin' at a reflection of muh handsum self. Too bad I favor muh ol' man so much. Gots his thick curly hair n' his big bushy eyebrows n' even his daggum rabbit teeth. It's like I cain't 'scape him no matter how much time 'n distance is put 'tween us. All I got's ta do is look in a mirrer n' dur he be.

It's about as cold in hur as a witch's cunt (an old sayin' from muh daddy). Goosebumps are jus' a poppin' up all over muh skin as I git undressed. I'd try n' be a leetle more detailed n' all but I ain't wantin' nobody picturin' me naked. Dough I guess I could always tell a fib n' say sumptin' about muh nine-inch pecker. Say dat I almost step own it or sumptin'. But nah, I's a humble feller.

Suddenly da heater rumbles ta life and scares da shit outta me. I ain't never realized how loud dat sucker is. Kinda reminded me of an enjun, like one of dem diesel trucks or sumptin'. I ain't wantin' ta thank 'bout dat, dough. Brings back an unpleasant feelin'.

I takes awf muh glasses n' put 'em own da counter n' den I slide open da shower door. Evidently I forgit 'bout muh big strawng muscles or sumptin', 'cause dat motherhumper breaks. I mean, it don't shatter or nuthin'; but Momma's gunna freak when she sees da Grand Canyon crack I jus' made in da glass. Oh well, guess dat's whut ya git for livin' in a shitty ass apartment.

I turns own da hot water n' da shower starts a makin' a hell of a racket as da pipes start a bangin' n' a groanin' behind da wall. Sounds like a daggum monster or sumptin'. Afta a leetle bit da racket stops n' da nozzle screams all high-pitched n' womanlike as a spurt of water comes rushin' out. N' since dur's so much red in da room, it's like da water reflects awf dat junk n' makes it look like blood. Like my motherhumpin' shower's got its period or sumptin'. Dang— it gives me da heebie-jeebies!

I waits a leetle bit, 'til da mirrer gits all foggy, den I twist da knob fur cold water 'til I git da tempture jus' right. Den I step in n' slide shut da newly-cracked door. After lettin' da warm water beat down own muh shoulders for a bit, I grabs me a bottle of shampoo n' dump a big ol' gob inta muh hand.

As I's workin' da shampoo into a lather, I guess I hit da bottle wit muh elbow or sumptin', 'cause dat sucker drops like a fifteen-pound dumbbell. I jus' stand hur lookin' down at it. I could've sworn it shook da whole dang bathroom.

I bends down n' picks it up. I ain't got no idea why it made such a boom. Da bottle's half empty.

I go back ta washin' muh hair.

At least nowadays I can git a shower in peace. Jus' a few months ago I'd be stickin' muh head out da shower curtain every leetle bit ta make sure Momma whun't a screamin' in pain or bein' harassed or sumptin' else real bad. Now I can jus' stand hur n' relax n' meditate n' stuff. Showers provide me good thankin' time. Sumtimes I find myself jus' a daydreamin' so much I forgit if I even washed myself or not. A few snifferoos of da ol' armpits will usually tell, dough.

Suddenly I hear a hard knock–knock–knock own da bathroom door. Guess Momma's really gotta do a number two.

"I'm a washin' muh hair!" I shout. Guess she hurs me cuz dur ain't no more knocking.

Diss one bathroom stuff really sucks. Muh ol' house had three bathrooms. Ya could take a shower or shit anytime ya needed.

But muh ol' house had a bunch of stuff dat diss hur apartment ain't got. A yawd, for instance.

See, Momma n' I moved hur 'bout three months ago. We used ta live in diss leetle ol' town called Polkville. It's a lot like it sounds, too. One of dem one-stoplight towns wit lots of pastures n' trees n' stuff. I'd lived dur pretty much muh whole life. But all dat's jus' memories now.

Ya see, Momma n' Daddy got separated. It wuzn't one of dem mutual deals, either. It wuz one of dem survival deals. Fight or flight type stuff. N' it's all because muh daddy had a new lover. A big nasty bitch named Crystal Meth. Dough her friends call her "Speed" or "Crank." All I knows she's a home-wrecker.

It'd take me awhile ta tell da whole story, so hur's a fast-forwarded version:

Muh daddy used ta have his own tree service. N' by tree service I mean dat he cut 'em down for money. He'd climb up in doze trees like a dang monkey or sumptin' n' go whir-whirrin' around up dur wit dat heavy chainsaw n' a buncha other crap. It wuz purdy cool ta watch.

Well, one day Daddy had an accident. A big ass limb from farther up in da tree crashed down own top of his noggin. Thank da Lord he wuz a wearin' a hard hat or it probably wood've killed him.

Now Daddy's one tuff sumbitch. It took him several days of grittin' pain ta ever give in n' go ta da doctor. Dey told 'im he should have sum surgery ta take out da chipped bone spurs or whatever dey wuz called. Dat's da only thang dat'd stop da pain. But Daddy's jus' as stubborn as he is tough. He said screw da surgery; it'd heal own its own.

So Daddy started a poppin' dem extra-strength Tylenols like dey wuz M&Ms or sumptin'. But dat over-da-counter crap whun't good 'nuff. Den one of Daddy's employees said he could git muh daddy sum stuff dat'd really work.

Ya know in all dem cartoons n' stuff, dey got dat leetle bitty snowball dat starts a barrelin' down da hill? Like it gits bigger n' bigger 'til it's rollin' over peoples n' destroyin' towns n' dat kinda stuff? Well, dat's pretty much whut happened ta muh daddy. He started ta git all paranoid. Stayin' up all night, lookin' out da winders. He swore up n' down dat dey wuz people in da woods. N' like a dumbass I believed 'im, too. It whun't 'til he started seein' full-blown tanks in our front yawd dat I realized sumptin' whun't right.

Momma wuz a thankin' he'd dun got dat schizophrenia disease like in dat A Beautiful Mind movie. But den one day Momma found diss leetle baggy filled widda buncha white stuff. She hid it from muh daddy n' he got madder den a rattlesnake n' grabbed 'er by da throat. Dat wuz da first time he'd ever hurt 'er. Wish I could say it wuz da las'.

Da paranoia jus' got worser n' worser. Daddy started sayin' he saw guys crawlin' in n' out dur bedroom winder. Started accusin' Momma of screwin' every man in da county. He'd call Momma a slut n' a whore n' a cum bag n' a buncha other bad stuff. Daddy'd hit her, too. N' choke her. Slap her. Threaten ta kill 'er. All 'less she confessed ta cheatin' own him, which she couldn't do since she whun't a cheatin' ta begin wit.

N' jus' ta make it clur, 'case it ain't already, I ain't sum pussy dat'd jus' stand 'round wit muh thumb up muh butt while sumbody's pickin' own muh momma . I'd git up in his face n' tell him not ta touch her or else I'd be all over him like butter own cornbread. Ya need ta see muh daddy, too— he's a good four-five inches taller den me. But I didn't care if he wuz Arnold f'n Schwarzenegger. Nobody messes wit muh momma n' gits away wit it!

I kept tellin' Momma dat we needed ta git gawn while we still could, but she never wood 'cuz dey'd been married for so doggone lawng. We put up wit da abuse for three lawng years, 'til one night muh daddy cranked up his chainsaw right dur n' da livin' room n' threatened ta turn muh momma inta "tamater soup" 'less she finely confessed ta cheatin' own him. Dat wuz da lawngest, worsest night of muh life. Afta lawts of screamin' n' cryin' thangs finally settled down 'bout five in da mornin'.

Da next day me n' Momma started a packin' up our stuff n' takin' it ta Maw-Maw's. Had ta do it all . . . uh, discreetly? Dat da right word? I thankso. Anyways, 'bout a week after da whole 'tamater soup' thang, we gots our chance ta get outta dur, n' we jumped own it like a nigger own a white gurl (anuther of muh daddy's sayins).

Dat wuz 'bout three months 'go. After stayin' wit Maw-Maw for a leetle bit we got diss hur apartment. We only 'bout . . . I don't knows, an hour or so from da ol' house, but Momma wuzn't wantin' ta move no farther. She took out a restrainin' order own muh daddy, but ain't no piece of paper gunna keep 'im away. I'm always a listenin' for da rumble of his diesel truck 'case he comes a pullin' up outside. So far we been lucky.

Whoa, I's takin' a shower! I be damned if I hadn't totally forgot. It's dat daydreamin' stuff I's talkin' 'bout earlier. I take a couple of sniffs of da ol' armpits n' yep— dey smell like soap 'stead of da boy's locker room. I thank it's amazin' how yo're mind can jus' wander awf n' leave yo're body behind. Guess it's kinda like doze spooky movies whur da zombie loses its head but keeps own a walkin'.

My water's gettin' a leetle bit chilly now so I hurrys up n' wash da conditioner out. Den I turn awf da water n' get outta da shower. Da breathin' of da vent has stopped. It be cold as death up in hur. I gits muh towel n' start dryin' awf real fast. Ain't wantin' ta git da hypothermia.

Dat's anuther thang I hates 'bout diss hur apartment: it's always a freezin'. I feels like I'm one of dem eskimos people or sumptin'. Dough I thank I 'member hearin' dat dem igloo thangs are actually purdy wurm own da inside, so maybe dat ain't a good comparison. Be like comparin' gun powder ta peanut butter.

I know it probly sounds like I bitch a lot 'bout diss hur apartment, but I jus' miss muh ol' house. N' muh ol' school. N' muh ol' life. I even miss muh daddy, even dough he ain't da same man he used ta be. I cain't help but love him. I jus' hope n' pray dat he finds da strength inside 'imself ta overcome his demons n' return ta his ol' self. Den we can all forgit 'bout deeze last few years n' go back ta da way thangs used ta be. I sure wood like dat.

Dangit, I forgots muh change a clothes! I put own muh glasses n' den I wrap da wet towel 'round muh waist ta hide dat nine-inch pecker I's talkin' 'bout earlier. I step out in da hall n' it be even colder out hur. I swear, muh nipples be stickin' out like da beaks own a bird. I's shiverin' like crazy.

I call out ta Momma dat I'm outta da shower but she don't say nuttin' back. Guess she fell asleep own da couch watchin' Dukes of Hazard.

I hurry inta muh room n' quickly git dressed . . .

Dat feels much better.

"Hey, Momma," I shout; "I'm outta da shower now!"

Still no reply. I 'member she came a knockin' real hard own da door while I wuz in da shower.

I walk own towards da livin' room. Everythang be quiet. I cain't even hear da TV. Sumptin' ain't right. I's can feel it.

"Muh-muh-Momma?" Muh gawddang voice cracks n' dat ol' familiar feelin' comes rushin' back. Muh tummy's tight as a virgin's coochie (yet anuther sayin' of muh daddy's).

As I nears da corner, I can sees Momma's feet own da livin' room floor, like she be layin' own da carpet or sumptin'. I quickly turn da corner n' go runnin' in dur n' den I stop right away at what I sees.

Layin' face first own da floor is muh momma. Da carpet n' da couch n' da lamp n' da walls n' every goddang thang is jus' a covered in blood. Da room starts a spinnin' as I looks down at her n' da huge gash dat's torn 'cross her back. Lookin' at it's like lookin' down into da Grand Canyon or sumptin', 'cept everythang be made outta meat n' blood.

Da next thang I know I'm bent over n' muh supper of spam n' pinto beans is a spillin' out of muh mouth and ownto da floor. I raise myself back up n' wipe muh mouth n' den I feels it— something against my shoulder. It's like— I don't know— a big ol' zipper or sumptin'.

I reels 'round ta find a man behind me— a man wit muh thick curly hair n' muh big bushy eyebrows. He rests da end of da chainsaw own his shoulder n' den he smiles at me wit his big rabbit teeth n' says, "Howdy, son."

Muh heart feels like it's about ta beat outta muh gosh darn chest. I cain't believe diss is happenin'!

I starts backin' up real fast, but I ends up trippin' over muh' momma's dead body. Daddy ain't actin' like he wants ta harm me, dough. He drops da chainsaw n' den he sits down own da couch, grinnin' all big. His eyes're all wild, like dey belongs to a rabid dawg or sumptin'.

Right 'bout dat time da heater kicks own— n' jus' like dat, everythang makes sense. Da rumblin' sound it wuz a makin' in da bathroom earlier, I'd knowed it wuz too gosh darn loud. It'd sounded jus' like muh daddy's diesel truck, but I'd thought huh-uh, cain't be! I guess da racket of da pipes musta done covered up da roarin' of Daddy's chainsaw. I'd even heard muh momma screamin', but like a daggum retard I jus' thought it wuz da shower nozzle. When Daddy came a knockin' own da bathroom door, he wuz probably spectin' one of Momma's lovers ta answer.

All diss done happened while I's takin' a stoopid shower— too caught up in da past ta realize what wuz a goin' own in da present. Now Momma's dead— I even felt da thud of her body when I dropped dat bottle of shampoo dat wuz half empty. I coulda stopped it, dough! I coulda saved her! 'Stead muh daddy had found us jus' like he promised. He'd finally 'ceeded in turnin' Momma inta "tamater soup."

Da mawnster goes own a grinnin', ramblin' own 'bout how "da bitch got what she deserved." He don't pay no 'tention ta me as I pick up da phone n' dial 911, sobbin' n' a screamin'.