I am Wren. I was born on a bus. That’s what my mother tells me. But she was also on so many drugs when she had me that I don’t know what she remembers correctly and what she invented in her delirious, maddened state.
She named me Wren Robin Finch Nightingale. My mother shares that last name with me, but she never needed to carry around the weight of three other birds along with it. I still can’t believe that she was allowed to decide what to legally name me when she was clearly strung out on more substances than I know how to name.
The point is, whether I like it or not, I am Wren. My mother is a drug addict. My father is a truck driver who gave her a lift and shared a hotel room with her for a night. He fed her. She says he was a nice man. I guess that makes me feel better about it. The fact that she doesn’t remember his name doesn’t.
She doesn’t do drugs anymore, mind you. She got clean after I was born. But she goes to meetings every day and she knows that she will never lose the track marks on her arms just as the craving for something to lift her up will never leave her either. She reminds me that because I have her genes, I’m most likely an addict too. Even though I’m only fifteen and I’ve never even tried a puff of a cigarette.
I am Wren, and today I am getting on a bus and going to visit my aunt for the first time. My mom finally got the courage to friend her on Facebook, and they renewed their relationship. My aunt wants to meet me, and I guess I want to meet her, but I’m not sure about spending the whole of spring break at her house in California.
My mother and I live in Las Vegas, and spring break is a good business time. My mom has two jobs – she reads Tarot cards at night and is a dealer at a casino during the day. She only does the Tarot reading three nights a week, but now that I’m going to be gone, she’s going to be working as many shifts as she can so that during the summer she can afford to take time off and then we can both go and visit my aunt.
But for now it’s only me. Wren. Leaving my mother for the first time in my life. Leaving Nevada for the first time. Flying away from the nest for the very first time. I’m terrified. I’m excited. I’m terrified.