My mother was the beautiful kind of blonde. She went to the same high school as I, but when she was there, it said in the yearbook that Isabella Landon was homecoming queen and voted prettiest girl, which is different from what it says about Isabella Landon now.
Everyone wanted to be my mother except my mother. The morning I turned three my father found her on the bathroom floor, little streams of blood trickling from her wrists. He doesn't like to talk about it.
When I was little I used to make-believe she wasn't dead. In my mind she was only away on an airplane, flying to places she'd never forget, working as a model in Milan, an actress in Paris. I cut out glossy silhouettes of magazine women and Marilyn Monroe. I begged the Hitchcock blonde to look behind her. I pretended she was Grace Kelley, an although I was sad she had left me, I understood she would rather be the princess of Monaco than live with me and dad in upstate Oregon.
Sometimes I was mad at my father. I would sit in his lap and suddenly get angry, saying that if he was more handsome or funnier or better at making lasagna, maybe mom wouldn't have gone so far away. I'd stare straight ahead and think I'd soaked up all the misery in the world while my dad would say 'maybe' in a very low voice.