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The Closer, Minus Kyra Sedgwick

I’m a little dramatic.

Fine.

I’m slightly more than a little dramatic.

But I get it naturally. Like my curly hair.

***

Like most people, my genes have gifted me with plenty of neuroses, emotional proclivities, and—according to a Kroger patron during my senior year of high school—a massive nose. (Actually, he made a racially-insensitive joke and called my nose something else, after which I recall accidentally dropping his Hungry-Man on the muck-caked floor.)

Still, we blunt our less desirable personality traits through a combination of tact, professionalism, and maturity.

But then.

Sometimes.

You find yourself in one of those moments.

When your mind goes blank.

Everything disappears.

And all you feel is unadulterated anger.

***

And that’s when I reached to close the lounge door. Andy looked on somewhat befuddled, while Jessica Fletcher was paused on-screen, mid-conviction. .

I closed the door as much as its settled frame would allow, walked into the dining room, and put the phone back to my ear.

“No, no…you listen.”

And that little phrase became my one-way ticket to that blank, anger-filled place.

On my birthday.

***

Some people say blood is thicker than water. Well, so is syrup, and it’s a whole hell of a lot sweeter. (Yeah, I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean, either. But it really makes me want pancakes.)

What I do know is this: Venom has no course to take through your veins if the snake isn’t close enough to strike. And for far too long, my family has had a snake slithering underfoot, biting us every now and then.

Demanding respect.

Demanding love.

All while doing her best to atrophy our hearts and poison our minds against one another.

And, for a while, she succeeded—everyone around numbed by repeated bites. Until they got their feelings back and started to stray away. Then, zap, in sank her fangs.

But then our lives became our antibodies. She couldn’t hurt us.

But she’d still lash out at whomever she could, spread whatever lies would garner her attention and pity—throw everyone under the bus.

Even family.

***

The Closer finale was the first episode of the series I ever saw. And I still predicted Kyra’s parting gift.

But in the real world, things aren’t often wrapped in neat bows, and there are no consolation prizes. It’s hard to know what’s coming. And endings are rarely finite.

Sometimes, though, they need to be.

So as I cried and shouted and screamed and shook and sweated and barely breathed, I knew that I was in that moment.

The moment I found myself dusting off pages of a chapter I’d long-since written.

And knowing it was the right moment to slam it shut.

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