“So Emotional”
by Sarah Bridgins


I had the good fortune of Whitney Houston dying
the week before my mother did.
The soundtrack to my first trip to the hospital
was songs I sang in fourth grade at lunch;
“So Emotional,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,”
“I Will Always Love You.”

My mom hated Whitney Houston’s version of
“I Will Always Love You.”
She said that wasn’t singing, it was shouting.
That just now strikes me as possibly racist.

I still prefer Dolly Parton’s version.

I think only substance abusers fall asleep in the bathtub.

When I was little my dad used to warn me
to be careful in the bathtub because a few times,
my mom almost drowned.

Today I watched Kevin Costner’s eulogy for Whitney Houston.
When he said the line about being
“escorted by an army of angels to your heavenly father,”
I became very emotional.
I was going to make my boyfriend watch it,
but then I got embarrassed at being moved
by Kevin Costner.

Kevin Costner said Whitney Houston made
“God wonder how He created something so perfect.”

My mother was beautiful.

She was not perfect.

I guess neither was Whitney Houston.


Sarah Bridgins is a writer and performer living in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in InDigest, Bone Bouquet, Monkeybicycle, and Pear Noir! among other journals. Visit her online at http://sarahbridgins.blogspot.com/.