Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Memory Quest—Episode 4


At this point if I skip a night I'll be able to say I lost my writing streak. 

This day. So long, too long. My afterlife was hijacked before I took my first breath. Indoctrination is a curiously powerful practice. 

I'm queer. I had a difficult time trying to keep it all hidden before I WD-40ed the closet door. So there's no backtracking now. 

My culture's god would break me to the point of self-destruction, would rob me of my firstborn trans son, would devour the trans woman who has and does create space for me where I can heal. There is no space for me in my culture's hereafter. 

I choose to keep and show my love. I choose to stand by my queer children just as I sacrifice for the two that are straight. I am tired of being judged. I know my faults, where my guilt is still thick black pitch. I've got things to fix. 

My moral dilemma is this: Do I resign, finally, if only to be free of the connection? Or do I stay covert, a nonparticipant, who benefits from all sorts of genealogical resources and freebies by keeping my name on the records? Those are factors weighing on me. 

I've said for the longest time that if they wanted me out they'd have to find me and excommunicate my unbreakable ass, but maybe once was enough. My partner says stay for the sake of using the system. She thinks I'd make a great mole.

I cried to my therapist for half my session. You don't know how much a piece of your identity means to you until you're being told that your culture's God is more concerned that it be rooted out than, say, doing something meaningful in the realms of eliminating poverty, hunger, and homelessness.

I glory in my Jesus, and I'm hard pressed to find him these days in "The Church of."

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Memory Quest—Episode 3

The number three is meaningful. From three there is somewhere to go. It's not just one, or the ambiguous pairing of two. Three is when you know there's increase in your investment. It's like a sprouting bean and her shy twist-about heavenward tendrils going. Somewhere.

I'm at midlife, as this particular jam is regularly called and often as a modifier, as in the term: midlife crisis.

I've no interest in a long life. I worry about cremation costs. I worry about my youngest child and where he'd end up. Other than that I have no intention of reaching 88. Needing welfare checks. Not the paper sort. A public courtesy of one going round to the back door of the house.

I really do believe that graves should be free.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Memory Quest: Episode 2


I can't give you exact proportions, but most of it, a good lot of it at least, isn't true. Your identity wobbles about based on fact and what are incomplete truths as reported by those who look to discern. People can be wrong. That's one of the best qualities I think they possess. Who cares when they're getting it right? When they're getting it wrong, that's where the story takes place. That's what matters.

I'm looking to adopt a herd of grounding behaviors, but probably I'll just think about being grounded. I'll limit my cigarette usage, but without the intention of quitting. I will make breakfast and dinner for my youngest son. He is now the age I was when my parents divorced. I am the age my father was when my mother had him evicted. This is usually where I float through a gray layer of fog/smoke and I can make up anything I want to fill the painful holes, but I'm not grounded enough to look at that layer of my life yet.

I sometimes tell stories that require laughter, the dark flavor, during the delivery. I have to laugh at the absurdity, or the narrative is black and distasteful. 

I catch scents. I lose my mind.

My mother is dead to me. My mother is dead to me. A mother is a fleeting wish and for me that wish is gone.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Memory Quest: Episode 1

Because I thought to write, everything else is tugging at my attention. The furnace filter, my bladder, discussion of my son's boyfriend's musical taste, shopping at Walmart.

I've heard it said that a memory revisited is a memory forever altered. Which seems to imply the memoir has power to change the past. If only it could. Perhaps the memory means each step we take forward is a step into truth.

I'm melodramatic, if not histrionic. I reread my written snippets and become overwhelmed by the weight of my word choices. This is how I am perceived. I would apologize, perhaps if that's what you're asking for.

My therapist urges me to take back the narrative. It offers me empowerment, she says. To thine own self be true.

These are words. I've written. The outside presses in. At some point I'll be back.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Not a beginning, again.


I'm all blundered up.

Teetering toward the totter. Mistaken. Muddled in midlife. The girl I was at 17. The boy I was at 5. All the persons I've been before, between, and everyone I'll ever become. Mixed up in the mess of human potential that I think may have been determined before my parents ever had sex to try and make a baby.

This isn't a start (at least that's what I'm telling myself in order to write). It's like picking up a book you've read halfway, turning to the dog-eared page, and trying to remember where the plot was headed when you last left off. I won't tell you how many unpublished drafts happened between then and now. Writing is more challenging for me than before for myriad reasons. The weightiest of those is starting and then committing to the fall all the way to the bottom of the cliff without reaching for a branch to catch myself and climb back to the safety of the ledge. Friends, family, therapists, anyone who matters, all say jump. And here I am—a sucker for peer pressure.

I'm writing.

My biggest fear is reproach, which didn't become a problem for my writing until four years ago when suddenly, because of my husband's stroke, my readership spiked and I felt trapped beneath a magnifying glass of expectation. That was rough, and I don't think I'm over it.

But I should clarify. I'm as human as they come. I'm not hoisting myself as any sort of paradigm. Every time I sit to try and put words on a screen/paper it's an attempt to work through the puzzle of my own human nature and a negotiation of surrounding conditions. There is nothing here to judge, although, I suppose criticism is an unavoidable variable in putting naked work in the open. And I shouldn't fear it. Criticism's been status quo for forty-four years.

I'd be an idiot if I didn't admit this attempt is a cry for help. I'm begging for charity simply because I'm trying to be brave in a life that I know no one else can possibly live, and the only option is moving forward.