I Remember

Nov. 8th, 2011 08:37 am
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I was perhaps eight years old, sitting with my father on the Old Loading Dock on Kelley's Island on a summer night, sharing chocolate chip cookies while we fished for perch.  Oh, gods!  Whatever happened to that man?
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I just woke up after about five hours of sleep.  I had had a dream involving an abstract algebra class at a strangely distorted Marietta College, taught by my freshman calculus professor at Pitt.  There was also something about walking from the Math building to the dorms, past the Catholic elementary school I had endured as a child, with a soundtrack of a song about being in love with a transvestite.  And let's not forget the part about an urban renewal project in Parma which included renovating a three-story, pagoda-shaped Chinese restaurant at the corner of State and Snow roads, with coolies jumping out of the windows.

I'm not sure if this means that I'm shaken up, or if it's just another of my usual dreams.

My face isn't burning as it was when I lay down; perhaps I'm cried out for a while.  There's a vague thoracic/abdominal ache, probably from all of the crying.  I can't believe that I've laid them to their rest, yet I did it because I had to do it.  I don't want to hate them; perhaps that is the reason for the "funeral".  Perhaps I'm trying to freeze my perception of them, trying to prevent its getting any worse.  It is so unfortunate that they believe that I humiliate them; do they think so little of themselves that they define their own self-concept on the basis of what I am and do?

I have to deal with the things said in that last conversation with them, if one can call their diatribe a "conversation".  I have to deal with my father's "You humiliate us" delivered from across the room, giving me no opportunity to reply.  I have to deal with my mother's "I'll never accept you".  These are my last memories of them; this is not The Jazz Singer, I am not Neil Diamond, and they are not Sir Lawrence.

The road ahead is dark. I know not where it leads, but I have to walk it.  I can't stand still.

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Sobbing, shaking, I am cold.  Around me, there is only emptiness.  In heated arguments all those years ago, I would never have thought it possible, but I am grieving.  I am grieving, not for what I have lost, but for what I never had and what was never to be had.

I don't know what to think, I don't know what to feel.  I am lost.  I need to hold on.  I need to get through this.
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Especially to Jessie and Marie, I offer this:

They have written me out of their lives.  For some degree of closure, I have lain them to rest.  It tore my heart from me to do this, but I felt it necessary to preserve my sanity.  They can now have their world without me, I will keep a memorial to attempt to fill the void.

The first section of my post describes my feeling that their souls died long ago; when, I'm not sure.  As I search my memory, it must have happened before they adopted me; I wonder if it happened when my mother had the emergency hysterectomy.  There are stories that describe them as decent and honorable people; if they once were, I never knew them that way.  But I think again, and wonder if, in my father's case, that description isn't entirely accurate; I can remember a very few times when he was honorable, even good, but never while my mother was around.  I will treasure those moments with him for the rest of my own life.

They want me to begone.  I will comply, but please allow me to set a stone in memory, or perhaps a desire for what never was or could be.

May 2013

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