This blog is not FDA approved
They say the only things that are truly ours are our memories.
Take it all away, and what is left of you? No one else’s voice in your head, not a single seed planted. Just you: a hollow vessel. No people. Not even an identity. You could be another person: reborn, another chance to live…
Who wouldn’t take that chance?
Grandma gave her a pink watch. It’s her birthday. You receive presents on your birthday.
It’s still her birthday. Mom is at school, dad off to work. Uncle babysits. They’re both in bed. Uncle asks if she wants to play…
She stares at the woman combing her thick, black hair in front of the mirror. Someday, maybe, she will be as beautiful as her mother.
It’s simple. They take random people and place you in a pen. You could only get out if someone “buys” you. They call it the Love Pen. It’s ironic really how there is a “prostitution booth” in a Catholic youth gathering.
She gets caught, and shoved inside the pen.
No one bought her.
He just got home, drunk. They are fighting again. He punches the plywood part of the wall. There is a cracking sound followed by sobs.
She doesn’t open her eyes.
It’s easier to feign sleep than to cry and not receive answers. It’s a one-room home. They sleep together. He might hit her too if he’ll know she’s awake. Mom cries. Then mom is silent. Mom snores. He breathes loudly. She feels hands not her own. It hurts. Why? Why? Why… She is turned to her back. He reeks with sweat and alcohol; she doesn’t know it yet, but she would never forget that smell. Then it happens, and it hurts even more. Not all five-year olds make a sound.
She didn’t open her eyes.
Not even once.
Hundreds of Fragmented Pieces
It happens again. And again. And again…
“I’m staying, and for good this time.”
“You can’t stay.”
“You can’t do anything about it.”
“You’re not staying. Not now. I can make you go away.”
“Stop fighting. It’s pointless”
“I’m still here. I’ll always be here.”
It’s 3 a.m. Someone just woke up screaming in the middle of the night. Nights like this will continue to happen all her life.
This much, she understands.
Somewhere, beneath all the layers and fragmented pieces, beneath the raging Vesuvius, there’s a snugly nook that conceals a scared little girl. She keeps silent most of the time, still afraid to make a sound, still afraid to open her eyes.
But she’s learning.
She’s learning to be comfortable. She’s learning to own her memories and accept them for what they are: memories…not life. She’s learning to express herself–her anger–and it feels like learning to walk again every single day of her life. She will never fully understand herself, nor anything at all. Everything will always be a puzzle, a jigsaw to be solved. But she’s learning to be okay with it. She’s learning to be happy. Like I do. Like you do. And she’s one of the lucky ones who have people willing to go through the journey with her. Be happy with her. But most of all she’s learning to smile, and face each day with confidence as she says,
“Fuck you all.”
***Note: My warmest gratitude to Eric for inviting me to squeak here. You truly are Magnificent™.