Monday, July 9, 2007

A Memoir

I was conceived by the hopes of strangers who would become my parents by a written signature. Little did they know what they were taking home - what to do with me when I danced out of control, drew pictures on any blank surface, except the walls, and wrote down words. I stood alone on stages and danced for darkened audiences, sang in the backseat loudly, yelled at my sister when I tried to teach her how to write full sentences when she was three. My red-faced pupil shrinking in her chair as I bleated, "No, no, no!"
To this day, she refuses to know how to spell. I smiled for pictures, showing my top teeth or my bottom jaw, or both. I roared down black diamond ski hills when I was eight. My dad calling behind him, "meet you at the bottom!" I hung out of roller coasters and gondolas, wanting to see the distance from earth and my rush to the ground. I wrote bottomless pages, willing myself into a tailspin, to the point of forgetting how I began. Going further down.
I fell into men who like to decide for me at the flip of a coin. Will I love her or not? I stepped on the coin. Kept walking, only after a lifetime.
I fell into women who poured me into bottomless glasses of booze and said, "who needs men?" and we danced on night club speakers, kissed strangers, fell into taxicabs and tailspin beds.
I put one foot down to make the room stop. I lived alone, packed my life full, quarrelled, wrote, walked around in the dark. I went to funerals. Too many funerals, but not so many as some. Still, I grappled with loss. I clung to loss, fell into men I couldn't touch, couldn't touch me, who made love to me through computers and phonelines. Men who could let go when they wanted to, at the drop of a dime.
I watched a broken clock on the wall, only for a lifetime. I put in a new battery, drove forward, threw myself into time - papers, textbooks, teachers and bosses.
I learned instruction. I learned to be happy. I learned the pain of submission. I learned to fall into myself. Eventually, I fell into a man who I decided could love me.

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