On this birthday
I sit on the nexus
enlightenment and rage
pain and bliss
denial and engagement
emotion and thought
masculine and feminine
lost and found
being and not being
wounds and healing
live in the liminal
hurting like hell
wise like heaven
the same decrepit body.
happy birthday to me, eh?
pass the vodka
pray the beauty
and tico-tico plays on
while that damn gwen araujo movie flicks on lifetime
abject and reduced to
happy. . .
4 thoughts on “Birthday”
Do not pound on me to find out what I want to do to celebrate another milestone of separation on this day. Instead, trust that the last thing that I want to do is help you try to explain what would “make me happy” on this day upon which I just want to cry.
I can’t do what would make me happy, that is clear to me, so trying to do something that would make you happy just feels like oppression. For example, I’d love to go out for a nice dinner, but one of the best parts of that would be getting ready, going into that fugue state where, at least for a moment, I can believe what is in my heart is real and present.
So pizza and beer, rustic and satisfying, is the best I can do. Being present to help others palliate, well, please, please, don’t ask me. I don’t want to have to work that hard to avoid breaking down in tears, work that hard to avoid being racked by sobs, work that hard to not pound my head in pain and frustration.
Be present for me or leave me alone, thanks. Don’t, at least on this day, force me to be present for you and satisfy your own desires while mine stay hidden in shadows where they always end up trodden upon.
Just not today, OK?
My adult tavern experience has turned into a kidfest, since a pizza resturant means kids, eh?
My brother’s family is invited, foster kids and adoptee and all.
My father admits that he “misread the signs. I just wanted to be patriarchal… Your mother was talking, your sister was talking and I just got confused.”
I know. I honor and admire his urge to family.
But I sat out dinner at my bother and his wife’s house — she doesn’t like me — last night because it was too much work.
And now I have to go do it and work fucking hard to be family and nice and normal and die.
I was talking upstairs about the scooter I have been tasked to shop for today. Sitting on the couch. I lifted my hands and knocked down a cheap clock from a chotche shelf.
I put it back, no harm.
“When the French or Italians speak with their hands, at least they talk in front of them, and not up above them,” he joked.
“I know,” I said. “I’m such an asshole, such an incredible asshole.” I walked back to the hole.
No one thought to disagree.
When I am sitting in the treeline at the edge of the property, sobbing as quietly as I can possibly manage, please don’t come over and ask me to understand that you didn’t mean any harm, don’t ask me to absolve you, and don’t, fer chrissakes, ask me to swallow my emotions because they make you uncomfortable.
Yes, I understand your intentions, and you are absolved, and I know you need taken care of, and that’s why I swallow my emotions everyday in so many ways, but now, just now, this is about me and not you, and I don’t need to make myself any sicker in this moment.
It’s hiding myself to keep people comfortable that is the issue, that is what has become too hard, too much work, too heavy lifting.
I know that I make you uncomfortable, that you don’t understand, that you just want to be assured and relieved of responsibility, to be understood and absolved. I get that, and it’s OK, really it is.
But I just can’t each shit all the time and not be blown apart.
Let me have a moment that lets me be me, and don’t come and ask me to comfort you by sucking it all up. I will suck it all up, have to go to dinner with people who aren’t safe or considerate or even compassionate, will take care of you in so many ways.
But asking me to suck it up to make you feel better?
Please, please, please, please don’t.
Congratulate me. I didn’t sob once at dinner, though I can’t seem to stop now.
My parents gave me a cheque, my sister gave me some cash — I was hoping that the Kiki & Herb album I left open in her browser and bookmarked on the desktop would give her some hint — and my sister-in-law said happy birthday as I loaded my mother and her walker into the car.
No notes from any correspondents, but I scored two free “creations” from Cold Stone Creamery. Better than last year when I had to bake myself some brownies.
But tommorrow, well, no matter how I feel, no excuse for sobbing then. It’s only September 11.
Suck it up, asshole.