One of those days.
I’m driving the cramped Subaru when I can get it, because the car I drive has been with my sister has for a week tomorrow, while hers is repaired.
I wrote about driving it in April 2005
It has been a very hard few days. Little sleep, always with parents, and lots of hard. I had to go to a party with normies for 4 hours, and then do three hours of city tour driving yesterday, all in a car set up for my father – can’t see the mirrors, head jammed into the roof, legs ramped, lips parched with the blood in my saliva, mother taking up all the centre console.
“I don’t know which way. You decide. . .. ”
Grrrrrr! I never lived here in Toronto!
The ride in the car seems incredibly symbolic of your whole life with your parents.
When I read of your pain in these scenes I remember so vividly how much pain I was in when I was just coming out, but had to look male for family events, etc. It’s still a mystery — in any sense of the word — what an overwhelming thing it is to be seen as female, how when you do it really is not that big a deal but if you’re not doing it it’s simply agony.
I feel for you and wish you joy and release.
I’m cramped in there and shopping for whims, using the budget alloted me to buy the specialties my mother desires — baba ganouj, tabouleh, crumpets and all — chopping it up.
I put my big mug down on the floor of the passenger side, and as I turn in the parking lot, the cup calls over and for the first time ever, the rotating cover pops off and pours a quart of that rejuvenating nectar on the rug. I strain to grab, but as cramped as I am, the seatbelt locks and tears into me as soda pours.
I can hear my father’s voice as I try to clean it up, about planning and taking your time and using your head and not being so stupid, and the only thing I can do is pray for death.
I get home and note that the soy milk carton is leaking into the bag, probably a victim of the cooler my sister & her friend broke when she took it to Maine, one that I haven’t found a replacement, and as it pours onto the kitchen floor, my mother is whimpering at me to see if there is any of the pate I found her in Montreal left.
I think about what happened before I got the now spilled soda, when I bought three bottles of Coke but they didn’t have three bottles of Coke, so I got shafted with a Sprite.
Life is loss, a thousand cuts, all those shocks.
And all that can possibly get us through is the wins we can find, the smiles, the joys, the successes and the delights. Awful can only be helped by the awesome, and grating only soothed by gratitude.
And when you have no wins, like those of us who feel marginalized & isolated feel, well, it’s all just, just, just tearing.
Always waiting, waiting for the whim of my mother or waiting for the third gotcha, well, it’s all the same.
To be or not to be–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And, by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep–
No more–and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to–’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished.
To die, to sleep– To sleep, perchance to dream.
Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.