One of my favorite things to do as a child was to walk through an empty house, a silence as deep as any church, and search through my parents' bedroom for clues to their lives. I had no ability for directness in my soul so this had to suffice. The more I knew, the more I couldn't understand and the secrets of the house fell hard around me. I could fathom a surface and an undercurrent and the two were not the same. It was in their lives I understood that there were splits, compromises, and betrayals, loneliness so deep that nothing would fill them, and a lot of truly wretched poetry written in the seventies and given as gift books that were full of deep meaning about life and love. I can still remember a particularly awful line from Javan, a poet/pilot/artist whose books I still see in the stores from time to time -- This is a Red Letter day of love, magic, feeling. What, I thought at the time, does that shit mean? And damned if I still don't know.
When I was five, a boy at school rocked me so hard that I fell out of the chair and hit my head on the floor. My teacher pinned a note onto my pink turtleneck telling my parents what happened and to watch for signs of a concussion. I tucked the note underneath my sweater to hide it, fearing I would catch hell for what someone else had done to me. All though dinner, the note crinkled against my skin while I tried to pretend it wasn’t there. It was a strange sensation, hiding something so close to my chest in front of everyone. It never occurred to me that I could take it off. I didn't have a secret room yet, but I would. I knew that meant you'd grown up. I can still picture going through my parents' things in the dying light of afternoon, before everyone returned and I became a child again, adept at pretending that everything was fine and unlike everyone else, I had nothing to hide.
Michelle's Spell of Day
"I don't need a psychiatrist; I need a man." Marilyn Monroe
Drinking movie suggestion: My Aim Is True Elvis Costello
Benedictions and Maledictions
Congratulations to my beloved Pistons for last night's victory over Chicago! Happy Friday!