Same Mother

I am again sitting in the huge leather chairs in my company’s break room, because it’s my favorite place to be when I’m writing to all of you. I put my feet up, take a load off, and drink Coke Zero to my heart’s content. I’m listening to Jason Moran, a pianist friend from HSPVA who made it big. The album is called “Same Mother,” and is truly amazing. Different styles, some electric guitar… you really can’t go wrong.

Listening to an album called “Same Mother” seems appropriate, because someone left a comment on one of the posts re: my childhood abuse that said if I stopped paying attention to her, she’d find someone else. I believe she already has, because I was very clear that until she climbed the long and winding staircase toward resolution, we were going to continue being broken beyond repair. I have defined my standards; I will not put up with pretending that the way the dice rolled when I was a teenager was a random throw. When the die were cast, they were weighted on one side.

Plus, the abused part of me is the first one to say, “but if I do take it, then no one else has to.” I know the game. I know how to play it. The unsuspecting victims in the next round are woefully unequipped. They just don’t know it yet.

I don’t write about this stuff to figure out how I can get or give more attention from or to someone else. I write it out because I am slowly discovering who I really am. Who I might have become without this form of sunshine and chill… why my childhood was so wrapped up in an older woman, and not because I was crazy, but because it was engineered that way and no one could’ve caught it, because we were both very sneaky about when and where we saw each other. When and where we talked on the phone. I waited by the mailbox for her letters, because I knew that if my parents got them, I never would. I deceived my parents for the longest time, and do not regret it anymore. I had to work through the regret, because there’s nothing I can do to change my past. It’s just wasted energy at this point.

I wonder what would have happened if she’d gotten caught, or if she did… because no one (least of all, her) would have told me. I was almost 15 by the time she left town, and I am sure that those closest to me breathed a sigh of relief. I, however, was miserable. I didn’t want to start high school without her, and I walked around most days with her graduate recital playing on my Walkman. I missed her so much that there were times I couldn’t breathe, because coming out at school was not left up to me. Someone close to me ratted me out, and I was never the same. All I wanted was to be able to run back into her huge hugs and reassuring words.

My sophomore year of high school, I found out that my Wind Ensemble was giving a concert at the school where she was getting her Master’s. I found out when the bus was leaving to go back to ‘PVA, and we spent the afternoon together. It was one of the best days of my young life, because I was a jazz freak and she’d gotten me a t-shirt from the most famous collegiate jazz band in the state. I got to see her office, because she was getting to teach.

At the end of our time together, I thought I was going to break in half. I didn’t want to leave, because we’d have to go back to sneaking letters and phone calls. I wanted her to be real and present in my life, without having to hide the fact that I was her friend. I hugged her one last time, making sure to breathe in her familiar perfume and snuggle up into her neck. It might be years until next time.

It was.

But that’s another story for another day.

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