"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I will leave...now. I enter the car at 11:00 PM and begin the 6 hour ride home. After a brief glimpse, the moon hides in cloud and fog. The sky is alternately pitch dark, or hazed with city up lighting in blood orange hues. This night has gone horribly wrong.

My hands are shaking and my belly quivers. My lips are pressed together and begin to ache. I try to part them. Clamp them shut again. I have not cried, though the pressure builds. All the cells in my body seem to be knocking together and I white knuckle the steering wheel in a silent vehicle.

My body knew first. It’s always the way. You came and sat on my couch tonight from the opposite one where you lay, and my guts begin to scream with long ago memories of something gonna happen, of I remember this, and run run run. But you are not my dad, and you are not my mom, or those men in the park, or the one on the cable car. You are step-father, and I know you…I trust you. So I disregard the warning until you scoot closer and your hand reaches out to the top of my shoulder where it meets my neck. The base of my throat flutters crazily and for a moment I foolishly think, hope, that you have something fatherly-daughterly to say, that you mean to encourage and my fear is ridiculous.

I turn to you, questioning, and you pull my head to yours, purse your lips. Oh God, oh God…no No NO NO!. I turn my head away and your lips graze the corner of my eye. I thought I was done with the likes of this. I thought molesters were far, and flashers were gone, and there was no more trust to break. I thought I was old. I would never have expected this here…in this house…you. I am blindsided and confused. Did that just happen? What the fuck? You pull back, apologize. I mumble…what…what did I mumble? Why don’t I slap you? Why don’t I shout? DAMN IT. I inwardly hang my head. I am still broken. I am no stronger. Have I learned nothing?

Do you know how small you have made me feel (daddy)? Should I tell (mommy)? Where is sister? I am 2, 4, 6….I feel a child and I want to throw up. I want to cry but I can feel myself curling in, shutting doors, windows, drawing curtains and dimming lights. Cocooning, I hug the sidewalk as I go to my room and shut the door. I am so small within my frame that I see my clothes hanging past limbs, as a costume from the dress up chest. I don’t know where 48 year old Annie went? How did I wind up right back where I started? HOW DID YOU MAKE ME THIS SMALL? HOW DID I LET YOU?

I cannot get air. My heart is pumping wildly and my knees shake unsteadily. Mom knocks on the door. She knows. He has confessed.

I tell myself, “Fight Annie. Do not fall in upon yourself again. Remain open, remain open, remain open. YOU ARE FORTY-EIGHT YEARS OLD”. My body wants to dredge its horrible history up to the surface, as if to finally lay bare its secrets. I push back my pig-tails and hug my Raggedy Ann, so unsure now. The moon is full, and shines close here and far there. Same moon. I grab my pacifier and crawl home,.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Memory Lane

It started with a contact on Facebook, from my very first friend of memory...kindergarten...pre kindergarten? I have two vivid memories of childhood and they both involved Kimmy. And she wrote to me this...

"And now..memory lane...Remember when we walked your brother to the neighbors house for a dinner invite. He in his tie, walking down that long driveway and farting all the way (he was nervous!) We thought it hysterical! And, do you remember talking a dance class one summer with me? "Joy to the World..all the boys and girls..joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea,joy to you and me.." still reminds me of that and you.

Do you remember one summer you got invited to 2 birthday parties and I went to the second one without you! They were on the same day and you had already rsvp'd to the first one. The one I got to go to was a miniature golf party and taco bell! You were so mad at your mom and me! I guess your mom rsvp'd me for the 2nd party! Strange! Funny! Your party was just cake and milk and pin the tail on the donkey. Sorry about that."

I didn't remember. Don't remember any of it. I felt bad, that she might feel slighted, like she wasn't worthy of remembering. So I sent her a couple posts I had done about my mom, the deficit with which I start each day, and alluding to the general screwed up nature of me. And in response, she wrote...

"I will tell you that I probably remember much too much of your childhood--it broke my heart then and stayed with me until now--it is still with me

I am so sorry
I can't breathe seriously
I can barely see through my tears to write you
I always knew something was wrong
even at five, at six
I saw it, felt it and I wanted to take you with me to a different place--I remember her vividly still."

And now we will meet, and hopefully she will tell me of these things, give pieces to a puzzle that collects dust, unfinished.

I am frightened
I am excited.
I'll keep you "posted".

(The photo, Kimmy scanned for me. My brother, she and I. Her sister stands.)