Thursday, August 31, 2017

It's like this...

I'm weird. I'm just weird. I'm full of things that don't quite fit together.

You know those cheap flat square puzzles with the little tiles you have to slide around until you get them all in order, and sometimes there's oily stuff underneath the tiles? Well, my tiles keep popping out. They're popping out all over the place.

I'm writing this after a long hiatus from writing much of anything and as you can see, I'm not going for quality here. But I feel like I'm finally taking a big, healthy, happy crap after being constipated for a year.

Yeah. It feels that good.

See? Weird.

About a Promise

Promises can be hard.


Summer in Phoenix. I'm 13. The zoo has a summer day-camp program and I'm nuts about animals so my mom signs me up. 

On this particular day, my big brother is supposed to pick me up after camp, and he's a little late. I feel silly standing around by the entrance, so I leave and walk down the road a bit to kill time. Once you leave the zoo entrance area, it feels like the middle of nowhere. 

As I'm walking, a white sedan approaches me from behind. The guy is young, maybe in his early 20s. He rolls down the window and says hi. I return the greeting.

"Do you need a ride?" he asks.

"No, my brother is coming to pick me up."

"Well, I could take you home. I'd be glad to. It's really hot out here."

"That's okay. I'll wait."

"Are you sure? I'll bring you right back." 

Something is definitely not right. "No, thanks." 

The guy just drives off, which makes me one lucky girl, I turn around and head back to the entrance where it's safer.

When my brother arrives, I tell him what happened. All the way home, every time he sees a white car, he asks me, "Is that him? Is that him?" Of course, it never is. But my big brother has my back, and it feels really good. We get home and my mom calls the police.


I'm 10 years old. The parents have gone shopping, and my brother and I are standing in the kitchen. He grabs a bottle of Coke from the refrigerator, and he shakes it up. When he takes off the cap, it explodes like a champagne bottle. Brown spray goes all over the white ceiling. I laugh. 

My brother seizes a sharp knife, grabs me from behind, and holds the knife to my throat.  I'm not entirely sure he won't use it, and a weird, calm sense of acceptance sweeps over me. I apologize, and he lets me go.


My second year of law school. A law firm in San Francisco has brought me out for an interview. My brother and his wife and daughter live in San Jose, so of course I want to visit them. 

At that point, I still don't know I'm a lesbian. Or maybe I do, because I show up at my brother's house with short hair and a flannel shirt. He says I look too butch, and I'm both mildly insulted and slightly pleased. 

So, my brother and his wife and I go for a drive to see a little bit of San Francisco. We get kind of lost, and find ourselves on a quiet non-residential street in the city. No traffic, and hardly anyone around. The businesses are all closed. 

Up ahead, a woman is walking down the street. She's slim and tall and attractive, and her hair is cropped very short. She's sporting a leather vest and jeans. 

My brother slows down as he approaches her. I figure he's going to ask for directions.

Instead, my brother rolls down his window and spits at her.

I'm stunned. I'm - well, there's not even a word for what I am. I know I have to say something, I must say something, but in my shock my brain has pretty much left the building. I fumble unsuccessfully for words, and then yell, "Hey! Live and let live!" It's lame, and I know it's lame.

There is no further discussion. My brother rolls up his window and we drive on.


My father has just died, and as it happens, he has specifically excluded me from his will. My brother, who is the executor, insists on giving me a sizeable chunk of money that he could have kept for himself. It's why I have a car. My brother really does have my back.


The promise: 

My mother is in the hospital, semi-conscious and near death. She's restless, and I can't figure out why. I can't calm her down. Suddenly a thought occurs to me. She was always really close to her sister. 

"Are you worried that your kids will lose touch with each other once you're gone? We won't. We'll stay close, I promise." 

Immediately, my mom calms down, and she soon falls asleep. She dies a couple days later.


I'm having trouble keeping my promise.