I know, I know. I’ve been away. My deepest apologies. I’ve been hard at work applying for (and getting!) the Sex on Tuesday columnist position, one of the opinion columns for the Daily Californian. For those of you who don’t know, the Daily Cal is UC Berkeley’s official newspaper. Check out my first post on heteronormative bias in media, and let me know what you think!
When I was eight years old, my mother told me I was strange. What use is a word like that to a child? Even at that age, children memorize what people say of them. No doubt, mothers top the list as most important.
Strange. Not dumb or brash or immature, all which can easily be remedied with a bit of time and effort, but strange. What does a young boy do with such a word? At eight, I couldn’t think of the antonym to strange. Most words I knew had one. Cold had warm, dumb had smart, brash had timid. But strange? That word didn’t live on one end of a pole. Instead, it floated out in word-space, an entirely foreign singleton.
She had been chopping leeks in the kitchen, and the death her knife delivered agitated me. I asked her to stop. My mother, young as she was beautiful, turned to me, opened her mouth, and closed it. “You are so… strange.” She paused on the last word and her nose wrinkled in distaste. It was at this moment I realized my mother hated me.
As I’m sure you can tell by the number of posts I have thus far, I am new to WordPress. So, stop by, leave a comment, and introduce yourself! I’m planning on using this blog to share my favorite quotes, tell you of my fantastic experiences abroad, and publish excerpts of my fiction writing. Hope the new year is treating everyone well…
I see you now without the fanfare of the beginning, at a time when the the magic is quiet and the dust has settled. You have gone through phases of incredible conviction, followed by inevitable falls from grace. You have shown me tenderness at dusk and in moonlight, when words flow easily and all lovers feel fated. But in the harsh light of day, I must see you for who you are. Your love is at its very core something you do for you.
I saw a girl on a train once. Pretty little thing she was, a tangle of arms and legs, earbuds purring in her ear. She never looked up at me, instead fiddled with her baggage and backpack, tightened the straps, double-checked everything was in its right place. Her left foot had only its toes on the floor, as though it knew something the rest of her didn’t, as though in a tiny moment something might startle her and force her to flee. She didn’t stop moving for what seemed like hours, but when her body finally settled down she closed her eyes and I could see her chest expand. At the peak of that breath she loomed huge, an enormous soul stretching itself inside a slight, pale body with a tender mouth. As she let go of all that air, I saw a tear slip out of her eye. With a light movement, her finger darted to wipe its track away, erasing all evidence of her descent into humanity. She caught me staring, and paused. She inhaled and from somewhere a growing smile appeared, her face beaming. Even now, I believe the truth of that smile. I could feel my pupils constrict, shrinking in the presence of such brightness. I’m fine, she said, and with that her light slowly disappeared. Her doleful eyes never met mine again. With a few blinks, my sight recovered. She got off at the next stop, some huge city that engulfed her, making her one among its many. I never did catch her name.