Big day today!
Oldest daughter turns 29 today. She was born at 2:30 in the morning, after a quick and intense labor, only 20 months after her big brother. He was the first relative I had ever met, and she was the second, and the first female. When they laid her in my arms, we looked into each others eyes and I thought, “this one is like me”. A girl. She will feel what I feel, think like I think. And it’s been true. A link connecting me and my then unknown mother. A link connecting me to all the women in my family, from the beginning of time. Women, giving birth, just like me. Happy Birthday, baby girl!
My youngest is going back to college today. My 4th and last child. Last night we visited the Birthday girl at work. She works at an outdoor bar in a fancy hotel. It just so happens to be the last place Birthday girl saw her grandmother, my mother.
Going there brought up lots of memories of Mom. Unfortunately, there are not many good ones. That evening was tense. Mom was always wired up when we were together. Her discomfort was obvious. She tried to hide it, but I could always tell. I’ll never know exactly what she was feeling. I don’t know if she was framing me at this point. We had a few drinks and I drove her to the train station. I gave her money for the train ticket and she sent me $10 in the mail a few days later. I was mad. I didn’t want her $10. She was my mother, and I had no problem paying for her train ticket. Oh well. Birthday girl never saw her grandmother again.
I was thinking of Moms apartment in the city. I’d never seen a place quite like it. It was a studio, a small kitchen and a bed/sitting room. It was cluttered, but pretty orderly. Her strange artwork was all over the walls. I guess you call them collages. Pictures, or objects pasted onto different things. She had bloody Kewpie dolls on a full length mirror, with wedding pictures and other things. This was called, “The Happiest Day of My Life”. It was about me, and her relationship with my father. It was disturbing and terrifying. There was also one with a bunch of rubber dildos, with penis rings in them. I don’t know what that was called.
Her bathroom door was covered with pictures. I’m not sure what they were. I did not like her art. It was too scary, and IMHO, not very good. I know it was her way of expressing herself, like writing is mine.
My brother has all of her artwork. I don’t want any. Anything she gave me, I either gave back, or if it scared me, I burned it.
This is something she gave me for my birthday. Its photos of us, and my father. It scared the pants off me, but I pretended that I liked it. I hung it in my bedroom for awhile, but it creeped me out. I turned it over and saw faint black marker on the back. I peeled off a sheet of paper that was glued on, and she had written “dead babies in Potter’s field” and, “fucking fairy princess”. I burned this one after that. Later I read on her Facebook page that she called this piece, “watch your mouth”. She never told me that.
When she gave it to me, I was in her apartment. She pulled it out from under her bed, and spoke in a strange baby voice that she used sometimes. Maybe it was one of her multiple personalities. My heart was pounding, and I wanted to run out of there, but I stayed, and acted like this was a normal gift.