ACT I – SILLY LITTLE GIRL
I just got your e-mail, two weeks before commending your step-father’s ashes to the ocean. I say e-mail but knife is the better descriptor because it sliced me up nicely. It would have gotten you an ‘A’ in a Benihana school of knifery; so precise around the edges but dense and delusional at the center where the truth certainly lies – waiting for reinforcements.
Calling you delusional is my only accusation to fling – as I watch you unwilling to turn your wasted unicorn around. I am hoping you are smart enough to study the landscape and choose another more soul-soothing direction. But no, it is so much easier for you sit, blocked by the four walls of your 40 + years of emotional poverty and blame me.
I want to tell you that success is a terrible, terrible thing to achieve in a miserable family such as ours. It goes back to a mother (your grandmother) who held her six candles burning at both ends in her own need for love and survival. She was a mother who fought long and hard for the protection of her family. I used to think that is why she so fancied the acrylic nails because they covered the blood-stained natural nails worked to the quick with responsibility. And towards the end even she would admit to parental failings. Even so, I suppose I always felt loved – even if I had to fight for it. Feeling loved was enough – should have been enough for all of us. And, my niece, I honestly thought if I took you under my roof, held you close when you needed, showed you the world (as much as a 27 year-old aunt could anyway), point to a future of hope that you would come to see these deeds wrapped in a package labeled LOVE. Now I see, for you, that package never arrived. My love was not enough. I am not that naïve to believe ours is a family unique; in happiness all families are alike. It is misery that brings about unique permutations that frolic legless, twisting, slithering throughout the human body waiting for the right moment to escape in word or deed.
And so it goes. Your misery escaped as you tapped out your love-less message of loss with fingers wrapped around your machete sentences; wildly swinging as you cut me up before serving me up; “If I’ve said anything to offend you I apologize….I love you and respect you…” If this is love – please keep it to yourself. Without a doubt, you have the greater need.
I can’t even cry at your version of truth. I’m just left with a deep, deep sadness at the vision of you swinging wildly at your faux-memories – slicing and dicing both ways through a forest of half-truths – cutting each blade below the root.
Silly, silly little girl.