Losing My Family: A Play in Three Acts

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ACT I   –  SILLY LITTLE GIRL

(May 2013)

 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.

THE BOOK OF TRUTHS PAST

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Oh that there were a book

With no question to its accuracy

Where one could only look

And see mistakes of history

Learning would be inherent

No shadow of greed to fall

Across the heart the parent

Not young enough to know it all

The book would stand tall behind

The door of every man

A shotgun of knowledge kind

And aimed with a steady hand

The book would flow torrential

Facts and historical drama

No skimming of great potential

Or dreams of instant karma

Book: A dramatic monologue

Proving Adler’s aggressions

Book: The human travelogue

Of our material obsessions

A book impossible to read

Through rose tinted lens

Reality’s ugliest seed

Blooms real and honest gems

This  bible of truths past

Will center all ceremony

And anchor our future fast

Outruling hate and acrimony

Twist the question marks of life

To laws inherent day-to-day

Book of past truths will be rife

With lessons to show the way

A  dictionary to live and sleep

Between the sheets of truth

With rent my room and board my keep

And honesty for my roof

Who will the first page start

Tempting suspicion of cynics

Dare a brave message from the heart

And peacefully slay the mimics