The years inbetween having babies and finally freeing myself from the Pig for good were dead years. Not dying. Not fading. Not temporarily distracted by diapers and demands. Not unproductive due to lack of sleep and the dreary mundanity of caring for babies. Dead. The most vital and energetic years of my life were killed stone dead. I got fat. I got thin. I got fat. I got thin. I got beat. I got broke. I got hungry. I got drained of every last drop of creative passion, every last drip in me of hope, of happiness, of sanity. My leg aches today.
Juliet had been dead almost ten years when I got pregnant for the first time. Her smiling, swirling, spinning, laughing, twirling, curly haired, big brown eyed loveliness gone forever. Her wide smile and her soft hands. Her brilliant mind that could do things mine refused to: things like math, things like science, things like heal, things like compute…things like being settled and content and happy. My brain could not do those things. My brain refused. My brain screamed at me dead dead dead.
The doctor wrote out a prescription for some fancy new pills, prozac they called ’em. Medicated my distraught teenage ass to the point of unfeeling, heart skipping, throat closing nothingness. I still wanted to kill myself. I just wanted to kill myself a little more energetically than I could usually summon. Pig number one the man of the house of my childhood could never leave me be. He could never let me alone. Slut! Fucking boys! Oh if he only knew. His filthy heavy body turned me off boys for ever. Oh yes, I would use men. If I thought I could get what I needed from them. Intellectual stimulation, the cover of their maleness and straightness for my queerness. I would never have been left alone to just be. Me. Me? It wasn’t like I didn’t enjoy male company, I still do. I find men interesting. At least sometimes. Not the meatheads, not the cavemen. Not the straights with their suits and their cologne and their smooth shaved faces. Not the shark smilers and younger woman fuckers, not the suave and debonair, nor the successful and money grubbing, not the power mongers or the death dealers.
The little boy grinners, the artists and the writers, the long fingered delicate men with their guitars and songs and pickin’ at the wound of lifers. The Maggie’s old man’s whose skinny wives run the farm and play the milk em in the morning blues driving their hillbilly philosopher old men to whiskey and moonshine and shed sitting and bon mot tellin’. The on the roaders. The off the roaders and down the duners. The family feuders. The hospital refuses. The good ole boys who sit on levys and cry over the Big Bopper while they sit on mountain sides swinging their legs into the clouds next to good dogs….and bottles of moonshine that they never share. The tall story tellers. The big fish catchers. The banjo chasers. The Cafe Vesuvius drinkers and north beach beat boys with their words, their words, their words that drift on up the roads, and down the alleys and through the plains and the prairies and into dreams awakening dead girls to who they could always have been.
The dead years were sowed with salt in fallow ground. I blink my eyes and the movie crackles on and out the right hand window a herd of elk graze on green green grass, hiding from the viewing points, hiding from the people who like to eat elk burgers, and want to hold onto their big old antlers and take photos grinning out onto the green green grass that grows so lush and long in the Oregonian sun. I blink my eyes again and I am in Toshimaen holding the hand of a girl and going to watch Tangled and telling her how we can’t go to the onsen together because she is too little and the day she turns twelve we will go and sit in the mineral rich water together. We never did get to go the onsen together. The images flash out of time out of order through my mind. Dead years. Bright years. Green forests. Long roads. Cars and campers and blacktop and interstates and wolf dogs that swirled around me like water not touching but getting closer and closer until one of them lunged and billy threw me over the fence.
Sleeping in hard cots in nunneries running from death. Sleeping in parking lots. Sleeping in the snow in La Pine and sleeping sleeping sleeping until one day
I woke up
In San Francisco.