My mother tells me that when I was a baby I was happiest on her hip. She was my constant companion for two years, me contented to be held, to sleep next to her. I was quiet and good, so good she repeats. I take that to mean I didn't fuss, that more than anything I wanted to be connected this soft mommy body and hear sweet coos.
The tumult of my childhood began at seven. Two parents became three: aged twenty-six, thirty-two, and thirty-three. For my dad it was the end of the American dream; my step-mom was threatened; and mom was wiped out from living past her breaking point for years. I had big, beautiful front teeth like Bugs and fine hair, bright, wispy, and gold. My eyes were large and brown, like they are now. I was awfully freckly, and I was every adult's favorite girl, so good, so quiet.
I've been investigating some since coming back to Texas, not really with intention, just like you would turn over stones after coming back to a field you used to play in long ago.
This third drought (that I mentioned when I last wrote) was triggered by loss. It makes me say in response that I am good. A friend just gave me this exposition a few weeks ago--if you do good and contribute to the world, don't you get good things in return? With a hug on my face I just looked at her and nodded yes, when I knew very well that this is not true; it's not a point system where you work to get to the highest rung of the emotional sublime. But I am good.
I feel the loving eyes of my friends upon me, a little like their own stamina is taking a hit. I've been quieter; I haven't had a clue how to talk to most of them about what's been cutting off my air flow. It's those folds I was mentioning before.
It actually makes me go quite blank here. I'm getting closer, though. Perhaps I'm stunned by the most intimate kind of deceit, promises of a faithful friend left under a little stone in some old field. There were two people who knew, and now I'm the only one.