Dearest Stranger ,
I dread the end of whatever never was. I dread the use of
“ to be” verbs in my writing . I forget the things I never had when I look at the eyes you never showed me . And with these thoughts … with my forgetfulness … with whatever may or may not happen in the days that follow May seventeenth , I will never cry for you . You cannot make me . I have a better way to deal with whatever it is that they call “ love ”… though we have never shared such words .
Thinking intently on this thing called love ,
Your Daughter By Blood .
I have agreed to become your willful heir. The deficit of your sixtyfive years of life will fall unto me. But I have career prospects. And I will be able to sell those three humble dwellings—you said you had nothing…nothing but assets I assume. That will show you to tell me you have nothing to give…not even love is what I’ve gathered from our conversations. When you tell me I’m a good daughter, I laugh inside. I do not tell you you are a good father. I’ve never lied. And you will never know that for your mind cannot analyze such uncertainties. And no one’s mind can analyze such uncertainties with the little knowledge that you have of me.
I cannot make you better. I cannot make me better from what you’ve done. I cannot think of a way to change the way that we are . I have been the best daughter given the circumstances. Given the time without father. Given the knowledge only bastards have. Given the hatred for time wasted by a meaningless man. I cannot build the bridges that you have set aflame…I will not build the bridges that you have set aflame. I have life and love outside of you. I’ve learned the lessons that bastards learn. I know what the bastards know. I am what the bastards are. And I am content in my extreme knowledge of bastardization…it helps me to realize how fucking cool I am without you.
i REMEMbER WHEN i WAS SEVEN AND YOU TOLD ME THAT YOU DiDN’T WANT TO bE bURNED. i WAS THiNKING AbOUT bURNiNG YOU ANYWAY. bUT i RATHER LIKE THE iDEA OF YOU GOING DOWN iN A WOODEN bOX. OF YOU FALLiNG SiX FEET. iT MAKES YOU CLOSER TO HELL. YOU bELONG THERE. i KNOW THiS. FROM JUST WHAT i’VE SEEN. COVETiNG THE NEiGHbORS WiFE…adulterer…NO HONOR TO YOUR FATHER OR MOTHER…disrespectful bastard…THROWING ALL OF MY GRANDMOTHERS PRiZED EMPTY biG MAC bOXES iN THAT DUMPSTER AFTER SHE DiED…HOLDiNG THE SEVENHUNDREDTHOUSAND PiCTURES THAT SHE TOOK iN HER LiFETIME iN A METAL FILE CAbiNET ONETHOUSAND MiLES FROM YOU…FAR ENOUGH AWAY SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO SEE YOUR CHiLDREN’S SMiLiNG FACES…SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO REMEMbER THAT WE NEVER SMiLED FOR YOU…thief, captor…
NO, i RATHER AGREE WiTH THiS bOX iDEA. HOW FiTTiNG…TO CONCEAL YOU IN A SMALL WOODEN PRiSON FOR ETERNiTY. i ONLY REGRET THAT i WILL NOT bE ABLE TO WATCH THE WORMS EAT YOUR FLESH….i ONLY REGRET THAT i WiLL NOT GET TO WiTTNESS YOUR FLESH FALLiNG FROM YOUR bONE…AND THEY WERE STRONG WEREN’T THEY? THEY WERE STRONGER THAN MY MOTHER’S bONES…STRONGER THAN ALL FIVE OF YOUR WiVES’ bONES…STRONG ENOUGH TO bREAK THE bONES OF THE CHiLDREN WHO HOLD YOUR bLOOD.
YESTERDAY I MET A MAN WHO WAS KIND OF LIKE YOU. HE TRIED TO TELL ME I WAS BEAUTIFUL AND I CAUGHT HIM IN HIS LIE. HE SEEMED TAKEN ABACK BY MY “MISINTERPRETATION” OF HIS “COMMON COURTESY” TO WHICH I REPLIED “A SALESMAN HAS NO SUCH THING AS COMMON COURTESY. AND IF HE REALLY WANTS TO SELL ANYTHING, HE SHOULDN’T THINK THAT HIS CUSTOMERS ARE CAPABLE OF MISINTERPRETATION... NOT OUT LOUD AT LEAST.”
HE SOLD VACUUM CLEANERS. BUT BECAUSE I KNOW YOU, HE DIDN’T SELL ME A VACUUM CLEANER. HE SIMPLY COULDN’T. I’MSMARTER THAN HE IS, AND I’M SMARTER THAN YOU ARE.
I’M JUST NOT SMART ENOUGH TO GET AWAY FROM THESE DAMNED “TO BE” VERBS.
When they tell me that I should love you that I should give you another chance that the lord will help me through this trial I tell them to jab out their eyeballs with hot pokers and ask the lord to give them their sight back then (in my brain’s rolodex) I file them under “A” for asshole right next to you.
We took the good with the bad; he ruled the family in the old Chicago way…beat your wife and kids, teach them lessons with a belt, parental affection was a full contact sport with that guy. And even though there was no blood relation between him and I, he treated me like he treated the rest of you. Be glad you don’t remember #6, be glad.
My life is sad
(Note to the reader:
My dearest reader,
I have silenced number two for the protection of the outside—the world outside of these pages. You mustn’t dwell on the fact that number two has no voice, just know that I, the heroine, have saved you from her monosyllabic self-pity, and the fact that she constantly reminds me of my own inadequacies of memory—of my beginning three years of life. Yes, I have few memories of the life my subsequent numbers have faced, which remains the reason I have given voice to them.
Trust me, I have given you safety from her estrangement from the topic at hand. Number two has no regard for her family and should not be considered a number…truly.
I have saved you from her mongoloidal discourse which tears literacy down to the dirt and stone from which it once rose. Even if you believe that all numbers should have voice, I stand strong in my decision to silence the “unlucky” one.
Warm regards and well wishes,
I haven’t spoken to that man since the age of eleven. I only wish he would have died sooner, so we could all move on like we were meant to.
That fucking fucker! I wish I had the strength to beat him to the ground like I beat number two. Number two is a piece of shit! And so is he. They are one in the same. They live the same. And this man—this being—this thing—he exists only through us now. When he’s in the ground we can then forget him. We can then live the life we were meant to live.
His “father of convenience” bullshit turned this family into addicts. Every little bit we could have is what we took and we always needed a fix to fill the gaping vacancy he always left us with—always left us wanting with biannual phone calls. Until one by one (with the exception of his most related number) we realized the holes would have to be filled with our own dirt. The only one to make it out from his reminders normal number five.
There isn’t much I’d use the wit to say about the man. There isn’t much I care about.
The man doesn’t call us, doesn’t speak to us, and when he does we’re suppose to drop everything to further accommodate him. And to me, that’s pretty shitty.
I killed my father last night. We were speaking on the phone. And he was telling be about his weakened heart.
Id like to see you and my grandchildren
Youve said that before
I mean it this time
You never mean it I know you
I always mean it
Listen your quarterly phone calls have to stop
I want to know how my daughter is
Just know that Im alive and well without you
Thats not fair number six
No ill tell you whats not fair
Dont lecture me
Then stop fucking calling
Youre my daughter I have every right to call you
No you dont
Yes I do
No that right was taken away when I called you crying that one time
What the hell are you talking about
When number four was in jail and you never fucking called me back
That was years ago
Well you didnt care then and you dont care now
I fucking care
What the fuck stop acting like your fucking mother
Why because you cant hit me through the phone
Fuck you this is fucking bullshit
Yeah you really fucking care
I dont have to listen to this crap
No you dont
God damn it arghhhargh breathbreathbreathbreath you arghrhharrharrrrr nobreathnobreathnobreathnobreathnobreathnobreath
And the verdict reiterates my meaning. The accomplices to your death refine me. Let us blame ourselves with pride! And let us remember the glory days without you.
My friends! Let us rejoice! Let us celebrate the subtraction of one more shitty, hateful, hardhearted piece of shit!
Liberation and freedom belong to us! Let us enjoy our freedom by not uttering another word of his name. Let us not give him immortality in our memories! Let us go forth to a drunk man’s haven and drink the utterings and memories out of our lives!
The ghosts of my memories drag heavy chains, and they play abandoned pianos in the further corners of my brain. These memories I have tried to burn, tear, bury. And in sudden moments I see the apparitions convulse strobe-like on the back of my eyelids. I smell the soup that you once cooked. I see it simmering on a stove far away and deep within. You scold me:
“Spinach is good for you, lots of iron. You need to eat it.”
“I never had spinach in chicken noodle soup before.”
I told you three times since we walked into your house that I love soup and I love spinach. Yet you still scold me:
“I don’t care if you like it or not you’re eating it.”
I hang my head in shame. I let you think you’ve won. Eleven years old and I have beaten you at some game I learned the rules for at the age of four. When the only truth is that winning means making you think you’ve won, but knowing that victory is in my head.
So, I am like my mother. I thank you for such compliment. She encompasses everything you could never wrap your brain around—everything I want and need to help me kill what is left of you inside of me.
You ... the “ to Be ” Verb
of my life