In the middle of my night and the morning light I often feel my heartbeat’s whisper. In the black starless sky I know now that I am healing, heading for a choir of unbroken bonds, true meaning, countless moments of Love that’s mine. I shake loose the shackles of my past, I no longer need to remember him, the One who was to be my lifetime protector. I lay BaDDaD to rest as my father. I see beyond my physical ability into a rainbow of shimmering passion, a place so blessed and perfectly mine. No longer will my heart be full of muddy trenches and unfathomable pain. He is gone now. He is a good story for someone else to tell. Like a child I make a wish and toss my golden coins into the sea. I know it will take a very long time to sink to the bottom and perhaps they will become lost treasures among sea glass and pebbles in wavy sand for some one new to find. I ask the spirit of innocence, the power of genuine trust to comfort me. Lay beside me now. Let my heartbeat’s whisper belong in good hands, sister to sister, teacher to child, mother to daughter and lover to lover. May I save the rest of me and float softly into my dreams without fear. Amidst my sleep I beckon no fear to wake me, shake me and remember the lost One. Come, lay by me. Gently sing my heart to rest; Gently Lay By Me my Love, your devotion is my breath. If a star should shine tonight it is just for you, the love who stayed steady when I was almost through. The air is cool with springtime winds and following my heart always wins. Goodnight my love, my lifelong friend, let me sleep beside you once again.
Words form and stop, quivering at my lips I say nothing. A rush of warmth rises inside my throat leaving me choking on my own emotions. A battle ensues between my psyche and my gutteral instincts. I divide my shivering heart into portions like raw meat and pack them away making sure they are placed so far away from resurfacing, breaking free and falling out of my mouth. I am the keeper’s key, the guardian of truth and I am aligned with no one, not even my own conscience. I see from behind, from above, below and further within Her, that is, Littleme. I see in my mirror ROCK and turn away in denial, never wanting my scarred outer skin to acknowledge it’s own shedding. I have heard among many other words of advice to let sleeping dogs lie, a rolling stone gathers no moss, somethings are to be put to rest; I lick my lips drenched in salty tears and feel sewn up with my secrets. I know that my only chance of survival is to let go of the words begging to be spoken, to follow in the steps walked before me and keep my head down. To be truly seen is not going to happen. No magical wand will be given to me so for now, for Lm I raise a white flag and surrender to the unresolved, the pointlessness of words that are chained within.
Littleme, that is Lm, has a very bad drawer full of horrible, never released from her grip memories. They come from so far away but changed her entire life entirely when three words were said to her, “I love you”. By now she’d moved north to the east coast, the Mason Dixie line and Maryland’s capital, Annapolis. She was so stuffed with emotions, drowning in her regurgitated pain and felt smothered. She hoped this move would save her from hiding in the closed gymnasium during lunch, standing on toilet seats quietly, stealing cigarettes and never eating without self punishment. Sit ups and runs and more sit ups and excuses to hide her body from an ounce of flesh. It was her last chance at control. When walking along the city docks she loved the ting-a-ling sound of sailboats moored in neat rows, the fisherman pulling up baskets of crabs and the liveliness and freedom she’d not known before. Walking shop to shop, discovering alleyways and for once, even if BaDDaD had no time for her she was breathing calmly. A solemn walk around the historical homes, perfected gardens and boys eyeing her felt good. She was registered into a Catholic school as it was nearby and she could walk there in the morning sun or fog from Elle and BaDDaD’s home and her soft and sweet smelling sister that Elle had blessed her with. She loved her uniform which made her fit in without much judgement but make-up was frowned upon. Only three other girls wore make up in school and they were pushing buttons and perimeters. She didn’t want to push anything, just be loved. The one who got her attention was sly. Not that great of a young man but his younger brother was in her class. He was a straight A student and she had been also until she stopped caring. One sunny spring day, late March, perhaps it was St. Patrick’s Day, two older guys were sitting drinking canned beer from a small boat at a prime spot to see all the passersby. Lm walked past and a guy called out to her with messy blonde hair with eyes that looked like shiny blue gems. He asked her if she knew his brother and introduced himself. Both of these rowdy over twenty- one year old guys were brothers to a boy her age in her religion class. She presumed they could not be dangerous and obliged them with coy and polite conversation. The tornado of events and fucked up-ness that was unleashed from that point changed her entire life, her belief in Love, yes, the one with a capital “L” ; shame was all she felt. Her father was sometimes trying to keep the two apart but what could he do really? Parenting is a full time job and he couldn’t hold one down in his past so it was obvious he wouldn’t have the answers. The boyfriend pursued and among one of the places he lived was on an old fishing boat with his best friend at the time nicknamed, “Mo’. Lm hopped off her bus often just before her own stop over the drawbridge downtown. She had a craving for Love and he was meeting her needs even if he was a lying predator and a drunken druggie whom she obliged on a sinking boat. He always had weed and every drug imaginable. He told her how he liked her hair, what clothes suited him the best and mostly how to satisfy his sexual needs. What she didn’t know was he kept an entourage of young women to keep him happy and his demolition of Lm’s mental health would benefit him and confuse her for years to come. Nobody was stepping in or up to save her. He gave her an STD of some kind and she was terrified of seeing a doctor. She was absolutely nothing. Ruined. Used. Lost and lost again and again. To this very second Lm has not forgiven him or his friends who lied and withheld his sexual meanderings. Not even now can she let go. He soaked her in lies and words so tender yet he was the true definition of a monster. BaDDaD and this guy were much more alike than she realised. Within she had this desperate pleading need for her father and soon she would transfer all of her attachment issues onto this very bad man. She began failing classes, running away from her BaDDaD’s often to see her very unhealthy “boyfriend”and she would lose many opportunities for fun with good friends because she was always afraid of losing him. Eventually she did; his father intervened and he was sent to Maine for his Captain’s license and planned to join the merchant marines. She wrote letters, called often and even took me of BaDDaD’s credit cards and flew to Boston and then took a bus to Maine. The sheer vulnerability she carried was taking her down. She was on the Titanic and no one was going to throw her a life vest. It was one of the most pivotal changes she would go through and at her lowest point she had no one to talk to or see her suffering. BaDDaD just wanted her to be beautiful and continue to idolize him, which she did for many rocky years. Putting this drawer away so Lm doesn’t dare to dream of the nasty, cruel boyfriend. There will be much more on the wild, unreigned years of her life. No one knew, NO ONE how bad she felt inside and she would learn much later that men hurt you. The nice ones didn’t want her. A sweet friend paraphrased her redundant lack of genuine suitors as, they perhaps felt “out of their league” and intimidated by her beauty; she would carry a sense of a strange faithfulness to the horrid sleazy guy who used her nativity for his personal gain. The #METOO movement has brought Lm to her demons door and she will forge straight on telling her TRUTH. Rock will help her from swirling down the drain.
There was a game she played as a child, it was a night time scary, silly, giggling tradition with Lm and her cousins. With a flashlight on and one kid holding it upward under his or her chin, the bedroom or basement doors darkened and it would start. Announcing in the scariest voice one could muster up, one would call “I’m on the first step”, giggles in the dark, then the imagined curmudgeon would say in an even creepier tone, “I’m on the second step”, then more squeals. On each step this creature would say something to the likes of “I’m going to eat you all up” or “I hate little children” and maybe let out a growl. Blankets were pulled over each head and huddled together everyone felt safer. Once on the top step, the door would swing wide open and the tickling began. How do we get ourselves worked up into a frenzy over someone we know, playing a spooky game yet when real life frightens us we clam up? Lm opened door 26 without thought. Who would help her through this real life game of truth and fiction? Inside the door the sun is so bright that sunglasses are needed. This memory is from the Bahamas where the evening breeze was welcomed. The shutters to her and her father’s room stayed wide open, screenless and at street level she could see crowds of white pale tourists clashing with the beautiful brown and deep chocolate skin of the Bahamians. The ocean burst upon the shore and the heat made Lm doze in and out while her father went out on the streets, crowded with laughter and accents she’d never heard. He bought her a stack of postcards with a pen. He said they were going to a fancy dinner show. The man’s name was Milton Berle that was to make them laugh and drinks and such were served at the table near an aisle. Lm had been to a lot of interesting places but this sounded much more exciting than a trip to the drive in movies or a ride on the ferris wheel at the county fair. When they arrived they were seated close to the stage with Lm near the aisle where the busboy’s catered to tables and BaDDaD although laughing a lot, also drank a lot. She knew by now this was the good side of BaDDaD, as long as he was kept happy and the drinks kept coming he’d get them back to the bungalows lining the beach. None of what Milton Berle said was funny to her but she was certainly the youngest person in the crowd. He had a sweet face and big white teeth, a tuxedo and shiny dark hair that was combed back with what she would guess to be “Dippity Do”. She consumed several Shirley Temples and watched the young men rush up and down the plush carpeted rows, from table to table they bowed and filled their trays and took away all the dirty dishes and uneaten food. Suddenly, a bus boy tripped on a step and his tray went flying toward Lm and landed by her feet. She scrambled to help him and picked up cracked plates, rolling grapes and chunks of melon. All at once a bright white light shone on her and all the people stared. Milton Berle asked the audience to have a good look at the sweet and helpful young lady helping out with all the clamour made from the shattered mess. She looked at Milton Berle and he blew her a kiss. The audience was cheering and BaDDaD was beaming. Afterwards, he would take her to a place where machines were rolling with cherries, lemons and people were using up coins to spin them around. She was weary. BaDDaD told everyone about her being spotted by Milton Berle that night. Someone who worked at this noisy place full of adults came up and said Lm couldn’t be in the room. Lm saw his face turn red like the cherries 🍒 rolling round and he called a taxi to send her back to the bungalow. He gave her a key and said for her to go to sleep. She climbed into the cab and he sent her off, through streets unfamiliar, a country unknown to her and she tried the key. It didn’t work. Luckily the shutters had been left open and she climbed up and over into the now cooler room. She felt scared and closed the shutters and latched them from inside. The fan hanging above the bed was whisking around and she watched it spin until she fell asleep. In the early morning when light was creeping in through the shutters she opened one to look for BaDDaD. Soon he appeared and gave her a smelly kiss and too tight hug and fell onto the bed to sleep. She was quite hungry and fished through his pockets for some change. She found a little bit and went out and straight to the street where dogs ran about barking, people were stirring and saw the cart where a happy faced dark man with a straw hat sold things and called out to tourists to come see him. In his rich Bahamian accent he asked what he could get the “little miss” staring up at him. Lm asked for breakfast and he laughed. “Oh, I don’t have breakfast miss, but I do have some cola!” She put the coins up and he said he needed more. Lm explained her father was asleep and told him all about Milton Berle, the busboy, the new word, “casino”, the spinning cherries and the taxi all by herself. The man softened and then handed her a cola and a small cup of lemon ice. “This will cool you off.” She took the lemon ice and her cola and went back to the bungalow. She sat on a stool and got out her postcards and pen and wondered how she could write all of this down and to whom she should send the cards. She finally laid down next to BaDDaD who was sleeping with pillows over his head. He always did that no matter where they were. Lm knew it would be a long day waiting for him to wake and resolved herself to watching the people stream by and finally her eyes closed as the sun and sky slowly changed to yellow, orange and pink.
Love is not limited by time, that is certain to LittleMe. Love is expansive, complicated, messy and impossible to keep contained. Control is not Love. A homeless teenager who carries her baby to full term and knows she wants to find a right fix for her socially perceived wrong places her soul, her breath, her entire heart out on a cliff and closes her eyes, praying, convincing herself she is doing the best thing for her creation. The how’s and why’s of her pregnancy are irrelevant because it’s her Love that kept the life, gave the hope and healed from another’s broken promise. Or maybe she sees two special people, man and man capable of Love and no longer silences Love to man and woman. She in her bravery embellishes the essence of Love as Birth Mother. She never walks away. Never stops remembering. Baby placed in another’s arms please be safe from the real worlds harm. Each birthday she remembers you. Each birthday I remember, too. I love My child from another’s time, another’s eyes and not just mine. I don’t want to share but I do. LittleMe reminds me blood is not family often, but without the conscience of one amazing human that I don’t know, I would not be the selfish Mother that I am. I do not want to share, or recall or feel linked in this triage of Love. Then there is more, a brother, too. You are not for me to contain, hold back nor own. And Love, well, my way is always possessive and greedy when I am afraid of being forgotten; be it by my child, my lover, or my Love never given openly to another, I will covet and feel weary. I know no one is really mine. It’s a broken part of me that ROCK believes is ready to open the door and spread some goodness. I hope this is true. I think of the woman who healed when my brother was placed in her arms and want him back. I want to scream for BaDDaD to “go to hell”. I lost someone, too. My heart sees the face like mine in a strange far away and terrifying reunion and I cry. I keep you brother in my pocket and I wish you were more than an image of genes and mistakes. People like me go on loving their abusers, their users and the Truth is simply that we didn’t know we had a choice.
I believe other people see me. I believe I am simple and my altruistic heart is understood. I have found those who claim to love me most deliver me my worst pain; I am a disturbing, empathetically redundant woman. I feel emotions and I feel love, always wanting to make a difference in this life but seem to fail. I too may need saving. I can’t bare to look up and see the stars beauty and feel alone. There is a song..a song we know well. Something special. Is it, “Oh darling please don’t let me be misunderstood”? Regardless, I am alone with my heart, my life as it is and yes, I am afraid. I was afraid from a very young age and after fifty plus years I still live in fear of hurt. Thank you ROCK for sparing me. If it was not for your sheath, your solid house that encompasses me I don’t know if I would still be alive. I live for my only child and gave up on my own shadow and dreams of love. Now, it is my devotion to my daughter that gets me on my feet, even if I must stand on hot coal and a bed of nails in my naked Truth.
So the beautiful girl with a reputation of kindness and generosity was entering a classroom in a below ground level stairway located outside the entrance. No one was around. Maybe she was tardy. Regardless, there appeared the boy, whom she had said no to many times and he grabbed her arm and said, “come with me”. She said no, that she had a class and he persisted. She was not one to make a scene and was afraid. He pulled her across an empty lot to the public housing where he lived. His mother was at work and his little sister in school. The beautiful girl struggled and yelled NO and STOP loud enough that a neighbor heard her and looked out and saw him forcing her into his mother’s apartment. The girl was forced to have sex. She didn’t want to and the boy said, “,Now no one will ever want you. You are ruined. You are mine”. Then the boy and girl heard the door open downstairs, it was his mother. He dressed quickly and ran downstairs. His mother said the neighbor called her at work. She asked if it was the beautiful girl who had broken up with him and he said no. He said it was nobody special, he said she was embarrassed and if his mother stepped outside she would go out the back door. The mother obliged but was not happy. The girl crying, dressed and ran back to school never telling anyone anything. She felt dirty, bad, ugly, worthless and no longer like she could have a better life.
The boy possessed her, he lied and made up tales so big that she soon stopped trying to care. She wanted to go to college and had a partial scholarship. His plans decided her fate always. He convinced her to marry him and they drove to a state that would hitch them up. She tried to convince herself it would get better, he promised the world to her and then she got pregnant.
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