There’s a montage
I can’t silence
in my mind.
I try to sleep
but these scenes
play like fragmented sentences
as I struggle to make sense of it.
My ‘collection of my moments’ that is filled with books, pictures, scrapbooks, some art, some journals, etc, had been kept safe at my father’s home in Eglon while I was trapped in-between … I lost home after Galen and I separated… I had a car for much of it. An apartment for a good portion of it. I had several rented bedrooms in the middle of having lost home.
Last fall, my father had made the trek across the Kingston Ferry, toting my giant tupperware “box-o-memories” and was going to pick me up where I was waiting with the few backpacks of things I was taking that I had remaining after 39 years in the Puget Sound, feeling the most defeated I had ever felt. Dad was picking me up and taking me AWAY. I had made plans to move towards Mom and would figure it out as I went along. It was a little over two months after what had happened on my last birthday.
If it weren’t for Anna and Delia and Lee, ironically, Lee….my unlikely friend. If it weren’t for a handful of people that put up with my walking dead. I hardly left the house. I was trying to get work but I couldn’t really leave the house…and when I did it seemed like I was living in the Twilight Zone. I was sick to my stomach everywhere I went. Strangers were different. Now. I was never afraid of anyone, not while out and about. It was always the people you loved that you had to protect yourself from. Which confused me. Now I was confused and jumpy, and not so much suicidal as I was, just dead inside….I slept a lot. I drank too much. I did not care anymore. Dead girl. Dead ghoul walking.
It took two months for my father to finally talk to me again.
I had called him, after I got home from the hospital, and told him what had happened. He wanted me to try going to the police again – I explained in more detail why I wouldn’t. And then like that, he stopped speaking to me. Nothing new under the sun. When I was a little the silence would last a span of days, that feeling of not existing…but it seems like I needed my father in that moment…
I had written my brother Kevin…but I heard nothing from him for months.
My family has been rather non-family on my side of the tree….
When dad pulled in, I hugged him and cried. Defeated. I stopped showering because I didn’t want to see myself naked, and the scars on my leg were not healing as I wanted them to. I didn’t want to see them.
Its such a confusing dichotomy of intense confusion when it comes to my father. But that still doesn’t mean that I haven’t always needed him. He’s my Dad. He will come and pick me up and take me AWAY. We didn’t speak much. We listened to “Fast Freight….” and we sang along to it. He sang the low parts, and I tried to harmonize, and even though it was just a moment, I remembered laughing and feeling relief, wondering what Clark Fork and Hope would bring…
Dad looked at me at one point and referenced the box of memories we had to leave at Anna’s for safekeeping in the meanwhile, for lack of room, my life collected into the confines of a car in such a way I’ve come to look at as an awesome testament to my ability to survive. From having an emergency bag ready to having a bed in the back of an ambulance in between calls, sleeping in different parking lots…I have found home has nothing to do with what I own, just …home is where my heart is an my heart is in me…Alone has been … like a sail with no wind, but learning to paddle with no oars has made me resilient. And I was never really alone, I can see that now.
“What I don’t understand” He said to me, “Is why do you hate yourself so much.”
I’m not sure why he said that. I’m imagining that while my “collection of moments” was in his care, that he had carefully rifled through it and spied on me. I would have expected no less…I did that to his computer. He knows I know what was on it, because I returned his laptop to him in person. If he read my journals and then filled in the blank spots, those Elephants…the real elephants weren’t Eli...that was just a story I told myself at a time in life when writing was an escape. Where I could create those characters that didn’t hide from the things that scared them. That faced them and solved them.
“Dad I don’t even know how to answer that right now.” I said to him…
And then I sat there and lined things up…and wanted to say, “Really? Dad…do you really WANT me to answer that?” Cause I can.