Imago Fabulae


When I was a little girl, there were a few particular instances that let me know I was a bit of an outsider.  We all have them, of course, For me, tonight, I’m thinking

When you’re a young one, and you miss the universal fashion note that your sweatsuit, perfectly fine one summer before, was now embarrassingly gauche, and you hear yourself being made fun of, I wonder why that felt so painful.  It seems laughable that I can think about the encounter more than twenty years on and still feel taut and wounded and defensive.  I know I ran off after overhearing this on the playground and I knew something had changed.  There was a knowing that existed that I did not have access to.  A grapevine I had fallen off of and raisin-ed below in the suburban sun. I wish I had drawn on the moxie I would spend decades cultivating a tiny, artisanal crop of, but I did not ever confront these pre-teen jerks and I do not wonder that it was this way.

You can’t introduce yourself or offer a clever, genial self-description that includes the phrases: enjoys talking to flowers, creating infomercials for for invisible audiences or Reading Rainbow-ing to the same.  I knew that much, especially after that day.  Especially after the day, a bit later, that another girl, horse-faced and forgettable, asked me why I was the way I was.

I didn’t know how people were taking me, but every experience seemed to indicate that if they were taking me at all, it was as a writer. This Harriet the Spy figure, with a notebook and a disparaging eye.  No breasts, no body, and worst of all, not even the actual words that are a writer’s stock and trade.  I may have been projecting on them.  I may have not known how to reach inside their worlds, but I knew there was a distance that had to be crossed if I were to do it.  Entreaties were small, fumbling, and largely, failures.  I have shut down in the face of the smallest things and life has run like water around a stone.

Aloneness is not weakness or bravery.  It just is.  It is a state of self that exists in me regardless of how many people I share a room or a drink with.  It exists in me even when I share and recognize it in others.  Even beyond logic.  I often crave it even as I’m experiencing it.

Tonight I am thinking.  I am choosing to think, to feel, to dredge and troll the old waterways and draw up the worst.  A Saturday night special.  It is better though than refusing to let any of this touch me.  Perhaps it’s the fact that I finally got my next therapy appointment booked for a couple of weeks out.   I am getting the bigger ideas, I am hurting the bigger hurts, questioning the bigger assumptions.

What scares me is as easily as I chose that I can choose something else.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.