Saturday, February 25, 2006

She who grows up to be mama

January 27, 2006

Jasai - 30
Los Angeles, CA
2 children - boy (10), girl (4)

Not doing it hurts. Running to the page is like energy. Like sunbursts. Like I’m crossing the finish line with every word and not doing it hurts. Holding off stings, cracks, bleeds, scabs over but never heals. Writing the story out heals. Keeping time and keeping up with the world in my head helps heal me. I did not know I was so hurt by his absence. So sliced open by the void. So blank where he belongs. So sad he’s gone.

My father has been gone for more than twenty years.

If I had a Pasadena Star News I would be able to say exactly how many seconds of absence I have experienced, piled one on top of the other, since he plowed his late model Lincoln or Cadillac into a couples only son, splitting him and me in half.

He died. His family has had to live with that grief.

And I have had to live without mine.

There is no way to carry the grief of an absent father when you are trying to fit into your cliques and bras and skin. There is no clear place to put it so you sit it down. It gets shuffled around until it’s firmly under your step-father’s suspicion. His suspicion that you have lost your mind for slipping his home number to more boys than you can see futures with. But you haven’t lost your mind. You have lost your father; your way, your safe lap. And so you search laps from Pasadena to Muskegon and like that traveling girl with the golden locks, discover that so many of them are too big or too small, too warm or too cold. They are not kind or true and so you swallow the losses; the things you have to leave as toll; currency for the exploration of nothing. Nothing just right. Never. And so “never” is your new song. Never love. Never trust. Never fall for it. Never care. Not ever. But “never” is a kind of paralysis. Never move. Never cry. Never try. Never paint. Never write. Never share. Never help. Never give in, until the absence throws you up like so much bad fruit. And so you swing to the worse; “always.” Always call. Always do. Always cry. Always give. Always believe. Always burn, seethe, peel, tear, never heal – and back again. Spend it all on love (read:sex), then clothes, then books, then therapy, then gas - $2.98 a gallon to drive to a sprawling Lancaster prison and search his face for all of the tiny pieces I need in order to put it together; to fix and fill my life.


Blogger upwords said...

Your voice made me sit down and let my mind dance. And dance it did...from "never" to "always." I pray you're dancing too. To "ever. Because that's what you've got in your hands. In your pen. What was, what is, what is to come.


11:00 PM  
Anonymous Angel said...

Amen. Ashe. Your writing is beyond poetic. It comes from someplace authentic and pure .... so rare in today's world. I know the feeling of an absent father too. Mine was sent to Vietnam against his will and never even knew I was born.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous britni said...

hey J--

yes, you are an incredible writer. i'm so happy & blessed to be working with you.

we will definitely have to talk more about this. there are things i'd like to share & get your perspective on.


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