A girl was born. She came into the world average weight and height. She was told many while times growing up that her parents didn't want children. Her father said it was her mother's idea. That was on the good days- on the bad days, such humor wasn't afforded.
She came into the world kicking and screaming a bit less than most children. As the story goes, there was no doctor present at her birth, though it was in a hospital. No family had crowded around to witness- only her and her mother were there. The only nurse around had run from the room in shock of a quickly birthing child to fetch an absent doctor, while a blizzard and the late hour had kept all family from coming to the hospital. I guess that's how it was in the late 80's and early 90's. Things weren't made to be fussed over like they are today. Or maybe no one really cared.
At least the birth had been easy and there hadn't been any complications. Her grandfather cooed over her the next day that she was "the most beautiful baby" he'd ever seen, much to the dismay of his wife that had given him six children. Such an insult after they had trudged through the crisp icy air of a late spring snow to get there! The second born of a mother, fourth born of her father, she was already making enemies and adversaries of those closest to her.
Days of cribs and crying passed quickly to daycare with other children at her aunt's, where it was made sure that no special attention was afforded, if anything twice as much was expected of her and half as much was explained. All familiarity abruptly changed with a move to another state, away from all family and friends, and even out of any city. A housing downgrade and a new patch of farm-worthy grassland awaited. And yet it was so much more. It is a question of necessity with living under the dominion of our families and places of birth, but if given the choice to live our own lives knowing what they involve, would they ever be lived?
She was raped the first time at the age of 2. A visiting adolescent crept into her bed one night, and then into the bed of her sister. The months flew after that, many flashes of things but nothing brilliant that the tarnishing of time and a stifled mind could keep from dulling. There were wasp stings and dog bites, kittens, scratches, and rain showers. Day to day was the same inside the home, and always new and fresh outside. Human celebrations were all but non existent there, but the world itself never took the time to care. The world outside was always exploding with life; foggy mornings and hot afternoons always gave way to a falling leaf and a new frost. That was life on their little farmland.
They built a new house next to the trailer that they had lived in for two years and sold the trailer off. The memory of stepping on random tack strips under the carpet would never fade from her mind, that ghastly home on wheels would always be a haunt in her mind. The new home was much nicer, and larger. The construction itself was quite exciting, but it happened upon the best spot to play in all the acreage, a lush clover field just behind a squat white picket fence with peeling paint that had run the distance of the property. Both were lost to make way for the building. The digging of a basement and foundation had left mountains of clay to be climbed, which in a way was just an evolution of the field of clover, until every mountain was used somewhere new to fill or back-fill or for preventing erosion. The farm was abuzz for a few months with the comings and goings of cement trucks, tractors, excavators, and machinery of all varying natures.
That's about when all of the yelling began, yelling that seemed not to cease for a decade. Shortly after the construction crews had departed, a daily rage of sobriety and hatred for their existing would come from her father, usually aimed at her mother, some at herself, little at her sister- all so subtly triggered by her mother. That was her mother's way; her mother was both a saboteur and victim of every situation in her life. But to the eyes of a child, she was just a victim.
At the age of 3 or 4 she was sodomized for giving defiant looks to her father. In sobbing tears she ran from her bedroom where he had held her down to find her mother chopping tomatoes at their island-bar sink top. Her mother mocked "are you going to cry? Don't cry," almost lovingly, the chopping didn't cease. The years passed.
There was soccer, which she didn't know how to play but knew that goalie's just had to block and could sit in the grass most of the game, and there was T-ball, which no one ever explained but she knew you "kept your eye on the ball" whatever that meant, and you ran to "that base." If the coach and parents in the stands kept shouting once you reached the first one, you ran further to another few bases. They didn't keep score but you wanted to win. The arguing and criticisms would begin on the car ride home if her father happened to come to a game, spoken like they might be jokes, except that there was always a sternly spoken sentence to end the conversation as a reminder that it was not a joke. Most of the time there was a discussion about "not embarrassing the family in public." If it was just her mother and sister, there was usually silence or basic chatter with a side of a cigarette, or cigarettes, chain-smoked by her mother until they were home. The chatter was optional, the cigarette smoking was not.
School was easy enough, you would just show up and they would let you go after you ate lunch. If you didn't show up, many people would ask you why you hadn't gone, and your teachers would be disapproving no matter what the reason- at least as soon as your parents were out of the room. But if you wanted to be ignored, which was best, you just asked few questions and never missed a day.
At recess the best way to keep from getting in trouble was to play wherever there were the fewest teachers and yet, not make it seem like that's why you and the other children were playing there, even though, you all knew that it was why and so did they. It was important to do something, but not too much or too little, otherwise a teacher would blow a shrill whistle, everyone would stop playing and watch you, and you'd be asked why you were "doing that," and you'd usually be told to go do something else somewhere else. Anyone that was liked by everyone would become the center of the teachers' attention, and anyone that no one liked would be given negative attention and would be the center of their "concern," which meant no one would play with you, they might call your parents, and they would talk about you in the hallways. The goal was to be seen but not remembered too much. That was the tough part.
The complexity of kindergarten interaction was nothing compared to the interactions of say, college. She might have realized that if she had ever heard of college at the time. Or if she had ever cared much for the future at all. But no thought or dwelling like that had infected her yet, she just knew she hated half of her life, or half of half of it, and the other half brought her undo anxiety. But it all seemed to be intentional. It was like a thread with a sharp needle that wove in and out of some intangible fabric, some wool of humanity and time- and just when she got comfortable with it's work and the garment it was weaving, she'd feel the sting of the needle missing it's mark again. That was the confusing part.
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