Am I to deny the true self of my existence for the mere wishes of others so that I may not be allowed to see the world and all that it has to offer? It does not mean escape or flight to me, for I see the magical beauty of the calling of the taunt. And when the simple, narrow mind confuses with my own, I have no time to stand and argue. It is moot. There is no issue. There is no personal attack, for I believe that the steps I take on my own are the only ones that will matter at the hour of my death. If I should feel denied in that hour, oh how I shall crave that with which I did not quench. And then who shall weep? Not I.
From the dark and dirty corner she has allotted me in the two room house, I pack a bundle of my simple belongings and turn to my mother to speak my last breath in the home of her squalid existence. If she should grab me at the tops of my arms, I avow to myself to pull away as loving as possible and kiss my mother with kindness and sorrow upon her cheek. I will not allow the salt of her tears to pierce my lips and offer me taste. I will demurely wipe my lips with the back of my hand, look in her eyes, understand in my own solemn way who she is not, and look away. And when I stoop for my bundle I shall stand straight up, square my shoulders and walk with confidence through the room of her home that leads only to the front door, ignoring the screams and incantations of condemnation coming from her mouth, mixed with the sputtering of her deafening, mendacious tears.
I shall probably never return, I think, as I open the door to the world and leave her with her own hysteria and unsupported grievance. My feet tread along the path to the parched wooden fence of the home's boundary, and I cannot help the tears that are falling from my face while she carries on resoundingly in the stillness of the evening countryside. My back is to her so that she may not see my emotion. The tears I shed are not for me; and they are not for regret nor for sadness, but for the loss of the environment that imprisoned me for long upon long that captured the pain that I shall always remember but indeed forgive.
These tears are of remedy, tears of uplifting relief. And I think that maybe the tears are for the isolated soul of the mother in that house and all that she has, and all that she will deny herself for the rest of her days. They are for her confinement that fills me with sadness, but that her anger is unrequited by me at last. And she will never live long enough to see what I know in my heart. There is no harm that I know this.
"I did not ask to be born," so she says, and I agree, "but I was. And now what am I to do?"
"Obviously," I say, "it's all too clear. I was born from you, but not connected."
Oh, how I stopped asking that fathomless question so many years ago about why that bond does not exist, because the meaning is all too true: There is no answer--from her. I was not the son--the boy--she so convinced herself through a dose of concocted medicinal brew of spirits taken on the eve of her conception. I was her disappointment; deeper than any other human would bear upon themselves as torment, such as she, and I was born her Freak.
So, I heed not to where I am going but most assuredly where I am from. I shall not, for the rest of my living days, carry the pain and agony with me into my new world. I am eighteen now and, albeit, the gender of the whispered weaker sex, whatever shall that mean. I am a person, and the stirring in my body I can no longer ignore. I think that it has nothing to do with boy or girl, sister or brother, stronger or weaker, but it has to do with a deeply longing desire to quench the stir of an imbedded incubus that is more powerful than I can control. Sufficiently powerful, I determined, to wreak the havoc in my mother's home.
The power came between the walls of that actuality, and although I owe my mother no strong devotion, that control and antipathy allows me no regret. If I surely were a good girl, or a weaker girl, I would have to fight off my nagging incubus. But alas, I give into it. I must.
As determined as she was to incorporate the ways of our kind, the female, with an instilled oneness of domesticity and servitude, it is my obstinacy that angered her so. Blasphemous, rotten, tortured freak of a child, she screams at my back. She does not understand the gift. The gift from my Creator to mix my gendered essence with that of a bold and warrious vital male. As long as I ever dared to listen to that narrow mind she holds within her, I believed I would never be vital, regardless of the gender body into which I was born. I defy her agenda.
So I walk the path away from the homestead with the tears that are still prevalent on my face, cool and partly drying in the evening breeze. I think that is exactly why my natal spirit ended up with her in the beginning, just so that I would be pulled out the door stronger than she to face and embrace my imminent, inevitable approach to the world that is awaiting me without devotion to her affliction. It is an ever-strong and fierce calling, and it beckons to me from my Creator; my Heaven.
I can think that now in the cleanliness of my requited stride for there was a time when, in that single dimension of that one single vision, that of the mother, that there was only one distinct definition of the power of the Creator, and I cannot tell you how limiting a belief that was for me. I knew something more. Purer, clearer, deeper. It touched me like I was never touched before. My nagging incubus visited me with vivid, true dreams, playfully taking me out to show me laughter, kindness and love. So much so that I awoke so many dawns with completely saturated bed clothes from the tears I shed from happiness, comfort, and then loss from when the nighttime enrichments would end at the brink of my opening eyes. The prankster was a gifted rascal of pleasure and wisdom: My Heavenly Spirit.
I say now on this path of my journey of nagging whispers, that I am not running from the single dimension, but running to my given, my love, my richly fulfilling promises of which I was allowed to taste. They have been the oceans we swam for hours and breathed in easily; they have been the trees from which we swing; the clouds when we flew; the sun and the sand when we rested; the pain of the war children; the poverty of the sick and famished. I have been touched like no other, and now I go. I go to pay my reward for my spirit's deep love. It has done so much and now, with a strong beckoning, I am needed to accomplish a determined and unequivocally important task. And it is not for me to ask what that is, for my nagging incubus walks with me and shall show me when I arrive.
Therefore, dear mother, I am connected you see. Not to you, so we know, but to the power of my Creator. I leave behind a trace of my love and I pray that you will learn to lap it up as a wild and desiccated canine, for you are as thirsty as I understand you to be, only you have not seen it. I hope for you to, someday, touch that love kindly instead of brutally hacking at it. Your time is not long, dear mother, and I shall be ever so grateful to know that a true and deep smile shall grace upon your lips just once before your material spirit is gone from its solid form on this Earth. I leave that for you to decide, because you can. My heavenly spirit will return to you someday and do this for me. I, as you know, shall never return but I will know of Its gift from me to you.
One more. One more I shall give you and it will be the most ultimate, the most true, the most deserved. And then, maybe you will fly among the clouds, and taste the rainwater sprinkled directly from the heavens into your mouth, and talk to the fairies in their own native tongue, just as I have done my whole life.
And I shall always remain as my very own freak.
This opening scene of my novella began as a poem to my ailing mother. Growing up, my own nagging incubus taught me to use a flashlight under my covers or in my closet because I wasn't allowed to write. I celebrate this story for both my poor mother with limited vision, and to the freak in myself for accepting a way to challenge it, and still love her in the end because of it. Someday she'll see. Thank you, Mia DiDio.
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