Newly Edited! (12.11.12)
I’d really like to meet someone nice and, you know, not terrible-looking… or not terrible-terrible-looking. And it’s not that I’m not pretty or anything; I’m alright-looking (especially considering); I get looks from men on the street; I smile. It’s just that when I go on dates with them, I…. it’s really embarrassing.
It’ll be going really well – we talk, tell stories. Maybe he’ll put his hand on my back when he comes back from the bar…. He asks about my family, maybe, and I tell him, “No, that’s a bad story; you don’t want me to go into that.” And then he says it’s alright if I want to tell him about it. I say, “No, no. It’s my goal not to horrify people.” And he concedes thoughtfully, and we start talking about our favorite TV shows or something, and I get half way through my second beer when I burst out – MY FATHER’S DEAD. My date says he’s very sorry; he maybe touches my arm. “How long?” he asks, and I say, “a couple months”, and he says “Gosh, that’s rough.” He pats my arm a little. He’s nice, my date. “And they wouldn’t even let me see his tomb!” I tell him. I have to concentrate on breathing in order to hold in the rest. And then I can’t stop myself; I tell him, “But that’s not the whole story.”
See, it’s bad. This happens at parties, too. And at the grocery store. I’ll have made a few fledgling friends, and we’ll be standing in a group, talking. They’ll ask me, “What were you doing before you came to Colonus?” and I’ll answer, “Taking care of my blind father.” They might then ask if he was blind since birth, or maybe I’d just offer all the information up on my own. It’s like the memories are burning into words in my throat. I feel like I live in a world completely different than other people, and I foolishly hope that if I tell people, they’ll maybe open the door to my world. They’ll maybe let me out.
So I tell them. I eventually tell everyone. I once broke down in aisle seven – just screaming to the other shoppers about the agony of my life.
I tell them, everyone, the whole bit. I allude to it. I write about it. I drunkenly cry about it. I use it to explain myself to me, to everybody. See: I found out I was inbred. I found my mother hanging from a silken cord. My father was… a great man. He thought his fortune was secure. He thought he knew who he was, but he didn’t. He was so clever, and yet he was wrong.
And then my date takes his hand away. Shit, as they say, just got real. We awkwardly settle the bill, finish the last bit of our drinks. He holds my gaze a bit longer; he says the right things, but he looks scared. The door out of my world is opened, but I see that the doorway is too high for me. Way way up in the air. I’m sure my date would help me out if he could, but, as it is, I can only just barely see his face. See him watching me. And I think, again, that I’m going to need to be much tougher than this. Much tougher still.
And it’s alright, maybe. Maybe I’ll give this normal-life thing a rest for a while. I haven’t been to my hometown in ages, not since... But my uncle called, recently, telling me that the family misses me, and with my father dead, it would be alright for me to go back to Thebes. I think I’ll take him up on it this time…. Maybe things will be easier at home.