I'm doing Palinode's 30 Days of Truth
I'm supposed to write about something I love about myself. Here's a picture:
Now this reminds me of my aunt. She had these 'Love is...' books. I read them voraciously. Like all books I read at the time, I thought they must have secret messages about how the world worked that I would decode slowly, as I became an adult.
If I were a better writer, I could explain this. The 70s, I a rather neglected child with a teenage aunt. Someone that paid attention to me, at last. I remember losing my toy and being distressed and having her help me find it. Somehow this amazed me--her calm, her concern, her willingness to stop and search.
Everything about her fascinated me. From the mentholated isopropyl alcohol she put on her pimples to the yellow plastic round AM radio she carried around with her. She listened to AM radio--things like Seals 'n Crofts 'Summer Breeze' to Steve Miller Band.
I secretly love Steve Miller Band to this day.
Since it was my family there were crises. The time she ran away with her crazy boyfriend and my family was afraid they were going to commit double suicide. Things are so murky when you are a kid. You overhear things and don't quite know what's going on.
I almost never see her now.
My grandmother lived in the country. The house she and my aunt lived in was about as chaotic and messy as my house. I must have gotten that from her. She had one of those old green wine jugs in the fridge for water. I think if I ever drank that well water from that jug I'd be transported in time just like Proust was by the madeline. But the jug is long gone, it's all long gone.
Maybe that is what I love about myself--my memories. Do I have a quality about myself I love? Probably not. But I cherish my past sometimes, at least bits of it. It's so full of sorrow. Every bit of it is interwoven with some sadness, some lack, some loss, some betrayal and absence. I love it like you love an ugly dog. I had two of these. Small ugly strays, never housebroken.
I love memories like sad weary little 7 year old me, trudging home from school alone, locked out of the house for some reason, sitting in the carport and finding these tiny spider webs in between the bricks of the house. When you pushed on them, a little spider would run out. In the miniscule cracks of everything lies a world we can't see.
So maybe that's something I can love about myself: I'm always looking for that world, that secret, hidden world, that one elusive truth. Waiting for some sense to be made out of everything.