Tag Archives: family

Derogatory drive-by

Today I was walking down the street, and somebody hollered “faggot” from their car as they sped by.  I wasn’t really offended.  And this post doesn’t have as much to do with the bone-headed nuances of a simple coward as you might think based on the title.  It was actually just something I brought up to my mother, only to have it used as leverage for shaming.

Shame on me.

To make a long intro short, I have a dying grandmother who does not know my situation.  Sound vague?  Mostly because it is.  You see, apart from myself, my mother has known about my sexuality longer than any other person.  She has been mostly void of negative sentiment, which by her word means she is accepting.  And that’s not to say that she isn’t, or that she’s a bad mother or a bad person.  She has always provided for me the same, and we are never short of communication, it is just obvious to me that who I am is someone she would rather I not be.  She would rather not deal with my situation.

This is why my grandmother does not know.  Because she is dying and it could put her in the grave.  Because I will ruffle feathers and have people talking.  Because it will all fall back on my mother, or my father, or my brother or my sister, and I will be the one to blame.

Shame on me.

I am empathetic to the fact that they should not have to deal with my situation by any force other than their own.  And I am sad that my mother will take the brunt of family gossip, and my father will be harassed with unnecessary comments and suggestions from people at his church.  I am sorry that my siblings will be burdened by questions from their friends.  This is no one’s crisis but my own.  This isn’t even a crisis.  I am sad that people I love are forced to have reservations and concerns.

Shame on me.

Where most of my shame comes from though are these people themselves.  These people I call my mother, my father, my brother and my sister.  These people who over the years have scorned me and belittled me and made me feel lesser through their words.  And I know they don’t mean it.  I know they are unaware.  But the things I say, the clothes that I wear, the places I go and the people I surround myself by are something of an identity.  An identity I have struggled with for a very long time at the hands of these very same people.

Shame on me.

Somebody driving by and calling me a faggot is no skin off my back.  Because you know what?  I am a faggot.  But hearing from someone I call my family to be wary of pictures I share, scowling at my eyebrows, using effeminate hand motions to describe distaste for my outfits, and baiting my closet of shame with my dying grandmother… these are things that hurt me.  More than I can teach them to understand.  Because they tell me that who I am is someone that is not approved of.  They are telling me that I should be ashamed of myself, and to keep my “situation” as ambiguous as the word used to describe it.

I am ashamed."No son of ours..."


Beautiful Dreamer

BannermentsMy sister graduated this past weekend.  I took some time off of work and returned home for a few days.  Overall, I received the experience very well.  It was however, quite the arduous emotional journey.

I got to spend some time in my favourite place for a couple days beforehand.  You know the place–my family away from family!  It was a pleasant visit.  We make many trips to Starbucks these days, and I’ve been very loose with my wallet.  I guess for now I will enjoy the simple pleasures of luxury coffee and clothes shopping on a whim!  I did earn a promotion recently, afterall.  Did I mention?

Thusly, my trip finished back in my hometown for my sister’s grad.  Even though my birthday is not for a couple days, we did decide to squeeze in a small party for me.  I know you did not know my sister all too well, but she can at times be faint in benevolence.  Under the circumstances of the weekend being “hers”, a cake and party and presents for someone else were not well-received.  Little did she know, I was not aware I was even being given a party–much less presents–and yet, I decorated my own cake while my mom attended hers.  I wasn’t as upset as I would have assumed I’d be.

The trip was mentally exhausting though in that, from the moment I walked in, I felt my father judging me.  His first words to me were a discouraging “what have you done to your eyelashes?”.  He meant eyebrows.  I guess in a way I’ve become my own person in the city.  Sure, I’m still dependent on my parents financially, but I have changed a lot since I started working at Starbucks.  I guess the obvious indicator would be the fact that I invest a lot of time in myself now.  What I wear, how I dress my features, and how I consider another’s perception of me.  So I “paint” my eyebrows, as my mother calls it.  And while he made me feel insecure for a brief moment, I felt validated in the fact that only hours earlier I had been complimented by a trio of joggers stopping in at work for iced coffees.  They’d asked where I get them done, and when I gushed back that I do them myself, they retorted that I could make a lot of money!

Anyways, I’m on a rant.  Though you did always tell me you liked listening to me.  I guess I’d just like you to know that in a way, I was confident in myself and what I can do for myself, even in light of something as silly as knowing my eyebrows are the bomb.

Where things really got interesting was the night before my sister’s grad.  I had a mini meltdown because she wasn’t letting me wear what I wanted to wear, and between my opinionated mother and father, my naive grandmother, and my sister’s dresscode, I’d begun to feel stifled.  In the end she let me wear what I wanted, and I wore what she wanted for family pictures.  And you know what?  I rocked both outfits!

But even more so, my sister rocked hers.  She was beautiful, xxxxx.  And I’d wished you were there.  Even more so than I did while my brother droned on about his upcoming wedding, or while my sister danced and draped herself in her boyfriends arms.  I didn’t want you there out of jealousy, I just wanted you there to be a part of it all.  Because I guess in my heart you are still my family, and I wished even one moment of you had been captured by our cameras and preserved with us for forever.  I’d wished you were a part of the magic.

I was honoured with her first dance.  And I know it wasn’t a wedding, and that sounds silly, but as soon as we all stepped down onto the dancefloor to congratulate her, she looked only at me and held out her arms.  You would have laughed.  I certainly wasn’t her best dance of the night.

More pictures ensued–beautiful smiles, flagrant poses, eccentric Planted and Poisedpersonalities, and backdrops of whimsy.  It was all very special, and the laughs and memories will be cherished forever.  Even without you.

She was beautiful, xxxxx.  She was suddenly 5 years old again, and the thesis in my story of life and love.  She was the remark of a lonely child’s request to have something to hold on to.  She was my beautiful dreamer.

Thursday, July 26th

I love you somethin’ fierce.

I never really realized it when I should have, but I do.

Despite every grief you’ve given me, I still feel I’m the one who let you down.  Were you hurting?  Were you scared?
It’s okay to tell me these things.  You told me you valued honesty in our relationship, so you should have been honest with me, goof!
It makes it hard, because I don’t know where your head is at.  I don’t know if you really don’t think I’m the one for you, or if you’re just too scared of love right now, or if you just don’t want to be with me when you can’t be there for me.

Nonetheless, I really do still feel the need to reach out to you.  I want to be everything for you.  I want to find something so much more in myself so I can be the most confident and stable person in your life, which I believe in earnest is something that you need.
I don’t want to wait for you to be ready for me.  I want to take your hand and show you everything you’ve yet to know, because there is a lot.  I am inexperienced and young and without direction, and in conventional ways I have a lot to learn from you too, but I am secure in who I am and where I stand.  I need to show you how beautiful people in your life can be when they are genuine and care so deeply for you that whatever it is that makes you you couldn’t matter in the slightest, as long as it’s you they get to love.  That is what love is.  That is what friendship is.  That is what I am.

I am your number one fan.  I am your ally.  I am your confidant.  I am your everything.  I want you to rely on me and I want you to depend on me.  I want everything I found in you to be the same experience for you, because it’s so beautiful when two people share.  I want you to know what I know.  I want us to know eachother.

I have this one life to live, and I want us to have a real go at it.  I want us to be real and have a certainty within ourselves we didn’t have before.

I know that you do not know bliss with me.  In reality, I don’t know it with you either.  But we never gave eachother a chance.  And a chance is all it really takes to find every answer we need.  Share your world with me and we can grow into people so much stronger than we’ve ever known.

Give me a reason to want to be your friend in spite of everything if we don’t work out.

Apartment Reclamation

It’s been 5 months.  5 months ago today he left me.  No wonder I’ve been having such a sad day–it just hit me.

I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately.  How he’s treated me, how he’s been inconsiderate of me, how he’s disrespected me.  It makes it easier for me to understand that I was in love with someone who maybe never even existed.  Or, maybe he did.  But it’s clear to me now that he doesn’t exist within my realm of perception anymore.  I still long for who he was, and I miss the things we had, but I’m learning daily how much these things are lost to me now, and how I can never find them in such a person again.

It’s time I find myself in this place.  In this city, in this mind, in this body… in this apartment.  This apartment that I shared with him and loved him in.

I’ve already started.  I’ve made some new memories with my girls (my kittens).  I’ve bought some new furniture, I’ve moved some old furniture.  I’ve really tied my place together with an electric firplace I bought.  My place feels… safe, and warm again.  Without him, I am still safe and warm.

I have this memory from many years ago.  My grandma was visiting us for Christmas, and my brother was entertaining her in the living room.  The fireplace was going, he was playing with the record player, the lighting was soft and embracing, and I was in his room playing Grand Theft Auto.  (Way to ruin the ambiance of my memory, hey?).  Actually, this memory is very important to me, and I have many others like it.  I had this sense of overwhelming peace and love for where I was and the people who were around me.  I remember looking at every detail–every reflection of light, every shadow, every sound–and I remember falling absolutely in love with all of it.

I had that the other night.  My fireplace was put together, the lighting was perfect, I was mapping out where I’d put my new area rug and coffee table, and I just felt at home again.  I felt like this place I am in, this place where I’ve felt so much heartache and pain, was finally mine.

I found my home.

Dear Friday,

I don’t know how to pay proper tribute to you, and I don’t know anyone in my life who would take me seriously enough to understand my feelings, so I figure here’s a good enough place as any to address you.

I’d just like to start off by saying, I love you more than you could have ever even comprehended.  I think about you all the time, and every time I held you and cuddled you, my feelings for you were deeper and more profound than feelings I’ve ever felt for any one person.

You were my dog.  My very best friend.  You still are, so don’t even think I’m counting you out now that something silly like death has come between us.  And please don’t think I find any humour in what has been done today at all.  I just can’t sympathize with the reality of it all yet.  Next time I come home and you’re not there, in your honour, I promise you I’ll be the most moody and miserable shell of a person you’d have ever seen.

Just today in fact, I cried over a whole pizza and saved the corners of every crust just for you.  Just for you…

I miss sharing my food with you.  I miss seeing your wagging tail and hearing your pathetic wimper every time I sit down with a meal.  I miss your puppy-eyed face in my lap.  And I miss the way you chomped down on my fingers in desperation for the food I was offering to you anyhow.

I miss your kisses.  I don’t even care that people thought it was gross.  Your kisses will always be my favourite.  No man will ever compare.  I know that yours were unconditional.  I feel like that knowledge is something I’ve only ever trusted between yourself and I; the knowledge that you still loved me when I was sad.  I will miss scooping you up and holding you tight and crying away all my sorrows.

I miss the way you followed me to the bathroom.  Every.  Time.  Going to the bathroom will never be the same without you sprawled on the rug at my feet.

I miss the way you ripped around the house with me.  I miss the way you played hide & seek and chase with me.  I miss the summers alone we spent, just you and me, curled up infront of the computer or a good videogame all night.  I miss hiding out from the storms and protecting you under my blankies.  I miss how you’d sleep right in the middle of my bed and leave me hardly any room.  I miss being the one always watching you while our family went on vacation.  I miss being outcasted with you.  I’m scared being alone won’t be the same without being alone with you…

I miss sleeping with you at Grandma’s.

I miss ducking in and out of the sun on the porch with you in the summer.

I miss crashing on the floor and having an intense cuddle session after running laps around the pool table.

I miss bunching your blankets up just the way you like them.

I miss hearing the patter of your feet on the hardwood.

I miss resting my head on your body as you sleep.

I miss holding your paws.

I miss kissing your nose.

I miss the freckles on your nose.

I miss scratching your head in all the right places.

I miss giving you the best bum massages you ever did have.

I miss giving you different stupid and dorky nicknames at least 3 times a year.

I miss the way you use your paws as hands to hold my face still while you lick me.

I miss watching through the blinds with you as you waited for any sign of mommy or daddy pulling in the driveway.

I miss sit, speak, shake-a-paw, arms, high-five, sneeze, kiss–

I miss you.

If it means anything to you at all, I feel so bad that I wasn’t there for you in your final moments when you were always there for me.  I truly wanted to be…  As morbid as it sounds, since I were only little I’ve been promising that I would honour my love for you and be there to hold you for your last breath.  You have no idea how much a traitor I feel.

I still remember the day you were brought home.  It was late on a school night and we were all showered and in our jammies.  I remember we all sat in a circle around you in the boot room and when it was my turn to hold you in my lap, I knew you were mine.  I have never loved you even an ounce less–if anything, I’ve loved you infinitely more–everyday since that day, 14 years ago.

Not long after then, my hamster died.  I remember how devastated I was.  But do you know what I secretly thought about that night?  I wondered what I would be feeling the day I had to say goodbye to you.  Somehow I never expected the irrationality of a 6 year old to measure up after all these years.  I am truly broken for you.

I don’t want to drag this on any longer, but it’s important for me to tell you that I will spend the rest of my life thinking about you and remembering you.  You are not gone from my life.  And as such, I am hesitant to say goodbye, so for now I won’t.  Who knows, maybe I’ll see you again someday.  And until that day, please keep track of how many treats I will owe you, because every day I’m not giving you one I’m just going to be wrought with guilt.  Deal?

Please don’t ever forget me, Friday.  With love deeper and more eternal than life stands to reason, I know I will never forget you.