A poem from the book “Portrait of a Stained Glass Life”.
Part 1. In Memory of Strange Fruit
The Anhedonia’s – “Who has their finger all over my excited switch”
He sits on his folded legs, 3 feet from the large stand bubble that practically dwarfs his little body. The large expanse of a room consumes them both.
He is excited. The MTV is on and he knows his odds are about 1 in 4 that the new Tina Turner video will be coming on shortly. He has deliberated – and there will be no touching of the actual tv this time or getting too up close, this time he wants a pan of every single glass tube end. Maybe he could record it in his head better that way.
And then it happens just as he knew it would.
Tina is over for another brief visit. But she is even more mesmerizing than before and those vibes begin quickly — with a high intensity that will quickly subside, but stay long enough to leave a slightly deeper impression that eventually will need to be filled.
In front of him, she is shaking and strutting, he is hypnotized by this “dance”? The hair. The voice. Those legs. Is this expression!? How you can be?
Where do you learn this?
Certainly not at school.
Not even at the local skating rink. That’s why he never skates much – too busy watching.
Like right now – but today she has a message for him as well. He knows to pay attention because she keeps on repeating it – and it forces him to open his ears a little more.
What’s that Tina? That question you are asking – “Whats love got to do with it”?
Has a better question ever been asked? What does love have to do with it? With any of it at all? Another question he can add to the running list.
At that moment, he discovered his first expert. His first “expression” expert. He will meet many more experts in the years to come – all of them having valuable lessons to teach.
However, first – he must tackle the complicated world of gender roles as exhibited in the American domesticated house pet – cats and dogs in particular.
A Small Glitch Appears In Utero
A nuchal cord was wrapped around my neck 3 times when I was a fetus inside of my mother’s uterus. After discovering this on the sonogram during a final pre-labor exam, the doctor decided to enact emergency labor, as he was concerned the cord might restrict the flow of oxygen to my tiny brain – perhaps rendering me with some sort of lasting brain damage.
Although it may sound ominous from the first pass, this type of incident is not all that uncommon during pregnancies and depending on the severity of the knot, is usually fairly benign – in fact, some studies claim it occurs in about 1/3rd of births in any given year in the U.S.
And like my own delivery, most occur without incident, as the baby is removed, and the cord simply cut. As you can imagine, the ordeal caused some unneeded stress for my mother.
She reflects on it with a mildness today, but I can imagine this must have shot her nerves – unless she has completely changed since then. Doubtful.
Similar to myself, she is prone to worry – a chronic over-thinker. However, the focus of our anxiety tends to be different; hers on close loved ones and mine tend to be a bit more selfish in nature.
Looking back, I wonder if this incident had any effect on shaping her view of me as her youngest child. Did it make her more protective or more prone to worry about me? I remember her doing plenty of both growing up – incessantly at times.
Did this first glitch set off a domino effect of others – or was my fate sealed even before then?
(let’s see how much of the natural sunlight I can suck out of this photo….)
I Was Really Bad at Photography Before I Became Any Good
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