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     April 1981. My brother and I are running around the backyard, searching for Easter eggs. It’s cold. Our movements are static, slightly-delayed in my mind—as though this is not a memory but an old slide-show film from the 70s. 
     He’s being nice to me for once, my brother.  I remember that. Just yesterday, he stole my Miss Piggy doll and wouldn’t give it back until I burst into tears.  Today, though, he’s a gem for all to see. I’ve got on his hand-me-down clothes, a red shirt that barely covers my round belly and elastic blue jeans.  He pulls me this way and that, a little roughly, but I understand that this is “nice” for my brother.  
     For all the effort, I haven’t found any eggs.  My brother has beaten me to all of them.  But Mother, who is sweet and has a pretty, soft voice, tells him to “help” his sister find one.  So he drags me over to a large rock in the yard and lo and behold, there is an egg tucked right beside it.  I am happy.
 
     Later.  In Kindergarten, I find only one egg at our class Easter egg hunt.  I am given a mercy award for having found the least amount in the class.  I tried to find more, kind of.  It’s exhausting running around for silly eggs.  I get to the predictable hiding spots too late.
     I learn a lesson about running after the other kids and doing what they are doing that day: if you run after what others have, you’ll end up panting–with nothing to show for it.  I try to follow the kids who seem lucky in egg-hunting, but it gets me nowhere.  For one thing, these kids are lucky; they find all the eggs.  Everyone else has lots of eggs, and I am the only one who doesn’t.  If only I could do it again, I think to myself 21 years later, I would be more intuitive, finding eggs—and my way—for myself.
     Of course, lessons are easily forgotten. By the time I’m in 5th grade, the new girl at a new school, I try desperately to find a different face in the mirror, one more like popular girls in my class.  I try to be like the other girls, thinking they are sure to help me find the light that seems to glow around them.  But other girls are quicker than me, and I don’t become part of the entourage of snippy white girls in a poor town. I am reduced to slinking back to my unhappy existence, having clearly not found any eggs. 
    

     These days. The only time I ever eat eggs is if my father scrambles them. I watch my father work, smiling, laughing easily. He cracks and breaks the eggs. This is no big deal for him. Eggs are eggs to him. For me, they symbolize everything I have ever wanted but have been unable reach: popularity, maturity, understanding, friendship, and love. All the woes of childhood and adulthood found in the most common of breakfast foods.
     Sitting at the table, listening to my father carry on, I hear my dad in another place and time telling me to let it go.  I <em>should</em> let all the old go. I’ve spent too long pondering the past.  I should enjoy my own life. Resolved for the moment, I can table this struggle for another day. I smile at my father.
     With a little salt, I think, those eggs will be awfully tasty.

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Of late, it’s been all gloomy skies and admittedly even gloomier than I care for. I am looking forward to the weekend. Last week was rough on every front. This week has been an exercise in survival (I’ve been running a week-long program for a group of high school students), but I am patting myself on the back because I’ve made it. And anyway, life is good when you have a Coke Zero and a chocolate Poptart.

Tonight, I am going to my friend’s house to eat fattening food and watching God-awful horror movies.

What amuses me is that Sunday, I will be going to church with my rather stuffy, evangelical brother and sister-in-law and then I am going to support Bryan at a gay pride pic-a-nic. So, while my brother tries to tell me that his version of Christianity is the right one and all, I will be laughing at the inside joke.

And then, next week, I will be going on vacation next Thursday. If I can find internet, I’m bound to post because unlike Bryan, I have no qualms posting while on vacation because I want to vacate my life, not my blog. Fridays and Coke Zero inspire run-on sentences.

 I’ve started to make the rounds to blogs again. You have been the many friends I have neglected the last several months, and I am glad to see you again. Bryan would tell you, as he tells everyone else, to not mind my absence, I’m in my Dark Place. You, dearest ones, have been supportive of me since I’ve been blogging and especially of late and I want to say a pitiful but heartfelt “Thank you” to you.

 So as I navigate unfamiliar waters in the Lighter-than-my-Dark-Place Place, I bid you a good day and weekend.

I yelled at my brother because he wronged us, because he wronged me. My aunt is suffering through cancer treatment that will most likely result in her death, but the odds being what they are and her will to live being what it is, there’s no other option. I yelled at my brother because he wants to believe she doesn’t know what’s going on. That she’s drugged up. That she mindlessly drifts in and out of a slumber from which she remembers nothing.

 

She’s conscious, you idiot.

 

I realized that he wants to believe—and the rest of them as well—that she’s dying without pain. I think it’s cruel of me, but I tell him, no, she is not out of it and she feels lonely and unloved and how could you not call her ahead of time to say you changed your mind and weren’t going be there?

 

I don’t know what it’s like to be her. In my own narrow-mindedness, I think I would like being alone. It’s heartbreaking, though, to see someone alone who doesn’t want to be. To figure out that your friends and your family are no where to be found. That you have less than a handful of caring people who visit you and a niece you were never close to as your primary source of support.

 

So I yelled at my brother, because he has illusions of his own good-guy and godly grandeur. He will tell you about Jesus, if you want. He will invite you to church. He’ll tell you God will set you free, but I imagine he would look puzzled if you asked him if he actually follows the WWJD mentality. For example, would Jesus bail on His aunt? How would my brother have felt if he were left to rot within the confines of four white walls and a number on his back? The rest of my family, they will shoot the breeze with you. They’ll adamantly make promises and say they are 100% behind you…unless they are out any gas money to come see you.

 

So, there you’ll be. Alone when you don’t want to be. Unloved. A chore and a burden. Outright, no one even bothers to say you’re not a bother.

 

You are a bother. You will continue to be a bother. Can you die now and let us bury you in the mud where you won’t take up our time and energy?

 

So I’ve made matters worse, at least for him. Now in addition to my unaccommodating aunt and her silly sickness, I have inconvenienced my brother with my anger. Why do you have to be like that, he asks. I repeat his question with bitterness in my voice.

 

 

I hang up.

SOB with me

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