Doubtless I would produce a brood of three– each with her own porcelain appendages by puberty. “Mom.” One would explain, as she tapped demonstrably at the glass eye with a ceramic fingertip. “Hey,” i would joke carving up a thigh for dinner, “it could be worse. You’ll be immortalized in glass.”
For me it is just the shoulder gone but I can’t be sure how much of my children I would feed Demeter before the gig was up. Public schools and appointees of the court are a far cry from a celestial dinner table and more likely to, say, gouge out their eyes than cope with the cannibalized.
It’s mothers day.
I went to a baby shower yesterday. Everyone got drunk at two pm and by five there were only six of us left. We decided it had been a success, stayed until midnight and looked up “baby shower” on wikipedia to see if we had done it right when we learned there had only been one parent (of forty guests) in attendance. All of our gifts had been guesses except the beach volleyball set– that one was a sure thing.
J’s ex’s grandmother died yesterday morning. J said lots of things like– Only One in Her Family to Survive the Holocaust, Lost her Whole Family and So Made a Whole New One, and I Loved Being Part of That Family– I Miss Being Part of Her Family. I don’t find it touching– these big loving chains of women and it mystifies me that you do. The intra-continental dynasties, the orgies of juridically sanctioned, feminist-approved history, cultural celebration, obsession with the family line: surviving, thriving, loving. I’ll show you what oral transmission really means.
Perhaps I am not moved in the same way that J failed to appreciate the gravity of something else. It is the same as when JK, recently informed he has become unwelcome in his family’s homes, asked if he should fly home and stay in a hotel to visit his parents and sisters. J said: Fuck No- Why The Fuck Would You Do That. I only wept later and said– But of course he should. But I don’t want to give bad advice.
Now more than ever I know I can neither offer up that family nor promise one in the future. I am so young that she thinks, perhaps, I will grow into wanting to make a family. The party was full of people excited about the prospect of baby. Baby will love you. You will love baby.
It’s mother’s day and today I know it’s not just animals who eat their young. It is also the cursed and the clever. The sacred and profane. And the certainty doesn’t come from my experience as the victimized young.
Or maybe a curse is compelling enough to warrant life. Especially the kind of lonely life that family can never satisfy. This must be what queer means. Once everyone’s actual families come to town I am lost again.
This week, for example: mother’s day, my parents’ birthday, senior gala, my final address to women’s studies, graduation. All of these things beg guests, dates, family, and I can’t find any. The thought of doing the week alone makes me feel like I have eaten something rotten. We had planned to have a graduation party. But when my most beloved guests could not come (or failed to RSVP completely) I opted out: NC who was there for two years of the hardest stuff and always promised, my dear brother, my dear sister, Ken, Nora, and J– who can come for the ceremony and the party but nothing else.
Sure. I understand. But I don’t. Whether or not this is what family means, I don’t want one.
“You have to find some people to come on Wednesday,” my adviser reminds me as I tie up her wet hair, “everyone except for A will have family there– and a bunch of friends.” What is this private school public torture?
In anticipation of it all I remind you again: I will not become the family you or I want. I promise.
There’re still five vials of the sperm she’s saving for anyone who wants them. J suggests again and again that it be me. But Pelops would have made a lousy matriarch and even Antigone couldn’t have cared less about her own offspring.
I’d rather rent a room.