Did you have a good world when you died?
Enough to base a movie on?
This time of my life should be the easiest for me to write about, my junior year of college and beyond. I have prodigious amounts of written material – poems, journal entries, drawings, short essays, pictures, pages and pages of work. And it has taken me so much time to go through and pick the parts of it that are important to the story of finding me. What was important to me then and what is important to me now. I thought the the more I had to reference, the easier the writing would be.
I was wrong.
Writing this part of my story has been hard for me because it was the first real time in my life that I separated myself from the things that I was doing. It was when I became a spectator in my own life. Before that, I had numbed myself and hid away from myself so I didn’t have to deal with trying to figure out who I was – this unwanted, bi-racial girl raised as a white girl, but who is really a Black girl. But I still remember how that feels because i was engaged in my life then. I can’t tell you how I felt now, I just existed.
I mean, everyone goes through that search for themselves. Some people have the luxury to see themselves in those around them and find their answers there. I didn’t have that luxury. And I had given up hope that I would ever be able to find out these answers.
But at this time, instead of dealing with it, I separated myself from it. I didn’t know who I was and I wasn’t going to spend the time necessary to figure that out now. So I just watched as I walked through life at this time. And I wrote. A lot. And for about the next 15 years, I watched myself transform.
Once I had, a little game
I liked to crawl, back in my brain
I think you know, the game I mean
I mean the game, called ‘go insane’
you should try, this little game
Just close your eyes, forget your name
Forget the world, forget the people
And we’ll erect, a different steeple
This little game, is fun to do
Just close your eyes, no way to lose
And I’m right there, I’m going too
Release control, we’re breaking thru
Jim Morrison, Celebration of the Lizard
So my junior year was fun. At least it seemed to be fun. I didn’t have to feel anything. I felt free to just explore and the world had opened itself up for me. I was slowly shedding my hometown from my mind.
At home, my parents’ son got out of prison and lived at home. He came home and started dating my best friend. It was weird. We were seven years younger than he is. He wouldn’t have anything in common with my friends, but here he was dating my best friend. So, I avoided being there as much as possible.
And I felt like God had left me – forsaken me – left me to die – so I felt no accountability for feelings of responsibility. I can’t say that I was the worst person to know at this time, but I was definitely not the best or the easiest. I liked to play games and observe the outcome.
I always say that I never regret anything in my life because it has all led me to where I am right now, but I do regret being so absent from feeling at this time in my life. It took me a long time to learn to be engaged in life, rather than watch it. I am still challenged by this today, but I definitely live more in the now than I did back during my junior year of college.