I am not brave but even after writing this the world will have changed, you and I included. Breath and thoughts, come and go and leave us different, full or missing.
One of the most common things people say about me is that I’m quiet. I hear it time & time again from those I just met & even from those who’ve known me for some time. Despite this, 2 years ago & in need of a job I started working at the zoo as a tour guide/bus driver, after a rough estimate I’ve calculated that I have given a tour to about 30,000 people. Yet those people and most of the people in my life won’t know as much about me than those of you that read this will at the end of this email.
I am not brave but I seem to be surrounded by people that are, if for no other reason than they have no choice.
My mom’s boyfriend was diagnosed with M.S. 7-8 years ago when he was in his 30‘s. News of which I learned while I was living in Colorado. Now that I have been back home for a couple of years I see the effects that this disease has had on him and also on my mom. I continue to try to walk around in a world where this doesn’t or won’t eventually effect me. Impermeable to the changes this disease will continue to reap on my family, only to wake up one day wondering how I washed up on shore with everyone else.
My cousin, the closest thing to a sister I have and who I have been very close with for most of my life until recently, tried to kill herself. My aunt came to me crying. My cousin has had a rough roll. Kicked out of her house while still in her teens for “coming out”, about 10 years ago. Since that time she has moved in & out of her parents home, while they all learn to live with circumstance neither of them are willing to compromise, my cousin’s side understandably. She hasn’t talked to me for almost a year, though I have tried to reach out to her. I don’t know how to reach her now without scaring her away. I can only think that the catalyst of this deep sadness comes from not being fully accepted by her family. I am not brave. She has been. I have known that I like woman for about as long as she, yet you know what people know about me? That I am quiet. She’s come out to the people that matter while I hide behind uncertainty. The best I can do is tell you all that I am a woman who likes other women. One day people are just going to have to deal with it, including myself.
I am not brave but still I change with you, breathing as you are and things as you do, but not as you do. Even now I hide behind my computer, hide behind a white blank page that I fill with black letters, words, and sentences that run on too long with incomplete & unstable thoughts, shades of gray riddled within the meanings. The gaps in between the letters could fit a multitude of universes where inconsistency & indecision and themselves live. These universes that I drift in and out of from day to day. I’ll hide behind your courage, using your circumstances as a crutch to stay un-brave.
I’m not usually this somber but thank you for letting me vent.
Imperial Beach, CA