I don’t know what to say. Sometimes I like to watch old episodes of familiar tv shows while I’m doing familiar things. I am thinking now of the ones that premiered in the mid 2000s, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, when I was blooming out of grade school and being carried to the older, greener fields of middle school. I hear the dialogue ring in the background while I’m cleaning or sleeping or crying about some new pain and I think, “This is the beginning. This is where I started.” Between fights with my mother and my first laptop. I think I crested there.
I think this is what came after.
I was born As I Wrote One Day. But only almost. If you can call blind and blinking at 15 alive, then I guess I was alive. But sticking my hands in dark places to keep the feathers in is not really living. I only pulled on accident, I didn’t mean to. Existing was not a measured, calculated, conscious occurrence. Like everything else, living was an accident. I was pushed too hard and held on for life. Nothing could hold what I had. So I became a historian obsessed with living and then living was all entrails and guts. The result is nothing beautiful. But the insides came first.
It took three years to become a real girl. When I was all flattened out again, I could wrap my hands around things and bring them close, press them against my eyelids. Library fees collected like the stacks of DVDs, thrifting trips, a different shoe in every style, all denim and lace one day, all chiffon and sunglasses the next. But I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t get it right. I could only chase the how. How to be collected and cohesive, how to be a whole, how to keep from flapping open like a broken shoe. I was pawing blindly at the mirror, grazing the surface like bubble wrap: Who am I? What do I look like? How can I show you with all this skin and hair and bones in the way?
Steel & Gossamer is my last attempt at being a real girl. I have real functions now. I go to school. I write. I have resisted name. But it is there with the other real girl things: the website, the blog, the twitter/facebook. It is there in the back corner between two commas. Somehow it is there: