kicking her sneaker against the leg of the metal chair, she watched everyone working at their desks in the office that smelled vaguely like disinfectant and a dirty industrial mop. She was familiar with that scent. the walls were pale mint green. the radiators were painted a dull beige. her eyes flickered back and forth, observing, quiet. she wondered where she was headed. she sighed and closed her eyes briefly. her mother had exited as quickly as possible, leaving her alone again. she surrendered to the probable eventuality that this was just how her life would always be. she believed she had been forgotten by god, an oversight surely, it only served to reinforce the feeling that she didn’t belong.
she couldn’t understand, her mind worked it like a rubix cube, trying to make the colors match. why was her mom always mad at her, not angry, straight up mad. she tried being funny, understanding, and loving. loving her mom came easy, she had always had a bad case of shero worship.
maybe she had been really adopted at birth or kidnapped and she was going to accidentally be reunited with her real family, who would be overjoyed at finding their real daughter on their doorstep, when they were supposed to get a foster child. she shook her head at her vivid imagination and went back to contemplating life. she felt a little like annE (with an E) shirley, here and there looking to belong to someone, anyone? any takers?
her mom was in the habit of offering her up for adoption to people they knew. she would say so sweetly, she likes you so much, why don’t you take her. she would just look at her mom, wanting nothing more than to disappear on the spot, hurt and mortified.
a lady approached her with a clipboard to let her know they would be escorting her to the little flower foster agency in jamaica queens, where they would then escort her to the new foster home.
her stomach twisted and contorted with angst. who would she have to become now to survive this chapter?
opening her clenched right hand, there was the picture. frayed around the edges, slightly torn on one side. it was her tattered talisman, her amulet and so far, it had kept her alive. she often gazed intently at it, deeply inhaling the only sure love in her young life. she felt a reverence, and absorbing courage from that love, she prepared herself to ride once again in a car with a stranger going to an unknown location to be dropped off in the care of another stranger.
we are born knowing innately how to love. then doubt, comparison, jealousy, confusion dull the glow of love’s innocence and it transforms into some distorted shadow of its once previous magnificence. we think it’s still love, and in some ways, it is, but it lacks the strength of innocence that it once had.
until we do the work to reverse the curse of our societally jaded definition of love, the water downed version is the generic gift we give, in lieu of something so real and precious that’s been temporarily lost. in our quest to be ‘good’, accepted, and wanted we drank the kool-aid. we were only children, what could we have done.
(this song found me today, grabbed my heart and squeezed it… cathartic!)
a person is not defined by all the mistakes that he or she has made while under the influence of said kool aid, when they didn’t get it, didn’t understand or even perceive there was indeed better to be had. behaviors are an indication of deeper issues, fragmented pieces of self. a symptom of what’s going on underneath the surface, a tell, if you will for the disturbances under the hood.
I know better now, so I do better now. sometimes love means letting go, letting the picture float away on the wind.
the universe has my back