Here the story begins, or does it?
There was an infant, born of a supposedly normal family, in a supposedly normal town.
There was a "gift", if you will, perhaps inherited from her grandmother.
There was a seeing of the undercurrents of despair and madness around her.
At the age of ten, one of my favorite books was "Hiroshima Diary", written by a doctor who was present in the days after the nuclear weapon was dropped. But then, books were my life. Friends? How can one be friends with people who play with Barbie dolls? How can one be friends with people whose idea of reading is a "Peanuts" collection in paperback?
I dreamed, I read, I walked and wandered. In the books, I was another person, not the small, poor, bookish girl. I could be male and female, old and young. I could not be, however, happy. I discovered acting and took the art of losing my self to a new level.
I grew, I moved to a new place. I could remake myself and did. I discovered bigger and better libraries, and books which moved me to the core of my soul. I discovered the pleasures of the night, of music, of the flesh.
I discovered what parents do to young girls who discover these things.
There is the me that is, and the me that was, and the me that was too early, or too late or something.
By the time goth reached its first flower in the US, I was already a single parent, living in a low-income apartment with a tiny boy who appeared to be of elven blood. His father had left us for the perilous pleasures of madness.
I sat with my son and my Bauhaus singles, trapped and alone. I withered. I became the deadrose.
Now I can connect again, but though the mind is there, the body is no longer willing. I hate to look in the mirror, to see the changes that years and children have wrought upon the slim androgyne of past times. I am ill, I am tired. The heart is still tattered and sooty from the fires it has endured, the love, the trust, the destructions thereof. The skin is still pale, the eyes full of sadness. But there are so few who see that far. They stop at the glance, seeing only a tired-looking woman limping along with her children and groceries.
There were times....
There were those times:
Wandering the foggy streets of San Francisco, Buena Vista Park in the night, stark and eerie.
Cigarettes and speed and cheap red wine, and the talk, oh the talk...
There were always the others...they called us punks then because there was no other place to put us...but we did not listen to Discharge, or Germs or Crass. We sat in the corners, listening to Joy Division and speaking in quiet tones of Nietszche, of the dark beauties we had found, of the darker pain in our lives. We found each other...
We met on mattresses in the shallow dawn to weep and to touch...none of us expecting love, but ever hoping that someone would see into our shells, to the lonely shy person, to the hopeless romantic, and would love us in return as deeply as we loved, and would accept our moods and despair, our scribbling hours with pens and paper...
But though love sometimes came, it also died, as all things die, even hope...another as blackened as us could not survive the dual darkness, and one that was not could only watch in horror when the gloom fell, exhorting us to "get a grip". And again we found ourselves alone...wandering the graveyards in our minds...so we took to wandering the graveyards outside as well.
She was goth too soon and now goth too late. She has given up on ever finding that shimmering immanent love, and has settled instead for what is there. She is too scarred from the reaching out, too scared from the rejections, the violence, to try any further. Friends would be good...friends would be perfect. She will be the androgyne again, not in body but in spirit, neither female nor male, asexual ...and perhaps in time the wounds will heal.
16 Feb 96
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