I stood before their open front door, my face illuminated by the porch light. I was staring at the couple with a smile on my face. I was present in the cool night, my attention upon them, nodding at their words, looking into their eyes. They talked of birth order, the predisposition to be either gentle or aggressive was determined by sibling placing. The eldest…the peacemaker. Too much of a generalization to have any meaning. I agreed with them, nodding my head. But then, I broke from them and journeyed inside, wasn’t I the eldest in a family? Yes, my brain confirmed the fact. “The peacemaker” they said, I continued nodding, responding as needed to their words. I am the eldest. But I have caused the most strain, the most worry. I am the lone wolf in a family of strangers. I grew up alone, alienated from each of them. I was the caretaker of the home after school. I was the nurse when bills had to be paid, I was the companion on a street without children. My earliest friends were not made of flesh, invisible to all but me, and then even they left me alone, both of them, Domba and Mitsy…they vanished, even the memory was stolen, taken to the eternal place where little children dream about fairies and tooth collectors that come with twenty dollar bills.
Their theories crumbled in my hands. Its generalizations that smear the colors of the world with a flat paint brush, coloring it all gray. The wet stones are as different as the swirling lines of jasper. Take the cover off your eyes, we are all the same mechanical operations that function out of fear and desire, but within this nest of wires and blinking lights, we can scrounge and find the rainbows sent off by electric fish, alive and glowing with the pulsations of a rhythmic heart.
I hold both extreme points of the spectrum in my hand. I watch them turn like stones. The blend of truth beats against a sky that speaks in the seven languages of light. I stand below the sky, with my mouth open and my tongue pointed up to the fast moving clouds. Grant me the wish, send a single drop of sweet dew, my tongue is waiting, the scepter that awaits its crowning. The clouds open, and inside, waiting, is darkness…waiting like an exposed queen, her legs wide and open, but the portal leads to more nothingness.
Does this painting fit into the small world were the eldest children are kind? Does the open mouth, the wet tongue, does this fit in a world of small controlled families that dine on each other’s failings? It is a feast that is always cold, but they gather just the same.
With set tables of linens and crystal, they gather to eat the tepid turkey and drink from their glass of sadness. My eyes are hollow as I watch the scene, an unwilling participant, but my body is there nonetheless. The con continues, you call me daughter, I call you my chain. The birth portal is closed and sealed. The wet tunnel long ago condemned. The silver cords that bound us were severed decades ago when the hugs stopped and the hair on my legs became an issue and my jiggling breasts caused you to stare in revulsion. The silver cords are not buried somewhere below the surface of earth, they have disappeared from memory, the bond is gone, vaporized like my old invisible friends, thoughts tempted into existence only by the photos that I carry with sadness and wonder.
Who were those people? I recognize the faces, but the moment is buried, far away, in a place where families hold their love like weapons and children sing out of tune while they wait for their secret midnight myths to come true.