Saturday, August 30, 2008

Garden of burnt grass

My grandmother is in my apartment for the first time, she's staring at something in the corner and I can't tell if it's the photo on the wall or that incense burner on the kitchen counter, why is there an incense burner over there and before I can figure it out my grandmother is lifting the cabinet in the corner and pushing it closer to the wall. You shouldn't do that, I say -- you're going to hurt yourself. But then I realize it's absurd to talk like that -- she already moved it, and I can tell she's hurt herself she's trying to seem okay and I want her to be okay but is that really a part of her back jutting out at an awful angle, pointing through her dress? She collapses face-down onto the sofa, head hanging over the edge I say Rose, do you need help and she's not saying anything I know this is going to hurt my body but I pull her up from behind she's heavier than I thought and I'm holding her underneath the shoulders, trying to get her to the bed in my mother's room I should yell for Allison to help I'm trying to yell but my throat is dry it's just a whisper and I keep trying but nothing comes out and then finally just a soft call but Allison hears me. At this point I'm already in the bedroom, I release Rose to the bed in front of the window, trees outside almost coming in and Allison and I are looking at Rose to see how she's doing I'm looking at Rose's face and I realize her head’s detached from her body I can't breathe, her head’s resting on the pillow I don't know how I mean is there anything we can do and I'm looking at Allison to see if she notices, but then I remember this is a dream and I yell it: THIS IS A DREAM, and then there are three heads: there's Rose on the bed and then Allison has two more, one is calm just like the one on the bed without pain and the other is black and burnt horror movie rage and that's the one I want, the one I want to throw out the window I need to get rid of all that rage I'm trying to get Allison to hand it over right away so then I can decide whether to throw it through the window of my mother's bedroom, that bedroom from childhood, through the window with the glass shattering everywhere in one final gesture or no, maybe I should open it first and send that awful head out into the garden of burnt grass.

11 comments:

Hilary Goldberg said...

Sounds like some guidance coming through the ol' subconscious station - seems like your intuition knows what's up.

Been reading your new book before bed...I suppose it is sort of the anti bedtime story book by title alone, but it's nice to leave the day behind and delve into your universe.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Hmmm... I'll have to think about the guidance part -- and yay for anti-bedtime bedtime reading! I mean as long as it doesn't, I mean -- you know what I mean...

Love --
mattilda

Hilary Goldberg said...

throw the rage out the window?

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Yes yes yes -- if only it were so easy!!!

But actually I think it might be more about expressing the rage and therefore throwing it out the window, probably that's the only way...

Love --
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

I've been throwing my rage out a window since October 31 of last year, and I honestly feel better for it now.

But I can't seem to get to the bottom. There's always more.

Your dream: I've been having dreams like that ever since my grandmother died. What's strange to me is how it all seems normal in my dreams.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Lisa, yay for all that rage! Or all that rage out the window! Or yay for all that rage and all that rage out the window!

So so true that there's always more -- lately (as in the last seven years) I feel like I don't express it at all, and it just gets stuck inside, ouch!

Love --
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

My fear - or anxiety - is that when I throw the rage out the window, there's no one standing outside to witness it.

And then there's the old stuff. Like earlier today someone told me that she can't be transphobic because "phobia's a fear," and how many times has that one been trotted out?

I guess that was easier than addressing how I was pointing out the people she was defending (Not In My Showers, Montgomery County, Maryland) used lies to convince people to sign their "repeal gender identity protections" petition.

So then there's just that much more to work through again - and it's the same stuff I've worked through before, over and over.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Lisa, yes you're right we need witnesses!

I love it when people say they "can't be" something that anyone can be, at any time -- such a preposterous rejection of self-awareness!

And oh no, I grew up in Montgomery County -- help!

Love --
mattilda

Lisa Harney said...

This whole Montgomery County thing is a mess. The people campaigning against the inclusion of gender identity in the anti-discrimination laws...

Well, at first it allowed anyone to use the proper restrooms, but the religious right complained that it'd allow men in dresses to rape helpless women and children in the restrooms, so the council removed that law, and the religious right decided it still hated the law and started a petition to get it on the ballot...and told people the the law would allow men in dresses to rape helpless women and children in the restrooms.

And so this person who is part of CRG keeps going on about irrelevant stuff, like arguing that she can't be transphobic because she doesn't fear trans people, rejecting the actual definition of the word, and trying to divert the discussion into that.
I'm only involved because I'm trying to hold her accountable for what she's saying, but she's trying to be slippery about it...and, blah, sorry to drop all that here on your blog.

Lisa Harney said...

Anyway, that's my rage for today.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

I know -- this risk of men in dresses raping helpless women -- the way that transphobic individuals work to enact violence while pretending they're actually protecting someone. While, at the same time, keeping actual violence against women, trans and non-trans, thriving.

So of course your rage is important!

Love --
mattilda