Monday, May 7, 2012

Literalistically Speaking.

I'm 32. If you've thought I was younger, it was most likely because I lied about it. Age; this heavy meal, carried around from the outside in. Perhaps some wear it well: like my grandmother. She just turned 93 and is mad as hell that she is, but (rumored to be) happy that she's made it this far. She cringes at her numbers; would rather invert the nine for a six, and in a fantasy that only she will ever be witness to: imagine herself again 39.

I don't blame her. And not because she'd whup my ass if I did (no kidding, this Gram don't take no bs), and not because I'm some sage (yet), but admitting to the defeat of lines, of downhilledness is some hard shit. Now, the alternative (death) is harder, necessary but got to age if you want to live. This is a hurting reality.

Some other realities are just as caustic. Take for example the volume lost post-breastfeeding (umm, wow), the reduced metabolism post 31 (holy shit), and the more serious reduction of emotional buoyancy (FML). I'm paddling harder now than I did in years past, when I had (seemingly) more to paddle from.

Life is as hard as people say it is. Sometimes harder.

I tried to explain to my 3 year old, a very emotionally-learned little creature, that if you are going to stare at someone, you must say hi. She took it literally: grimacing and forcing her hellos on people living on the fringe. Most are as curious as she is, looking back, wistful, wondering.

She asked me, after one of these DAMMIT HELLO sessions, why some people live on the streets, her fledgling logic demanded a clean response (she hates gray)

Why Mummah? They have to go into a HOME Mummah she continued. I explained that for some folks, this is all they got, and for some, this is all they get, earn, lose all the way down to.

I explained, that we are kinder to them because their lives are harder in most ways.

And she asked me how I knew that. Most likely trying to figure out if this was like the time I told her she'd get bugs in her bum if she sat on a cold floor, or kept wearing THE Tinkerbell undies. No. This wasn't a Mummah fib, not a fake ID, this won't get me a second look by a flirty bartender, or a compliment from a matronly sales woman. This was a truth Mummah lived. And Nana, and Papa too.

We lived on Huntington, and sometimes on Mass Ave our addresses wandering, fringe, lacy in their transparency. Fluid.

There are somethings only a literalist can understand.

Some reality is ugly, and not really worth lying about.