A charged summer. Haven't left Central Oregon since February.
Remind me what day it is? What time do I have to be at work?
I asked you your pseudonym the other day.
It was some German sounding name, your Mom's maiden name. Why do I feel the need to give my writer friend's pseudonyms? Because writer's can't write about writers, they have other narrations going on. It's impossible to write on them without interrupting/writing over their own story. Everyone else is safe I guess.
T asked me to never talk about him, not to sieve him through my banality or romanticization. He felt like I had done such a shit job with everyone else's backstory, with the telling of their contribution to my life. He wanted to be an exception, without interpretation, tell his own story maybe, rather than be one in mine. He felt like I lied a lot, but my excuse is no one ever let's me finish talking. There are symbols embedded in the sentences, the description continues in the exploration of those symbols, but it's true nonetheless and the criticism stands uncorrected.
I make excuses, sluff around my lazy interpretation hoping everyone will fill in the trail of my ellipsis. Make everyone do their own research.
There's a story I'm sitting on at the moment that's exactly like that, I'm not sure how to tell it.
The characters in play go back 66 years and I know the broad brush strokes but not the smaller points. It's cooked into my DNA enough to pick up some of the pieces, and I can act as a conduit in that, but I wasn't there.
I set up my altar. I pray. I ask permission from the ancestors. From my grandmother.
I remember she was a storyteller as well and took liberties.
My Mom started asking questions, writing emails. It was known her mother, my grandmother, had a child she offered for adoption. It was in Great Falls, Montana when she was in nursing school, we had heard. What had we heard?
Stray comments: once, in an argument, my grandfather had reminded his wife, in front of the children, she had had a child in Montana.
Then, another time, my aunt had overheard a friend of my grandmother's asking if she wanted to meet the child, who would've been teens or early twenties during that time.
These were small clues.
My Mom wrote letters to Montana, to people who knew my grandmother during that time. Nothing substantial came back. Grand passed in 2014. Mom and I submitted our DNA to Ancestry last year.
A few days ago a woman, Nikki, pinged me on facebook letting me know her husband had gotten his DNA results back and we were fit genetically to be second cousins.
"Sooo.. this is awkward and I'm hoping I don't open a can of worms.." she had written and the big tectonic mystery plate slid into place, finally.
An Aunt in Montana, and cousins. She had been looking, Mary is her name - was her name, for answers. She passed suddenly, two years ago, not knowing her biological mother (or father?)
The light comes out, exposing something buried but not buried. All these lives living in Montana with this certain kind of blood that runs through me.
Mary, I just learned about you and I'm already not telling your story right.
We wanted to find you.
We wanted you to know that you are loved and held and thought about. We wanted you to know we were looking too, and that we wanted to know you. I wanted to show you my research, about our lineage. I wanted to know if you were witchy like me and Great Aunt Nora or Christian, like my Mom. Did you feel the insatiable desire to discover the world like your biological mother, my Grandmother and Great Grand Father? Or did you like to stay close to home?
What questions did you have of us that we might answer? What answers might you have for us?
We wanted to know you. We still do.
Nikki said you loved horses. You got married in 1974 when you were 20. You had three sons. Your husband passed in 2006. You won a trip to Africa and got married for the second time in 2007. You were "so happy and adventurous in the last 11 years," Nikki let's us know.
The story continues, I'm not writing it, but keeping record. Trying to be accurate.