My life, since I came back from Cuba, has been all about the dream deferred. I haven’t minded taking care of my mother, and taking care of, once and for all, my terrible upbringing — the epiphany is entirely quotidian but earthshaking.
As an ACOA once described it to me, it is pausing at the door of the hospital room and realizing, in one tsunami of emotion, that they had never taken care of you and now you must break the chain of karma alone. Then there was what I call the vortex of mayhem, managing two storage spaces, five or six dwellings, three of them (including the $8000-a-month-room in the big house, and the $2000 a month one) infested, moving the Aged Parent six times in two years, from shithole to shithole, the voice in the burning bush which told me last year I was “working out of the wrong energy” and that the “answer is in your house” — but it has been a job. I resent having the goalposts moved, just as I was fixing to start to sell my book. I resent, terribly, the financial and health implosions, and have noted that being the
victim target of terrible helpless insane peoples’ cruelty is humiliating. Don Miguel’s second agreement, and all the forgiveness work I’ve been doing, speaks to this.
What I have forgotten is what the job coach started to talk to me about just before the shit hit the fan. First, that nobody would hire me as long as the Aged Parent was not in a nursing home. (Having to move her to five different ones and two “rehabs” did not solve this problem.) Second, a 10 year plan. I find myself with artifacts of that straight talk of so long ago — a plus size work wardrobe for a woman of a certain age, budget wise, confected to convey readiness to work, [false] able-bodiedness and up-to-date skills. This itself is as big a mountain to move as was a suitable work wardrobe in 1969, when there was no such thing.
The 10 year plan was then and is now, I have realized, over the last month, about New York City. I wasn’t wrong to choose it then, and I am not wrong to choose it now. Ariele and Amelie’s posts about finally getting studio space in Brooklyn crystallized it for me, as did the dawning realization that Macondo is all about being too far away from God, and Forty-second Street, with the A-bomb, Camp Ped and [redacted from private blog]. I came here because the nursing homes were one-quarter the price of the ones in D.C. and I had to plan for a life that including my mother’s living for another 10 years. My recent visit to Phoenix, which, while it is literally 107 degrees in the shade, overwhelmed me with the happiness and agency and purposive well-kept optimistic and artistic public spaces, entirely lacking here in Macondo. And don’t blame it on the Indians or the Chicanos. They got them, and their genocided ghosts, in Phoenix too. I blame it on the Hispano Inquisition penitente karma, the caudillismo. Macondo. First in the nation in prison rapes. First with the A-bomb.
The fireflies in Gramercy Park. I just remembered that, and realized it is still completely within my grasp.
I want it. I have never gone without anything I wanted.