Tuesday, March 21, 2006

When I was about 13 or fourteen,

maybe 15, my mother and I went to my grandmother's house in Louisiana's northwestern urban center. At the time my aunt and her three kids were staying with her. We walked in and two of those kids, both girls and older than me, were there. For some reason, it seems like I was wearing something that garnered the following comment - I cannot remember what led to this, but one of them said,"yeah, you gonna be a heartbreaker when you grow up,".

It was one of those things you hear a kid say that sounds like a saying that they've picked up from their parents. It didn't quite fit the body it was coming from, you know?

Anyway, it was one of those things that there will never be enough time between me and it to forget. I know she meant it as a compliment, and it may not sound that important, but those words have always stuck with me...a little bit like the first time you hear that you're dark, or light, or skinny or fat, or poor. Now I was about to say that there was a time when I took some pride in that, but I don't think there actually was.... It feels like, from early on, I thought to myself, "heartbreaker? Who wants to break hearts? That don't feel good,".

And I remember feeling good in that realization. That, at an early age, I'd already figured out that I didn't want to be a player or whatever. There's aggressive game and passive aggressive. I sorta just ended up with passive...

So they told me that I would be a heartbreaker. And, lo and behold, despite all that early wisdom, that is exactly what I've turned out to be. I am a heartbreaker. I break hearts. Not even on purpose. And that shit hurts. I actually prefer being on the receiving end of pain. I'd rather feel it seven times than deal it. Nevertheless, I break somebody's heart. And not cute, high school, "I'm sorry, but I just don't feel the way you do," heart break - although that DID happen. I mean making people cry, beg, plead, wrestle with their own emotions heartache. And it's not from cheating. It's not physical abuse. It's just somebody wanting to be there for you, submit to you.... I mean, how the hell do I or anybody else have the nerve to say no to someone offering their whole self to you? And I know that shit is painful, embarrassing, dehumanizing. Still, I would rather be that one than the one saying no. But I continually am.

Why couldn't they tell me, "______, you are going to be a healer when you grow up,"? "You are going to build bridges and join hands and heal wounds and stop wars and nurture families,"?
Why couldn't they say, "you will be a vessel - when people look at you they will see God/Truth/Light/Infinity and know that their pain is nothing...".

Though, I guess that might have been a little much to ask a couple of teenage girls.

Do me a favor. The next time you're around an infant (and you don't have a communicable illness) lean down into their ear and whisper to them that contained within their bodies are the necessary elements to make fire*, and that means they will give light, produce warmth and radiate energy.

So people will know they have a fighting chance against me.

*I'm not making this up. We contain fuel (fat, aka: stored energy), oxygen and an ignition source (nerve pulses=electricity). See. You're a walking reactor and didn't even know it. Now go inhale some pain and burn bright for the needy.

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