I look at the photos. I imagine I see resemblances, mannerisms, similar raised eyebrows and downward facing lips at rest. Is that a trace of the strange ‘lump’ I’m blessed with in the middle of my forehead? The one that, with age, is becoming defined at its edges and permanently engrained. Does her voice have the same intonation and timbre? Yes, they have music and dancing, at least one thing is explained. There are three surviving.. and they knew of me.
Such a bitter-sweet. I learned of a biological father’s love, revealed to my unknown kin, on his deathbed. So that they might let me know, should I ever contact them, that he cared. I wonder how often he wondered about me? I wonder how often he relived the affair with my mother? Did he feel ashamed? Saddened? Angry that she so willingly went along with the plan of severing all contact so that her husband might raise me as his own entirely and keep the family together?. Am I angry about that? Resentful? I’m not sure… Perhaps I would have enjoyed being part of two families… perhaps I would never have spent so many years feeling cast adrift in a soul that knew it didn’t entirely ‘belong’… that there was something wrong.. on an instinctive level… Perhaps I should have reacted more when I was told at the tender age of 19… maybe I shouldn’t have just been totally cool about it… maybe, ignoring fairly massive things and telling yourself ‘whatever’, is not healthy in the long run. Maybe, if I’d have chased things up then, I might have actually met him. Touched his hand… looked into his eyes and searched his brow for the tell-tale ‘sign’. But I left it too late.
And the deal? that was what happened ‘back then’. Things were different. Mistakes were covered up, affairs were dirty, dirty things capable of tearing apart families and generational ties. Love. How can it be viewed as so wrong? So.. deniable!? To learn that neither biological parent was particularly happy in their marriages, merely just getting on with it, because that’s what happened ‘back then’… The thought that I might be the physical manifestation of perhaps the only genuinely deep union with another soul each of them ever had, saddens me. It might explain the forlorn weight I’ve always carried with me. An innate melancholy. Is it possible while cells are being formed that they might absorb the emotions surrounding/resulting in, their conception? By osmosis or something? The weight of emotions becoming so heavy they manifest matter, molecules of salty unwept, pushed down tears, being greedily sucked up by the hungrily dividing cellular, I. Forever carried. A vessel of secrets.
I’m not sure how I feel… I’m not sure how I’m meant to feel. I feel touched that I was known about. I feel touched that I am ‘wanted’, or at least, interested in. At 18 I had everything sussed! Ever since then the world has unravelled more and more each year, the twine runs downhill now, gathering pace. Last year I started piecing myself back together again, my part on the planet, my purpose, my history, why I made the decisions I did, what to do to carry on moving on. Now I have just been dispersed into all those separate angsty, silent, molecules. All that collected energy.. all those tears not wept, words not said, stories not told, laughter unfed, memories not made… all the chasm of years wasted, wondering, carrying the lostness, apologetically shuffling my way round my life’s edges, heavy with my biologically constructed shame. What now? Do I really want to suddenly engage myself with a new half family? Am I really prepared to fully view my own family as only, physically, a ‘half family?’… I am suddenly cast adrift between blood types and eye colours.. features and characteristics. I don’t know who I am. At least when I didn’t know, I could pretend. I could construct an idea, dream a scenario, imagine a blurry memory of hugging on to someone’s legs in a wheat-field and believe they might have been his. I’m not sure I’m ready to know that they weren’t.
I didn’t think this shit would affect me so deeply.