Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

Los Angeles, California USA



I was born at Cooley Dick across from beautiful, flat Child's Park on the day the forsythia started to bloom. There is a photo where my dad is holding me and my brother looks pissed. My dad looks happy. That makes me happy because when I was eight my mom told that she wanted me from the get go but that my dad wanted to abort me. That made me really sad but when I got older it didn't make me as sad because I started to understand that parents are people. Now we even joke that I should send a thank-you note to Dr. Francis- the therapist that encouraged my dad to have me when all he wanted to do was get a divorce and start again. Thank you Dr. Francis! On my birthday my brother Sam would get a present and vice versa, so that neither of us got too jealous. One year we each got huge stuffed snakes. My bedroom was so messy you couldn't see the floor and one day someone cleaned it and the shiny yellow wood floor scared me and I couldn't sleep that night. I found a woman's pink bikini in the car once and Dad said he took it by accident from the changing room at the YMCA and I said "Why was there a woman's bikini in the men's changing room?" My mother brought bagels and cream cheese every Tuesday night after ballet class. I really looked forward to that. I got so much better at ballet once my best friend Alexa moved to Italy because then I couldn't watch and copy her anymore. I had to do it myself and I did. Sometimes I was scared to talk. When I was in elementary school I wrote my first poem about a bunny running in the lime green grass. It was a haiku. My dad said I was going to be a poet! I remember that making me so happy. I loved my cat Midnight Bacos Titelman The Third as much as any person and I still blame myself for him dying and for not putting him in a better home. It taught me that nothing goes away, you think maybe you'll forget something that makes you sad, or something that you know you could have done differently, and then you never do. When I have a gut feeling now, I try to follow it, because otherwise it haunts me. I couldn't learn to read at the fancy private school and then I went to the public school and I learned really fast. I became best friends with Tria who lived in the projects and she had red hair and was very possessive of me which made me uncomfortable but I also really liked it because it made me feel special. I was so skinny that people asked if I was an Ethipoian. My knees were so big and I used to say "Mom my knees are Toooo Big!", and my mom would say "Sweet Pea, don't be silly, it is not possible for your knees to be too big. They are just right!" Later on I went to an orthopedist because I had knee pain and he took Xrays and said "The reason you are having pain is because your knees are Too Big for your Slots". I knew it.
Oh how I loved Ben Podolak. I would have let him do anything to me. Anything. That day at the Leeds pool club and standing under the waterfall with him, I was wearing my black bathing suit and I could just feel everything in the most alive way. The sun never felt so nice. He stole a car and went to kids jail and wrote me love letters. He was great the first weekend he got out, the gentleman I always wanted him to be, and then he went back to be being a jerk. In seventh grade I told Mrs. Poittier in front of the whole class that she shouldn't say the word retarded. I really embarrassed her. I am not sure if I did it because I was standing up for mentally disabled people or else I just really wanted to embarrass her. Samara (whose name was first Becca but she changed it in college because she didnŐt feel like a Becca) and I walked home from school and the door was locked and so I sat on SamaraŐs shoulders (she is a year younger and shorter but much stronger than me) and I saw my mom in the tv room on the canvas army green couch and I rapped on the window but she just laid there, really still. I banged and banged, screaming and she lifted her head and mumbled some words and went back to sleep. I banged harder. Then she got up and stumbled to the window and slurred something about taking us to McDonalds later. And then she fell down and passed out on the floor. Samara was scared that she was dead. I knew she wasn't. But I kind of wished she was. Marsha called me Clairso and sang me to sleep with a song called Patches, about a girl throwing herself into a river because she couldn't be with the man she loved. I didn't realize at the time that is was about suicide. I just thought it was beautiful. Marsha was beautiful and had big lips and wore tight jeans and once installed a toilet in her friend's house who couldn't afford one. She smoked cigrarettes which my dad hated and she never wanted to buy anything that was good quality and he didn't like that either. She left my dad for this horrible man named Don with a Maine accent and a huge gut and a drinking problem who did construction on our street. I still thought it was my dad's fault. Oh, I missed her. I fell in love with Amos who was always unconsciously/self consciously brushing the two little dividing parts of his hair at the top of his forehead and trudging around our arty campus in his high top basketball sneakers, selling pot even though he was like the richest kid ever. He always took care of me when I was sick. We had such a good time just being quiet together driving in the car. My dad talked a lot! We used to sing the soundtrack to Westside story on the way to New York which was so fun and then I would get panic attacks and he would pull of to the side of the road. Sam used to sleep in the room without heating and he'd lift weights in there. He would make me spot him after school which was so scary because if he couldn't lift it up, then there was no way I could either. We always went to Truro, Cape Cod and Sam and I would race up and down the dunes at sunset and my dad would time us. Sam always won but he was older and bigger so it just made sense. My dad is really young looking. He would take us to "Just Desserts" and there would be mosquitos and jazz music. One summer we listened to a tape of Sarah Vaughn over and over till it broke. In college I read my best friends journal and realized she wasn't my best friend. She said stuff like I was boring and that watching my plays made her sick and that she felt bad for me. She apologized and said that she was depressed and wrote that stuff in the middle of the night when she was pissed that she couldn't sleep and drugged up on ativan. She said she was sorry and that she loved me and that we were sisters. I said "Hey no worries, I understand, I forgive you." But I didn't. I realized then that I am a lot less forgiving in reality than I imagine myself to be.
Patrick says how did you turn out okay? I said "well, I never felt not loved. My mom and my dad and Marsha and Kevin and Patty and Tinka and Marcy all really love/loved me.
Once my mom chased Sam with a Joy of Cooking cookbook. I took horseback riding lessons and I started on an old white pony named Donner. When I would do a play everyone would come. When I wrote the play that was done in the pool outside Marsha even came in her wheel chair. My dad asked my teacher if I was good enough to make it as a playwright. When I was about to move to LA to be an actor he asked me if I thought I was good enough to make it as an actor. There are not many Meryl Streeps in the world, he said. The april before Marsha died I came home for a week and visited her in the nursing home and one time I got into the bed with her. She acted like she didn't think it was a good idea, but I think she liked it anyway. Whenever people haven't seen me in a while they say I smell the same. I think I have a stronger smell than most women and I have always found that disconcerting. Tinka taught me to drive. Sam isn't speaking to me because he wants me to take better care of my mom and her diabetes. I make funny faces in commercials and throw coffee at people and I get paid for it. Now I get panic attacks when Patrick lays on top of me. It is okay if we are having sex but if he just lays on top of me I can't stand it. We are on a break now, he wants to get married or something and I don't know if I want to or if he is the right person- how do you know? My psychoanalyst said that it is an unconscious thing, psychoanalysts think everything is unconscious. I am spending a lot of time by myself watching good movies, like two days ago I watched Vanya on 42nd St because Jeremy says that I should make a film of my kitchen play and that Vanya will inspire me; alternating with good movies in a whole other way, like yesterday I watched Just My Luck with Lindsay Lohan. I am also trying to sleep with boys that are 21 because when they come they are devastated in the sweetest way. I am looking up at the my door and there is a little postcard next to it that says an upside down "Good Luck" in the middle of an upside down horseshoe. I used to have it right side up so that you could read the words but then someone told me a right side up horseshoe causes bad luck. So now it is upside down. It is right above the white, plastic hook where I hang my keys. I put the hook up recently so I would stop losing them. It feels really good to know where my keys are.