To Cease Sleeping

This is a stream of my thoughts about myself, my parents, my self-image, and truth.


1. Genealogy

    I was born December 19, 1993 in Modesto, California. I know this because I've been told by my parents and my birth certificate that it is so. I never questioned it...I never questioned much of anything.

    I grew up loving what my mother loved, abhorring what she abhorred, saying what she said, and sleeping in the same position at night, because, somehow, it was just as uncomfortable for me to sleep on my back as it was for her. I didn't understand my father very much. My mother says he was troubled, and that his childhood was not as serene and spiritually sound as mine. But she didn't have to tell me he was good; I saw that for myself.

    I remember the smell of the roses, and the authenticity of the smile I always saw on his face as I peeked over their soft petals to thank him. Every Valentine's Day, that gentle man would come home with a single pink rose for me, and a red bouquet for my mother. It was his most extravagant gift, not because of it's grandeur, but because of  the deep affection attached to it that I so rarely got to glimpse. He was not an unloving father, but communicating his devotion in any other way besides working to death to provide for us was seemingly lost on him.

    "Look at our beautiful little girl." I used to examine myself in the mirror and see a youthful, lovely version of my mother. Same eyes, same hair, same Argentine cheekbones. Her freckles must have jumped from her face to mine when I was a little girl. Old pictures say she had them, but perhaps they have faded past the point of recognition. The expression of the mouth and the eyebrows, both turned down at the ends because that's all of us that gravity could persuade to stay near the ground. My dad managed to sneak something in though: his nose, petite and inconvenient when I have a cold, and his smile, showing off my teeth, gums, and dimples. I am a delicate compound. I am the fire and faded comeliness of my mother precariously, perfectly, mixed with the purity and active calmness of my father. I am the result of love, anger, compassion, stubborn decisions, second chances, and a marriage that ended as suddenly as it began sixteen years prior.

    But now I see it- the eyes are different, my chocolate unpenetrated by the green of her hazel. My nose is smaller than his, with  femininity and grace. My soft wavy hair, dyed red and resembling no one in my family, hugs my face. My face. It's mine. I have a story, I have a voice that sounds like neither of theirs. I never used it, I never knew it.

    I have thoughts, dangerous thoughts, that tell me I am free. I am different. I am a separate person. I listen to them now, and have discovered their danger: they are true. Truth is dangerous.

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