Epiphany

 

i don't want to become important to anyone
because then they will demand those things
of me that it is always so hard for me to give.

consistency.

i don't want to be consistent because that
is predictable. i don't want to be predictable.

i don't want to become important to anyone
because then i would have to live up to their
assumption that i have value when i feel i
don't.

i was 7 years old and i was at work with my
father. don't ask me how i was able to be
at the City of Pontiac's Sewage Treatment
Plant in the middle of the night, but it was
a long time ago before there were so many
rules, i think. but it did happen.

and he was showing me around. the room with
all the big dials and the buttons and levers for
the monitoring of the pumps and tanks. he took
a crisp, newly sharpened, yellow #2 pencil and
he wrote numbers down on a clipboard. i remember
the way it smelled in there. not like sewage, but of
machinery.

and we went outside and there was a City car
and i asked him why the car had that emblem on
the side and he told me it belonged to the city of
Pontiac, that the people of Pontiac owned that
car. and he lifted me up to sit on the hood of the
car and i remember a thousand questions running
through my head, how did we pay for it? who gets
to drive it? can i drive it when i grow up? but i couldn't
ask them all, i had to find one question to ask, just one
or i would get "the look" or "the comment." so i asked,
"can i pick out which part i own, daddy?" and he said
yes, of course i could, and i said, "then i choose this spot
right here, on the hood. it's little and i bet not many people
would want this spot."

i want this small spot, right here. i don't think anyone else
wants this spot, as it is not important, it's not a steering
wheel or the gas pedal, it's this spot on the hood where
i can sit while we all go zooming down this interstate at
half the speed of sound.

it all goes past if you just sit still long enough.

denise

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