Monday, May 09, 2005

The Call

So, I have had quite a week and weekend.
I may actually have to get over my
allergic reaction to exercise and workout.
Since my preferred form of exercise (sex) happens
too few times and too far between times.
But, I digress. So, between open mics, my mother's performance,
her after party, needing to hang out with Melissa,
getting my mom off to South Africa, opening night of
Wizzer Pizzer and their after party, having an encounter of my own,
very nice I might add.
I was moving every night, and drinking every night,
doing poetry every night in some way or form, Theresa was a beat,
tired, and satisfied woman. Then Sunday, Mother's Day, I get a call.
Now normally I don't get phone calls at home teenagers, you know.
Realizing it was my cell, looking at the caller ID, what the fuck were the only
words that would come out of my mouth. It was my father. My biological father.
It threw me.
This is a man I haven't talked to on purpose for years.
The last time I had to see him was at my brothers wedding.
He pulls me to the side, I was warned to play nice earlier,
and it was my brother's wedding, and the reception hadn't started
so technically showing my ass twice would be redundant although
enjoyable in a de ja vu kind of way, I listened to the lie.
See, the only thing he tells me turns out to be lies.
He expressed that he was worried about me , that I didn't even tell him
about my upcoming surgery(this was in December) and he loved me.
He had this tearful look in his eye and I didn't respond.
To do so would be trading lie for lie, a game I'm not willing to play.
His last words to me on the subject were, " I'm going to call and check on you."
It never happened and I didn't count on it because this is a man
who hasn't remember my birthday in almost 20 years. No big deal.
So he calls on mother's day and if you decide to continue the reading
of this long winded blog you will see why it bugged me.
I tend to not deal with things, or those who don't want to deal with me.
Every once in a while I find myself in a situation where I'm trying to
save someone from themselves, but that shit never works. At Java, my head was full.
The call was fucking with me and I couldn't put my finger or my emotions on it.
When I got home I tried to think of my childhood with my father.
I have no memory of him before age eleven. Some friends think I am suppressing
a lot of shit, and they are definitely right. Let us pray that when I unsuppress (which I'm not sure is a word) that I am to old to pull the trigger and the shoppers of Piggly Wiggly will remain safe.
Here it is. I am going to perform it at the cemetery on Wednesday night, Collin Kelly is hosting an open mic there. I think it's just the right setting. Since I've kept this buried so long, it felt good to get it out. When I droped my poem it change the quotations, and apostrophe's to boxes. What the hell is that! I was going to fix it, but...NO!
Work it out!

May 8th 2005
My Sister's Birthday/ Mother's Day/ And My Last and Only Memory of My Father
© Theresa Davis 2005

"Happy Birthday to you!"
"Happy birthday to you!"
“Happy birthday my sweet baby girl!”
“It’s not my birthday.”
“It’s not my birthday.”
“No, Theresa, your other daughter
Whose birthday is not today.”
“Yeah, that’s me the other daughter
And well it’s not my birthday
But it does happen to be Mother’s Day
If you want to sing a few bars of that song.”
“Hey, baby I been meaning to call you.”
A lie, how unexpected
“Yeah, how you doing”?
“I’m fine.”
“Good, good.”
“I just don’t know how I got your numbers mixed up.
Let me try to find your sister and by the way …
Happy Mother’s Day.”

This phone call disturbs me at first
Then I become enraged
And it makes no sense
and I think I don’t care
But it’s not my fucking birthday
And it reminds me that he hasn’t
Remembered my fucking birthday
In what seems like forever
Or at least since that day
I don’t blame him from deleting me from his
Memory of family
The daughter who challenged his manhood
Left him fearful
Of the possibilities of me
The probability of me
The me who would not
Be controlled by him
See, me being the oldest of four
Me who learned at an early age
Exactly what bullshit
Smelled like
Walked like
I mean talked like
“You need to call your daddy”
My sister says to me every once in a while
Since my response never changes
It's become some twisted joke between us
“Call him what” I sometimes reply
In that smart ass way
That I’m told I do quite well
“Call him a … coward."
“A liar”
“The thief that stole my childhood memories
Of him before that day
And holds them hostage?”
Because I have no recollection of him before that day
“ I don’t have a daddy.” I sometimes reply
“My daddy died.”
She understands but only a little bit
Cause she was young
When it happened
The day he snapped and took
My memories of him as daddy away
Threw them away
Like mental garbage
The day I stood up to my biological donor
The day of my right of passage
A right not forged from ancestral beginnings
But urbanized cloaked in domestic violence
As much an oxy moron as friendly fucking fire
That day when he decided
My mother was to be his punching bag
As four children watched in horror he struck her
And the irony of this being Mother’s Day
Brings it back to me in a flood of anger
Sets my brow to frown
The only true memory of my father
Never again to be called daddy
A title he no longer deserves
Not in my heart or mind
No wonder he can’t remember my fucking birthday
Because something undoubtedly changed for him that day
The day he learned his daughter feared no man
Least of all her father
He hit her like she was a man
In full view of his children
Teaching them something
That my eleven year old mind refused to believe
Refused to accept that this was the action of a man
While my siblings cringed in fear
I stepped forward
“Don’t hit her again.”
My voice not quavering in my memory
He looked me in the eyes
His eyes
And I could have plucked them
His eyes
From my head to not see this picture
I think I would have
But then I would have never seen the look in his eyes
When I held the knife to his throat
Reminded him of my request with
“Don’t hit her again.”
First confusion danced in those eyes
He move as if to disarm me
The serrated edge fixed more
Tightly around his Adam’s apple
Fruit easy to slice
Old Gynsu commercial scrambling his reality
Then those eyes, his eyes transfixed registered fear
My eyes, his eyes, remained unblinking
“Call the police!”
I yelled to my brother who stood holding the others
Stuck in horror as though it were quicksand
“Call them!” I said
My eyes never left his eyes
As his eyes, my eyes, shifted in their sockets
He looking toward the door a possible exit
In hopes of fleeing this now tainted space
We all wanted to leave
But my brother couldn’t move
Trapped in the fear
I moved myself to face my brother
Serrated edges plotting a path
Around this used to be daddy's throat
I fixed him my brother with those eyes,
My eyes, my father’s eyes
“Hold the knife on him.” I said in away that would never
Be mistaken as a suggestion or a question
“Or bring me the phone!” my resolve stony
Something about my tone
Or maybe it was the eyes
It’s all in the eyes
My eyes
His eyes
Made him move my way
I fixed my eyes again on
His eyes my eyes on my father’s eyes
The man who no longer held the honor of being my dad
He beat it out of me
Just as sure as if he’d struck me instead of striking my mother
Just as sure as he called me to wish me happy birthday on a day that wasn’t mine
Just as sure as he was a coward and
Just as sure as I called him on it
Just as sure as I reminded him that
He would never lay a hand on my mother again
It's no wonder he's deleted me
I’ve deleted him
No daddy of mine would teach this lesson to his children
No daddy of mine would force me to protect mine from mine
No daddy of mine would be led away by police
No daddy of mine would fear the love I have for my family
No daddy of mine would forget my fucking birthday
And it’s here
Still here
It’s all in the eyes


M. Ru Pere said...

loved this at oakland the other night - also, never did understand what happened at the slam thing - the spielberg piece is great

Collin said...

Yes...good piece! update the blog. Hop to it! :)