Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I was always "Camille, her parents are deceased."  I always knew that I would receive a yearly sum at a certain age for a specified time.  I always knew that I would inherit my paternal grandmother's duplex at her death.  That is what I was groomed for by my grandmothers.  Who was I really?  What did I really want?

I have only gone through the motions in my adult life, never truly living, only having brief moments of brightness amidst darkness.  I had survived a childhood trauma, reaped financial and material benefits from the trauma and later used those resources to numb any residual pain leftover from the trauma.  That is all.

This came to a head in Alameda.  I had real money and property without a real job in a changing economy.  I was also new in town and open to meeting new people, particularly inside bars.  Some people, especially men, couldn't handle me.  Tensions grew so thick that I had to stop frequenting a coffee bar or else.  It only went downhill from there. 

It literally hit home when one of my neighbours rejected me.  He made it very clear that I did not belong here.  This rejection, coupled with minimal peer support and weak connections to my family of origin sent me over the edge.  I gave up.  I disappeared into a dive bar, drinking and flirting with the socially alienated.  I grew bloated and belligerent, a far cry from anything my grandmothers had ever groomed me to be.

I sealed myself into a vacuum here at home when this failed, calling forth my right livelihood through various prayers and rituals.  I worked my way through the wine cabinet and chocolates, steadily clearing out the clutter and getting organised.  I quickly attracted a boozy romp with Belle's dad.  This triggered a return to eating local, organically grown foods (Belle's dad used to live in a house located along the farmer's market.), and, eventually, Belle.  Who am I really?  What do I really want?

I am Belle's mom.  I am recouping a sense of self through motherhood.  As challenging as it is, this is work I must do without her father, my parents or his.  This is work I must do in Alameda, despite any adversity I once experienced as a young [black] woman with real money and property without a real job.  I am stepping out from behind "Camille, her parents are deceased" and finally being reunited with my creativity and playfulness, something which became repressed in my maternal grandmother's apartment.  I am becoming my authentic self.

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