backyard crowing



I read Hannah's book "Buffering" in two days, yesterday and the day before.

Trigger warning: you will cry.

But, it's great. Like her, I've always loved memoirs. And like her, my mother kept journals, too.

I wonder if my grandmother did the same? Certainly my actress great-grandmother would have written about her life, and my great aunt publishes novels to this day, some of them personal narratives.

I wonder if great-grandma did comedies, drama, or some other genre? Or all genres? She was classically trained for the stage in NYC.

She ran away to the stage. When grandma told me that, I immediately wanted to know more. I asked Mom why she didn't tell ME that.

And it's probably because she didn't want ME running away to the circus, too.

And though the improv theater is strictly for fun in my eyes, NYC has called out to me for ten years now.

I needed to leave Texas long ago. I'm more than sick of this place, it's not where I'm from figuratively, and not where I'm meant to be from.

I wish I could talk to my great grandmother, and ask her how she got the money to run. Why she ran, what raising children was like.

Her children's father was rarely in the picture, and she had three kids: two daughters and a son. My grandmother, and her sister and brother.

Brother is dead, now. Sister is retired and writes books, and my grandmother, she lives in a memory care center.

They all must have had very difficult lives. Great Grandma would tell her children stories instead of feeding them, because they didn't always have food.

At one point in their adult lives, Sister Novelist asked my Grandmother if she remembered the man who raped them. She immediately changed the subject, didn't want to talk about it or admit it.

Their mother was gone often -- working, to make ends meet. They were left to their own devices pretty regularly.

I heard somewhere that today, you can't have a "latchkey kid." But really, some of my fondest childhood memories were of the latchkey days.

I learned to love The Beatles, and the Rosie O'Donnell Show, and caught up with my friends on AIM. The 90s were an interesting time.

I wouldn't trade my latchkey days for more helicopter parenting, no way.

But it wasn't like that for Hannah Hart, who was a very lonely extrovert stuck in an environment that was uninhabitable. There were spiders all across the ceilings, cockroaches everywhere, and no AC in the summer. The electricity wouldn't stay on because of money problems, and things like aspirin were left out, totally in reach of her as a small child. She describes a wealth of childhood trauma in her book.

And really, I'm sure it's not the whole picture.

So it is with her in mind that I remember the generations before me, what bits I know of them.

4:23 am - Monday, Oct. 24, 2016


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