A few months ago, I “checked in” with you. Touched base, to see how you were doing. By letting you know I am Queer, I brought you into my closeted world – where the rules of society are stifling and empathy runs rampant. It is hardly a terrible place, the people in it make the best of it – they live and love when the whole world points and stares and decides for them otherwise. I knew how hard it would be for you. I knew I would be responsible for everything you went through hearing of my sexuality. And strangely enough, I would have to be ok with your turmoil. I decided I was going to be ok with it because I knew I would be there for you. I promised you I would be there for you. But…you did not understand that as my intention. You did not understand that I had your back even if no one had mine. You said to me that you could not speak at distance about “it”. You needed to speak with me face to face and if you could miraculously fly out the very next day and appear in front of me you would. And you would speak to me. I could feel your hurt. I could feel the pressure that you said I was putting on you by simply asking, “Mom, can we talk? Hows it going?” But what choice did I have but to agree? 14,000 odd miles separate us and I agreed to shut up so that I could in some perverse way keep my promise.
Your favourite cynic (arguably) – once wrote – Happiness is an agreeable sensation, arising from contemplating the misery of others. At this very moment, the impossible cost of my happiness appears to me to be your misery. And I do not wish that. I never wished that. Yet – Here we are. You and Dad came to visit a few months later. 2 weeks and 2 days. We ate. We cooked. We shopped. We watched movies. We told each other silly stories. We saw the first snowfall. We grumbled about the miserable cold. We kissed each other good night. And good morning. We never spoke.
At 2 weeks and 1 day, the evening prior to the morning of your flight back home – You say you want to tell me something. You tell me that you cannot talk to me this time. You thought I was focused on work. You said you need time, that it is not easy for you. I tried explaining to you that you weren’t alone. I tried telling you that you had all the time you needed but you didn’t have to do it alone. I tried to help you understand that I knew the difficulty in having to speak about something we are conditioned against. But it was falling on ears that could not hear me. I heard you drop the word “pressure” again and again. I saw your tears. I saw the stubborn set of jaw every time I urged acknowledgement. I said “Mom, I need to live my life. This is my life. It is on hold right now.” – And you said to me, “Is that a threat ?”
I am not a profane child. While I may write many a profanity, I do not utter very many an uncouth word. Yet, the choice quizzical profanities that came rushing to the tip of my tongue would’ve surprised even the most drunken sailor. But you heard no such thing. I breathed in and turned to you with my pleading eyes. For they were pleading by that point. I said “No. How could it be a threat? I want to live my life.”
We continued this odd conversation to no avail. I let out a sigh sometime then and said “You have all the time you need.” And the door knocked. Dad was back after his shopping escapades. The conversation had to come to its natural close. After all, He does not know his daughter is Queer. My sister urged you to go to the bathroom to freshen up and wipe off the tear tracks so he would not see and wonder. I, on the other hand, was perfectly composed because I play with my feelings like a fine instrument. I cracked a joke with my sister just as he walks in and all was fine in your world again.
Later that night, I return to my place. My world. Considering the events of the evening, I think I am doing quite well …merely tired and ready to read a book and sleep when suddenly while walking about – I stop. For no apparent reason. And for precisely two minutes, I clenched my eyes and cried. Standing still. The next day I waved goodbye to Dad and you at the airport. Hoping you would reach home safely. And a part of me was wondering what was to come for me.
As I write this letter to you which you shall never read for it would hurt too much and I could not do that to you … the skin around my eyes are raw. No, it is not because of the cold. But while I know I am alone in my world, I always believed once you knew it would not be so. It would be a wee bit better. But I guess I am alone. I just wish it wasn’t you who reminded me that I am.