- hello Dora Thorn
- Username: thordora
- In response to: "If you were in a movie right now, what music would be playing?" Cosmic Love, Florence and the Machine, followed by the second half of Andromeda Suite by The Legendary Pink Dots
- thordora's latest answers
- A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.
Left arm, upper. That fleshy bit just underneath the tattoo of a cicada, memory from a faint sweaty September.
If you pay attention, if you look hard enough, there's faint lines, the pathway of a year of chaos, of discovery, of change. Of being 17.
Anyone who has never cut will never understand the release it brings. I never did it after that day, scared perhaps by the flighty pleasure it brought me, or maybe the indelible mark it left on me, on my body, rapt. You should have seen me then, fishnets, black dress so short I blush to think of it, clinging to a body I either never had, or I had in disbelief. My rough black boots, tight against the callouses that replaced the blisters I had walked through. Hard cropped black hair against my head.
Twas all about the black that year, if I remember correctly. A year to shed, to mourn, to release. It was so entirely predictable-girl loses mother. Girl gets on a bus and run away. It felt like running away, boarding a bus to somewhere, knowing that somehow, life would detour and you'd find someone standing in your sun outside a northern town as you waited for the next part of the route.
And it did, and months later, I found myself dancing around the cluttered room I rented with a friend's parents, listening to black metal and slicing my arm in tiny slivers. The blood would bead around the blade as I pressed it further in, until I could feel entirely that little pop, the moment of exposure, and I could feel again.
If you had asked me then I would have told you I scarred myself purposefully, leaving a lasting reminder of where I had been, of a moment in time, the chipped white paint on a tall dresser, the small closet my life was crammed into, the stash of hash on the windowsill next to Bob the spider plant. I would have said it was a legacy, a time capsule.
Maybe it was. Maybe it was a release, the slow leak of ache.
Or could be, I was 17, and high, and just slicing open my skin because I could.
It's almost gone, this scar, blending in finely with the ruddiness of my skin, the tan left fading from a scorched summer. You'd have to squint to see it.
The past in a rear view, receding.
- The No-Fail Way to Make Me Roll My Eyes
I'm not talking about people who make casual mistakes because they don't know any better, or kids.
I'm talking about the stupid bitch who sprays herself in perfume that smells like cupcakes and then has a cigarette before getting on the bus. Or the douchebag who rips down the sidewalk on a bike and then glares at me for having the nerve to WALK on the sideWALK. Or the parents who sit in the mall with their tired, cranky toddlers casually browsing underpants. Not grabbing groceries or anything-but just "shopping" at 9pm with a 3 year old.
You know. DUMBASSES.
I can abide a lot. I cannot stomach a fool however.
- Before a secret is told, one can often feel the weight of it in the atmosphere
It's all comfort.
Intrinsic to my nature is food. My earliest memories are tied up in the recipes my mother would make, for others, never us. Ambrosia, with the tiny sweet oranges and marshmallows, poppy seed cake, with it's secret recipe memorized, committed to my mother's brain cells like an accident, and trapped there when she died.
We, her lowly family, only ever got to eat the burned ones. Only the newly married, families with brand new babies, the invalid ever tasted the lovely cakes, soft white on the inside, dusky brown on the crusted bundt.
My mother is the only person who ever caused me to eat liver. Coated in flour, fried in grease and onions, I would inhale it while friends gagged and choked at the table, toying with their potatoes.
In my memory, she is scent. She is the sweetness of spring in a box of cereal, the plastic of the toy, the cream in a popsicle. She is the heavy weight of stew on a wet winter night, feet cold from the walk home.
Each bite to my mouth-the comfort, it's not the food. It's not the taste. It's my mother, the holy ghost itself, devoured.
I have only recently begun to distinguish between eating because I'm actually starving (like today, when my quest for protein ended in my scarfing a Lunchable) and me eating my feelings (like when I blindly grab chips because I'm bored). Coupled with a sudden surge in my movements, I can feel the slimming begin.
It's not just about my weight.
It's about giving up my mother. Or rather, giving up the links to her that keep me weighted, the ones that ties me to memory, and make it difficult, if not impossible to move past. It's about giving up that false hope that tells me someday I will turn a corner and like a ghost made flesh she will be standing, grateful and fawning, waiting for me.
She isn't though. She never was. All she's left me is the negligible purpose that my life clings to, and an aching hole I can either line the sides of, or solemnly fill with time and love, and walk over.
I like radishes. New to me, I grab a dirty handful at the market, all red and glowing like new moons. Washed, I chop them into sections and enjoy their subtle fire, like a secret on my tongue, whispers only for me. No one else wants to eat them, ever.
I eat cherries now too. I refuse to let the memory of a dirty old man keep me from them. I inhale a bowl at a mad hatter's house, surprising myself with how free and open my arms have suddenly become.
Memory it seems, has a shelf life after all.
- “In the nightmare of the dark - All the dogs of Europe bark, And the living nations wait, Each sequestered in its hate”
I toss and turn and toss some more. I feel my eyes pried open ala Clockwork Orange and I stare at the musty shadows dancing on the ceiling, the moonlight sparse, the odd reflection from a passing car. A dog barks, kids giggle past the house, timeless. I refuse to turn the clock so I don't realize just how slowly the night is going.
To sleep, perchance to die within.
For years I dreamed in blood. I dreamed in death, in fear. Angry, frightening men, huge men would chase me from building to room to basement, my life on their fingertips, my name on their lips, my pain wrapped in their desire. I could do nothing more than run, frantic, my own fingers trembling on a trigger I could never aim and pull, my legs pumping and straining to disappear away from them. I would hide, feel my lungs labor, and my body scream for release and shortly before waking, he would loom large and I would bellow and rouse myself from my slumber.
For years, fear chased me at night, growing worse and more painful as time went on. With children came awful dreams of watching their death, pictures that I can never erase from my mind, the helplessness which I could taste once I woke, the sheer terror of not being able to stop it.
Wound me. I can take it. I've taken worse. But my children? My small people, my incidental tourists in this life-even in dream, I cannot harbor their pain.
Some nights I stay awake, trying to chase down these dreams, keep them at bay before they begin. I'm blessed with fewer and fewer as I age, my brain wiping itself clean, fixing connections, finding peace. But there are days when I can feel it coming, when there's a shadow behind the wall I can barely smell, when I hear his footsteps following me, his hands on the shoulders of my daughters....and I stare into the stucco void to stun him into insensibility.
I know why he followed me for so long. I know my fears have been swallowed by the snake which is age, which is growth and settling and finding my own two feet on this precarious orb. I know I've made him smaller, weaker, and never again will he shoot me with my own gun, standing over me with a grin as he slowly squeezes the trigger as he grows harder. I know my guns are larger, my voice is louder and I can run faster than ever before.
But that he exists at all....that keeps me staring.
- “If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it”
I flip through my facebook pictures, the comments. Memory staggers by, sometimes clear, other times faded and foggy. Sighs in the past, senses I can almost touch, dancing just outside of my reach.
Everyone has a piece of a puzzle I can hardly remember.
When I look back in my life, in 30 some odd crumbling, magical years, I remember what I can, and in some cases, what I want. Some memories lost, some delayed, some detoured and confused.
In memory of my actions, in memory of my inabilities, i find myself questioning my goodness, my worthiness.
An old friend drunkenly online tells me I was formative, I was meaningful, that I mattered.
Did I? Do I? Have I? When my bones break down and one of you throws me to the memory of trade winds and agony, will there be anything more left in the world than I started it with? Children sure, but will their legacy matter? Will they conquer or destroy? Or will they just be, as so many of us have, the magic possibility of childhood distilled down to the quiet realization that we are all just us, and no more?
Will I matter? Have I mattered?
Will any of us?
I wonder why I think it remains, this urge at immortality, this need to have affected someone, somewhere, to have nudged the fates in directions they weren't otherwise given. Why the drive for remembrance, when even I sometimes forget where I've been?
Why do I need to know?
I will last. I will be forever, for awhile. My mother lives through me, in sparse stories I can hardly remember, the womb which bore me manifests in my eyebrows and the cheekbones my daughters carry. My body will break apart and become others, flowers, thunderstorms, tears.
But I won't be. And suddenly, that matters.