My mom Melinda died when I was 8 years old and Marv, my barely-there father, was saddled with a child who he barely knew: me. Marv was essentially MIA before my mom died. He liked cars, boats, and hunting… not kids. So as we stared at each other across the dinner table every night–over a pizza box or mac and cheese usually–we were likely thinking the same thing:
“Who the fuck are you?”
I was a tiny perplexing clone of Marv–tall, skinny, almost black hair, instinctually stubborn–and that may have fascinated him for a moment. But then Marv realized I’d be sneaking out of the house, having periods, and frenching boys at school dances. He wanted no part of it. A month after Melinda died Marv’s serial womanizing ways kicked in, creating an incessant shuffle of women into and out of our lives. Here are my 15 moms that I remember.
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Even as I write this now I am debating whether or not to erase it all together.
When I say I’m in love with you, I mean I love the story I can tell to my next lover, about my ex-lover, about how beautiful things were, how intense, how storybook, what a couple we were, and how you gradually, inexplicably, painfully, bit by bit, disappeared.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women.