I am balanced on the knife blade edge between a hormone whirlpool and my last nerve. I keep writing and deleting, writing and deleting. So now, as an exercise in frustration, I am forcing myself to write in constant stream of consciousness and I will not delete it. Alright, perhaps I will if it veers too far from the civilized and loses itself in a thick dark tangle of ramblings. If I begin to weep all over this white screen with it's marching black letters...blah blah, sniffle snick march march march.
I created a shadowbox this morning. Now I need to write the story behind the images in order to finish it.
I'm going to jump right in because I am terribly close to dramatic despair today and am likely to end up in a small circlet of Flo, lying on the couch watching My Cat From Hell on animal planet.
So Here we go..
Mama hated her name, which was Hortense. She understood that Gran had no clue the years of abuse she would take from her peers for having what sounded like the word 'whore' right there at the start of it. She escaped the name when she turned 19, at the same time she escaped the town. She high-tailed it to Florida with $11.00 and her best smile. No forwarding address. No note goodbye.
She found work as a side show mermaid. Mama nicknamed herself Holly and smiled her brilliant smile from the chlorinated tank, waving to the wide eyed and water-distorted tourists. She loved the job. Her eyes were bloodshot, but not from tears. No more tears for Mama. She would do this forever, she thought.
When the operation began to lose business, they brought in an alligator wrestler named named Bertram. Mama watched his first act from the stands, and was breathless. She approached him after several weeks with a well thought out argument for why he ought to let her join his act. But all it took was , 'Bertram. I want to wrestle alligators', which she did until the war started in 1940.
They were in love, married, and off to join the war together. Mama as a Red Cross nurse, Pa as a soldier. They spent long spans of time apart and afraid for one another. Pa wrote.. 'Holly my darling, I am cold and must apologize for both my penmanship and the mud on these pages'. And from Mama.. 'Bertram, my own, There seems so little time to take pen to paper, but I am writing to you constantly in my thoughts. Can you hear me? Whispering to you?'
I can't finish this. I've gotten totally side tracked reading about lady wrestlers in the 40's...Check out Gladys Gillem!