Cry to Heaven

Have you ever read that book?  It was one of Anne Rice's earlier novels.  Historical fiction so well researched, so lushly written, that it read as life.  As fact.  I read it as a teenager, during my semi-goth phase, when all things supernatural and all things sex were wicked and fascinating and so much more interesting than my boring, tedious, limited life.  Cry to Heaven is the title because the characters are Italian Catholic and that is what one does when everything hurts.

When you're a teenager and want so much to live out loud, but are crippled by external limits.  And fear.

When you're an adult and your child has a fever that won't come down, or an injury you can't heal.  Or when you hear words like "congenital anomaly" or "organic disorder" or "defect" and the world turns white with noise so loud that only you can hear your scream.

When you're a daughter, and your mother has been accused of doing a horrible thing.  When she stands and fights, alone.  When her defense is inadequate.  When she falls down, in silence, and your arms can't reach her.  Can't keep her lifted.

I got a text message yesterday afternoon.

I lost.

I wasn't surprised, really.  I saw her mentor's face after the hearing on Monday, and knew it had not gone well.  You still hope, though, you know?

They decided against me.

There were more messages, of course.  Plain text exchanges that remedied all of nothing.  I know about not picking up the phone to call, to save her the embarrassment of speaking her pain before she's ready.  I know about grief and how all that words offer is weak.  Ineffectual against that wall of hurt.  I know about closing my teeth against moans choked back, and the cool of my fingers against my face.  I know.

And so I went downstairs and shared a banana with my daughter.  I closed my computer and read a magazine.  I woke my crew, fed them, read them stories, and sang them songs.  I hugged my husband.  I went to physio and heard about how my injury had regressed and that next week we may have to discuss alternative treatments.  I walked through my beautiful life.  Picked up and put away a few of our beautiful things.  Washed my face with my expensive organic cleanser.  Brushed my straight, white teeth.  Flossed obediently.  And lay down in my king sized bed.  This beautiful, comfortable life.

I closed my eyes against Egyptian cotton.  Opened my teeth and let the moan out, long and jagged.  Broken.  Cry to Heaven.  Yes.

Because I can't fix this.

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