Saturday, February 25, 2006

very old stuff


My country is not really homophobic, because there are no homosexuals there. The word "heterosexuality" doesn’t exist, because sexuality means heterosexuality. It would be redundant.
The word homosexuality exists, but it’s not part of every day’s talk. It is considered bad taste to talk about diseases in social conversations. Besides there’s a treatment for that, many psychologists specialize in the cure of it.
Maybe because of that problem with language, or maybe I was lacking imagination; but I didn’t use the word until I was in love
with a woman.
But then, I didn’t know if what I was feeling was love or the symptoms of a scary disease. I didn’t know if I was supposed to buy flowers
or medicine. Even in the case that I was suffering an illness, I didn’t know if I wanted to be cured.
I thought I was the first lesbian in my family
I thought I was the first lesbian in history.
- That never, ever happened in my family!
I heard from my parents.
They scoured in the other one’s family for signs of the problem:
weird celibate ancestors, suspicious spinsters, trying to make sure that the genes were not coming from their own blood.
I was outcasted, outblooded. I decided to give them consolation. I told them that I had to have been a genetic accident.

I inherited all the trash in the family that they considered “Theatrical”
old fans, to act a lady, women’s gloves, tight enough to make my hands useless, corseted women’s dresses, uncomfortable enough to faint from time to time, men’s suits with worn pockets where they reached for the money, elbows worn from reading, pipes to increase confidence.
I accumulated a gendered archive.
How many things that never happened in fact happened.
In that garment (designed by men, sewn by women), appropriate scenery for social conversations ,good taste costumes, honorable genes, educated blood, I found a hat.
The label said “Joseph Creations”. But I found a thread that didn’t belong to Joseph’s design and a message that didn’t fit that scene:
a lesbian diary, carefully sewn inside the hat.
She didn’t throw it away, she sent it like a message into the ocean of family blood and it waited, hiding into the hat for two respectable generations, until grandma decided to show it to me.

I read about her passion for Emily, the family moving to a different city
her medical treatments, her marriage, the long hours playing the piano.
And that love, that stayed with her until the last days of her life,
when she was 89 years old and she wrote the last page of her diary,
before sewing it inside the hat:
“I read in the newspapers the other day that you died Emily, I know I am going to join you soon, maybe this time we’ll be allowed to be together for ever.
I love you.

She died five days later.