Okay. Fuck it. I was gonna write a story. A bunch of shit was on my mind the last few days. I met with family, extended and close, met with friends both far and near – a kaleidoscope of relationships that bring me a little bit of joy and a lot of exasperation. It’s not hard. But it does seem hard to care.
I don’t really know what to say, but the only thing that rings in my mind is what my grandmother said. Family reunion. Ate deer meat sloppy joes. They called them sloppy does. I was grossed out for a second – not knowing where the meat came from. But then I thought about it. That deer was graciously, swiftly killed by a hunter who shares a bloodline with me. Not some ground beef that consists of the meat of a million cows.
We sat there after we ate. Me and my paternal grandmother. An old park bench that stuck into my back. The procession was inside; the cacophonous rumble of a family outing. Epidictic speaking about a linage that has survived. Overdoses, motorcycle crashes, the diabetes. You know it – uncles chatting about nothing, great aunts complaining about Indian doctors, fat third cousins running around in circles gaffing over a bubble gun.
The tree gave us shade. It was older than me and my grandmother. My Memi. My single bloodline connection to my father’s side. My dad is dead. From what I can tell, he died in 2005. Heroin overdose. He had it in the genes too. Addiction. He’s dust now. I am all that remains.
She spoke to me. I couldn’t remember about what. My hair was in my eyes. I was trying to fix it. Her cadence was marked by her humming. She hummed to pass the silence between her words. Almost as if she was filling in the space when the birds went silent.
Something about my father. Which one? The one who adopted me and married my mother – or the one whose genetic splat thrust me into this world?
She called him something I hadn’t ever hear her say. She called him a sperm bank. Her son, a sperm bank. My “dad”. Reduced to a sperm bank.
My eyes are a little misty. It’s 2:40 in the morning. I’m drunk off room temp Miller Lite. I wonder what he would have thought of me.
I did it, sperm bank. I did it. I did well in school, I got onto the dean’s list eight times, I got my degree, sperm bank. I did it.
You’re not a sperm bank. You are more dignified than that. And I hope, I hope, you’d be proud of me.