My stepson is transgender. When Ian was born, he got stuck in the wrong body. Since I pretty much ignored science after fifth grade I’m not sure if this kinda thing is the fault of the stork, the universe, or some argument between a sundry of sperm and the single egg.
‘I smell the devil. He’s been right here!’ My mom snapped her fingers just like Beulah did to validate that the devil’s presence had been wafting through our house.
Beulah played the piano at our church. She wasn’t an exceptional piano player, but she was exceptional at being dramatic. I was eavesdropping on my mom as she was telling my dad all about Beulah’s visit to our home earlier that day.
“…..and after she said, ‘I smell the devil,’ she sniffed like this.….” and then my mom sniffled real loud to give my dad the full essence of Beulah’s revelation. Beulah was the self appointed spiritual goddess of our church.
I was ten years old and I didn’t like Beulah too much. She yelled “amen” during the sermons like it was a competition and she barged in on everyone’s business.
There are times you don’t need pajamas. Now before you think this is about an amorous bedroom moment, it’s not. It’s about Christmas.
In early December I got a phone call from my grandma. “What do you want for Christmas sweetie?”
“An exploding volcano kit!” I yelled into the phone, “You make a volcano with lava that comes out!”
Somebody died in my bedroom. No really. They did. This isn’t a fake headline to get you to read. Somebody really did die in there. I know it’s a lady. But that’s about all I know. I don’t even know when or what from. I’ve never taken time to ask the neighbors details, or look up obits online. It’s just kinda the history of the house.
Today we were driving to the doctor’s office and I got thinking about it. I asked my husband, “When you bought the house, did the realtor tell you somebody died in my bedroom?”
When I was eleven one night we burned our books in the fireplace. Not because we were too lazy to box them up for the Goodwill. And not because we couldn’t afford to heat our home. It was because the church suggested we spiritually cleanse our home of all books that had anything in them that God wouldn’t approve of. The church called it a book burning party.
True. My mom really did say that. Usually when you are asked to be a church greeter you open with something other than, “Can I draw you naked?”
I guess I should start with – Marilyne and Don weren’t normal parents. The fact I called them by their first names should give you a slight indication.
They were dreamers and creators. They owned art galleries in their head. They created inventions that would make us millionaires if we could only find the three people that needed what they invented. Always dreaming. Always creating.