A letter written to the son of a friend, on the occasion of his birth.
This is your mother, the day I met you. You slept and screamed and bothered your older brother. Your mother was a mother when I met her, so I cannot tell you who she was before F arrived, but I think she was the same. Amanda was the first woman I met, just for sheer force. Her name was everywhere, I felt like she was forever around me, but also, nowhere. So I contacted her, and demanded me we meet. I loved her, instantly. It’s impossible, not to. I had been searching for Amanda in all the girls I had loved until then. One had her eyes, one had her skin, one had the suggestion of her laugh. It’s hard for me to write this 0 the world is very ugly right now and I struggle to see the future. You.
Your mother is going to turn 30 on Saturday. I am excited for her. Your mother was in my girl gang. I wanted us to run away together, leave this shit world behind for something else. We didn’t.
Your mother was always very holy to me. She’s so beautiful. Tragic, cracked, thin, holy, like the girl saints who starved to escape the hell they were trapped in on earth. When she is stressed, she does not eat. She likes vodka. She likes rap songs, Tormund Giantsbane from Game of Thrones, and Darius from ATLANTA. She’s tough – she used to work the third shift at the Majestic, a 24 hour diner on Ponce De Leon Avenue. Her employees were prisoners, drug addicts and flops. She kept it running. She started feminist groups and Zinefest and record labels and all kinds of hearts beating faster.
We went to queer rap shows and she let me kiss her vodka mouth. She survived, everything. Her working class Catholicism, her Mother Mary and the Saints, with her all the way. At this time, I am friends with a woman named Tracy. Tracy and your mother used to be best friends. It’s been difficult, and it hurts me that I cannot see them together, these two women who I love.
Perhaps, things are better and you know Tracy. I hope, I hope I know you. I know I want to.
j. “Legs” a,