Oh yes, I hate everything, I trust nothing and no-one, no doubt due to some seriously hard feelings – but I guess I must have opted to keep the hard feelings and jettison everything I had learned for the crucial first many years of my life instead. Probably the wrong way around in hindsight, but I was pretty young. Am I going to have to take responsibility for that decision, if that’s what it was? Before we’re done I think science may give me an excuse – but it’s certainly not appropriate to describe these sorts of internal events by way of Murphy’s Law, is it? I mean besides the fact that it’s borderline racist. Of course, that’s the nature of the beast, not just for me, hard feelings and little or no hard data. That’s all of us, and almost completely. I am either a fool or wise one, because it’s just that much more complete with me.
My point, the real point of this fantasy is this, though: everyone who remembers their childhoods, everyone with a “normal” pattern of life and learning “just knows” how to raise their children, and few question the system they were brought up in, other than in terms of degree of ‘strictness.’
I think I forgot my indoctrination, somehow brainwashed myself. I forgot how to raise kids, something we’ve all seen our entire lives, all day long.
My super power is that my mutation makes me something other than human, so that I can study humans. It’s hard to get a clear view of yourself, so the universe has created me, your dark, magic mirror, with a simple tweak of the ol’ DNA along with the abusively engineered life to epigenetically activate it, starting with my drop-date – double Scorpio. Ha.
The DNA tweak is part of the metaphor, of course – but not perhaps all a joke, either. Mom was on some morning sickness drug or something I need to get the name of for you, it’s not Thalidomide, which I would remember. I can’t recall if it’s the same drug that was associated with my sisters’ adult cervical cysts and possible cancers. I wasn’t a flipper baby, but really, there was some deformity. My umbilical wouldn’t die and stop bleeding, so a surgery found it still completely hooked up to the bowel with some bit of intestine that is not supposed to be there. “Umbilical hernia” was the term, but I’m having trouble relating that to the longer description they gave us and I just gave you, so it’s not clear to me, like everything else about my past because I either flushed it or I never wanted to know. So, I’ve got that part of the science fiction/super hero back story going for me too.
“Affliction,” in the classical sense, I think. In Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde, Stevenson invoked a ‘sense of deformity’ to repel and horrify us about his monster, and I remember that stung a bit, I took that sort of personally.
I don’t mean to raise the issue of deformity in order to return to it later, I really am not planning a sci-fi or fantasy ending to this project! I offer it only in full disclosure, because to leave such a physical humiliation – I have never had a belly button, my scar was always a ‘zipper’ – out of the ‘outsider’ narrative I’m using as my biography would be to destroy the point. I’m simply leaving no embarrassment out, or I hope so anyway. It’s also bloody mythical, isn’t it? Having no navel makes you non-human, maybe not even mammalian. The symbolism of the lost connection is powerful. No?
The deformity thing is true. It’s the ‘visitor’ narrative that is the fantasy. Readers, you’re my double check for that. Someone let me know when I’ve let slip that I can no longer tell the difference, OK? That last story has me wondering a little. Wow. I need to let that sort of dissipate, catch my breath. That is fucking weird. Back in five.
That little insight sort of rocked my world, thirty, forty, fifty years late. I better check!
Yup, still the zipper. I should be relieved, right? Relax Jeff, you’re not completely delusional – just not apparently placental. Well, you can’t have everything, can you?
Further to the weirdness of my deformity, father in law had it too! Umbilical hernia they said, and he too, the zipper, the erasure of his placental origin, the sign! I see my future in this situation, my marriage in his, that in my wife’s family, the breeding males must have their primal connection wiped from history, the bridge between mother and child, between man and woman must be destroyed. I fear I have inadvertently let myself glimpse the impossibility that my own demise could ever be a trauma to the women I’ve betrayed all my brothers for.
Where was I?
Continuing with the conscious part of the fantasy, I’m on the outside looking in at our species, at least as far as breeding goes. That is what will have to pass for my super power in this fantasy: I don’t “just know” a lot of regular stuff about “discipline” and I don’t trust another human to figure it out, so I have to do it from scratch. I know, not much of a super power at first glance, but it depends, doesn’t it? Mostly it depends on whether what everybody else knows is true or not. Short answer, yes . . .
The long answer is this here blog.
Where everyone else saw some normal and proper version of childrearing in use, at least among the majority of their own peers, I saw chaos and a system designed not to help children develop normally through their growing years but to bend and break us all into the shape required for us to match the bent and broken shaped container our society and our families have made for us (Shout out to Takingthemaskoff, a powerful voice everyone needs to read). I saw madness calling itself reason and I saw a need for a new approach, because I either missed the lesson, never believed it enough to memorize it, or managed to un-learn it somehow, but where others saw parenting as a known and understood thing, I didn’t trust them and their system, I rejected authoritative parenting carte blanche. If what they said matched anything that the grownups in my life even might have said, then no, no, no!