Secret fears aren’t we all full of them? filled to the brim and stuffed to overflowing? I fear that she hates me for being like my father. I am afraid that I hate her for marrying my father for making me exist. She chose to marry a fixer-upper but a husband is not a house and a child does not come with replaceable parts. Inevitably blood does out. I fear that the day I say “Mama, I’m gay” She’ll get that same martyred look on her face the look that passed over and sunk in so deep the day I said “Mama, I’ve decided…” and swallowed what I was told and lost myself (another secret— I fear For Good) proving as she had waited years to find that I was my father’s daughter crazy like sin and angry as and old testament G-d. I’m so afraid afraid that I burnt all my bridges and there’s no going back. I’m frightened that someday I’ll walk round a corner and see a particular Ghost of Breakdown Past coming around the other side —or that I never will and I won’t ever get the chance to say I’m sorry or ask the questions that might fill in the blanks of this Swiss cheese psyche I’ve left myself. Somedays I fear that I’ll never wake-up out of this stupor that I’m in a mental automaton a pill-bottle zombie. Other days I just want to curl up in a ball take a vow of silence —like the kid in that movie I liked so much— and never have to say anything again. I crave above just about anything else someone to talk to who is as real and as “there” as people ever are who might understand as well as people ever can what it feel likes to feel like this to die slowly like this in a self-inflicted mental stranglehold to grieve for existential things or small realities that move you deeply or small cruelties or inequities that cut you to that heart of sleeping anger volatile as it laps so gently against your restless insides that’s all I ever wanted in the first place. Maybe it was too much.