I talked today. To many people, some strangers, extras for the short film I spoke of earlier, and a colleague, who until today, I hadn't had the time to talk with at length, properly.
Everyone has their stories. Their yellowed skeletons in rustic cupboards. Some of us just perhaps have a few more.
It's not unusual to have parents you are a little embarrassed by, their quirky ways, idiosyncracities. Part of growing up is learning to see your parents for the meagre flesh and blood that they are. Then there are parents who you love and are loyal to, but are damaged, lost or sad and who aren't like a lifeboat at sea on a moonless night, they are the too-heavy anchor that will pull you down to drown, if you aren't forever vigilant.
They aren't the ones who you can bring your shining beau home to, or who will praise you for your hard works or offer you some tea and a kind word when they know you are spiralling down. Not when their own pain, the wilderness of their own minds destroys their capacity for the unconditional love required in parenting.
My own father is lost in his pain, physical pain and grief caused by an accident in his youth which left him disabled, stuck in the past, with alcohol his constant companion now and destroyer of the spirit that once brought him back from the brink of death. I can understand why he has become the swearing, uttering, swaying, drunken fool he has, he lost so much, so young. His once athletic and abled body, destroyed. It is rare to get over something like that. So I forgive, and love as I can, but I keep my distance nonetheless. So right now, at this point, his story runs separate to mine.
But imagine being a young adult, unable to move from home because you have been cast in the role of carer, and not being able to invite a friend in for a cup of tea who has driven you forty kilometres home, because your mother, who has lost her grip on the rainbows of this world, waits inside for you to come in, and participate in her obsessive daily rituals, and you don't dare upset the precariously balanced calm by introducing a friend into what is supposed to be the sheltered space you call home. You tip toe and tip toe and tip toe because if you make a wrong move, your mother will begin the process of hurting herself.
My dear friend, the poise with which you carry this load is commendable. And so painfully unfair.
My most creatively driven friends, my artists, always seem to have the very worst stories.