Every time I call Russia, I hang up the phone bewildered. Was it true? Was it fiction? How can I separate the two into bits that make sense? Primarily I call my mom, sometimes my half-sister, sometimes my cousins or my step-mom, but most of the family drama comes from my conversations with my mother. I have just started reading The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton and got to thinking. This is human shit and blood and sweat that we're all wallowing in and yet are afraid to expose. She wasn't, Anne. She turned herself inside out and dropped her guts on your face, whether you wanted it or not, but you related. Of course you did, it was the hidden stuff that gave you nightmares.
And I thought, maybe I should stop being afraid of exposing all this family drama I have dangling over my head. I fictionalize it, because I don't want to hurt anyone, having been hurt so many times by other people that I know how painful it is. And yes, I'm a storyteller, and this is the stuff of life. And unless I commit it to paper, it eats my insides like acid. Perhaps that's what Anne did, perhaps that's why in the end she killed herself. It's not easy being naked among those who are clothed. You get pinched and cut and slashed and, in the end, beheaded.Read More