What can I remember among the snippets of lapsed time? Not necessarily memories, no, but perhaps feelings. Feelings of warmth within the very few good memories I had of my father growing up. Being carried on his back, walking him to his gate as he left for another business trip, holding his hand as we walked on the moving track inside the airport, watching rainbow lights dance above me. Those few good memories in between the dark.
Most of my days I was alone though. Alone in my room, best friends with solitude. Hidden away like rapunzel, stuck in my ivory tower.
Our public image was very different than the secrets we held in private. At the time, my father had grown his business enough to buy land and build his company building. He had contracts with people all over the world, in a new and emerging field. You could say we were comfortably upper middle class. Friends with bank owners, lawyers, doctors, and other somewhat high-net-worth people. I knew very little about my father's background before he immigrated to the US. We never talked much as a family. I believe this was due to a mix of cultural and generational differences.
My parents had adopted me from their home country as a baby. They were in their late 50's so I grew up navigating and interacting with varying generations. Due to my father's outgoing disposition and need to "network" into a position of authority in all areas of his life, we were always invited to parties of every kind.
Church meetings, non-profit events, family friends' birthday parties, friends of friends of friends of who knew what. I went to every event with them. Polite and quiet, on my best behavior, dressed in an expensive gaudy dress with pretty clips pinned in my hair. My mother and I had gone to etiquette classes since I was in elementary school and even though my mother acted quite charming to the crowds, in private, she was just a very sad human being.
These snippets of my memory start here. Along the pristine houses of our gated country club. Backyards with private golf courses and trimmed grass. It was a quiet little town where everyone knew everyone. We were the only minority on the block and I was 1 of 3 minorities in my whole school. We weren't very close to our neighbors, more cordial if anything. We had our close family friends with those within the congregation of the church. Closer knit than even this secluded neighborhood. People who knew some of our deeper secrets. Secrets my mother always told me to never tell. Secrets she would tell me to keep at the age of 6.
The first secret given to me had been during a fight. A fight that started between my parents and eventually ended with me. I don't remember the particulars of the argument, only that it had angered my mother so much that she had stormed into my bedroom while I had been playing with my Barbie dolls. I watched her pace my room, contorting her body in angry convulsions, glaring at me in disdain, she told me a little about who I was that day.
Adopted. Unwanted by my real parents and left in the trash like the piece of trash I was. Words given that'll forever be a part of me no matter how hard I try to outgrow them...