What did I want to be when I was little? just read someone talking about her memories of that in such an interesting way that I thought I’d try it myself. Thanks Julie Dash and roller derby and a preface I left for reading last.
I remember, very hazily, like through fog, fish-eye camera, and muffled sound, a person asking me. Blond hair, long, curly, short shorts, white shirt “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” She was lowering herself to my height. She was just doing her job. She was trying to see if I could understand the question. “Pre-school. Are they sentient? Does my job make any sense?” Those were probably her thoughts. I was looking down at my paper. Only seeing her out of my peripheral, or maybe I saw her with full eye contact, then I looked down. There were coloring pictures, I think. “Like my mom,” I said. So she asked, maybe, what does she do… It wasn’t right… “Like my dad”… It wasn’t right. Dummy pre-school teacher. What other grown up could I possibly be aware of at that time?
Then I started having more to work with. So the first real “I wanna be this…” thought came up. I think I was at the kitchen table. Maybe. It might be a compound memory. “A knight.” I wanted to be a knight.
Then a superhero. My own. Martin was her name. She wore green. She had no superpowers. Shirtz was her villain. Played by my grandpa. Once my grandpa asked me if I had made up Martin myself. I said no. I had seen her on TV. I lied. She was too real to be made up. Or made up wasn’t a concept. I don’t know. But I know I knew I lied. I kinda wanna puke when I think about it. Shirtz had a soundtrack. On the keyboard. C-D-C,D-C-D-E(legato)-D-C. To the tempo of grandpa walking. Oh. It was a play. We walked from behind the curtains. “Rrrrespeitavel publico. Hoje nos vamos apresentar As Aventuras da Martin.”
From superhero to hero to rebel to soldier to martyr… Slowly fading as other ideas of what to be as a grownup crossfaded louder and louder.
Veterinarian, coroner, biologist, park ranger, veterinarian,…
(Musician. Still in the background. Never not been. Not gonna fade ever, I think. Just a constant hum)
Philosopher, professor, writer activist, cultural professor archivist protester activist job-having with Ph.D. in comp.lit..
Mother. Person with person to have physical contact.
A dog. The oldest cat in the world and another with a graying muzzle.
Hmm. Dead with a good life. Where to be buried? Life after death? I’ll bury my parents. My uncle. Maybe even my brother. Maybe a wife. In-laws.
There’s more open space than ever.