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[personal profile] krystale
Paul Simon
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Now and then my adoptive parents would take in other rescues. Some would become my friends for a while.

Bunny, I'll call her, twice my age then, would go out in the woods with me as I was inclined to. I'd climb rocks and often sing. I didn't realize at that age how far my voice carried. Bunny sang me 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. Now and then, she and I would get away from the farm. I have no idea how she managed it, or how she got them to let her take me, but we'd wind up at restaurants with bars now and then. She'd have a drink and watch people. We'd get up suddenly now and then and go into the bathroom. Once, I heard her humming 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover on one of these bathroom trips. I asked her after why she liked it so much. She said it was a crap song, but sometimes there were folks needed to hear it. To keep me busy, she showed me how to tell who. You'll know, she'd say when I tried to clarify what it was I was noticing. Don't think about it, she would give the same weary advice, just watch. It kept me thinking about it, which may have served her just fine.

One day in a restaurant I caught myself humming it in a bathroom and stopped. I heard sniffling, so I continued, cuz... well, it's polite to not just suddenly be quiet when others are hiding in your noise.
I only knew for sure the phrase "get yourself free" in the chorus. I hummed a few times and tried to sing all the words I could, but it was all humming but my one phrase. It was quiet when I gave up.
I waited in the stall for a while before I left. I didn't want to run into the sniffler. The moment stuck with me for years. I couldn't remember the song name anymore, with Bunny gone my world was more limited. Being in a restaurant meant I'd just been to church. At home the radio was glued on classical.

Eventually I'd learn more of the verse and catch it once or twice more, but I still didn't really get it.

Today, listening through assorted songs trying to find new stuff to karaoke I came across 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover and it suddenly buzzed glaringly, like plugging in a neon light.

My visual world disorients and current perception shifts to low priority, as I consciously accept the flashbacks into the past, prompted by listening to the song. I hit replay on youtube and consciously load some memory files from the previous day.

Yesterday, our guest speaker at Inclusion Center was from the Women's Freedom Center, where the primary function is helping battered partners get out of bad relationships. I had some harsh attitudes in the discussion and some attitudes I can't yet explain.

I also still can't explain the precise details of what Bunny was showing me.

But I see a connection now.

I play the song again and accept the new flashback.
I'm older, Dalia I'll call her, has called me to visit. Two-first-names has beat her yet again, she needs something I might have for the pain. Take me an hour to drive, I tell her, can anyone else help you?
They don't want to be here when he gets back.
The same attitude playing in the memory holds the phone in the flashback and snorts. Then it says, "fuck that. I'll be there in 45. Meantime, got a cast iron pan? Put it on the stove, fill it with oil, heat it. Put something you could fry on the counter. Stand there. He comes in before I do, fling and swing. Hear me?" The attitude ran her through it, fling and swing, repeating, fling and swing, until the attitude infected her, too, adding vigor. My quiet little ex husband and I drove up, sat with her. We tied the destroyed back door shut. It's a long story, I'm not sure if the ending is happy, but it gets progressively less sad and the attitude never left me or Dalia.
That one fades and I see snapshots of other times with other folks and the infectious attitude, their eventual gratitude.

I don't know what it is.
I still can't pinpoint it.

Whatever it is, I think I'm glad to have it.
I might even be proud of it.
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