Monday, September 26, 2011


What I think about Margot: She is very light on her feet. She moves quickly, with grace and confidence. She has a vocabulary that tests my own, and extremely droll, agile humor that does not draw blood even when she is sarcastic. She plays with her hair often, finding pleasure in its feel. Her imitation of Queenie's blank face is spot-on. She listens to me cry with touching empathy. She makes fun of my delusion in shocking, intimate ways that make me roar with laughter. She counts her luck accurately but minimizes the ways she has been savaged until I insist she give herself credit as a survivor, then she takes it in and allows herself honest pride. She works all the time. The people she finds interesting or good really are stellar examples of humanity. She loves learning, anything and everything. She is very good at thinking about money. Her sense of justice and outrage is global and growing even stronger as she ages. She recognizes all permutations of racism instantly and can articulate it in clear language. She prefers children once they have acquired language. She is better at techy-geek stuff than she gives herself credit for. She learned to shut up under the girl oppression she was raised with but she did not accept their lies as reality, and sought independence as soon as she could, retaining and loving her own definition of female. She will not be dishonest, and finds a way to be kind with her integrity. She is completely unafraid of me, encourages my power and knows she is my match in that regard, however differently we express it.

One night she was complaining about people who break pasta in half to make it fit the pot rather than starting with a bigger pot or waiting until it bends in the boiling water. I said "Sometimes I do that." She waggled her finger at me with a furrowed brow and said in a low emphatic voice. "No, you do not." I immediately went into full retreat: "No, I would NEVER do that, never again." It was involuntary on my part, that back-pedal. We screamed with laughter about it.

I have never had a partner in this way. Never too late to undo Mama's fatalistic residue in me.

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