I write this from being only 5 months pregnant with you, and the doctors have ascertained, as I intuited, that you are a boy. Soon you will come to know me as a mother, where I attempt to play the role of a protector, provider and I will be all those things and more, but it is my history that wants to refute this, so with every day I say my prayers longer and louder, that I will emerge a brand new person to be able to care for you, but if not, I need you to know that despite everything, I have and can only love.
My own mother and I said our goodbyes many years ago, but before that there was my father or someone who I think stayed with us for a few years, and my only and final memory of him is a man with wispy hair, and thick arms, disappearing down the stairs. This image has come to form the essence of what I know to be a man, the wolves who have laid in my bed, and before that, the boys who glared from afar like I was some dangerous animal in an imaginary cage. I never had friends, because growing up my own mother was lost and reckless, she disappeared for weeks at a time and I watched the school-goers with their clean, shiny hair and felt my own fingers dissipate with the dirt and longing, and my face was stained and my mouth always tasted like rotten blueberries, but once in my late teens there was a woman called Tina.
She came to be my best friend, and always we would talk, even as our lives failed and the disappointments piled up, we always talked about these things and somehow managed to laugh about them, joking that one day we would come out on the other side, where we would we as normal as the others and worry about our taxes, or having left the microwave on, or that we always had some appointment to rush to, instead of say, finding our underpants cloaked in blood and washing them off at the nearby gas fill, wandering about towns trying to make it past the hour, waking up the next day with head full of rocks and noise and have every inch and limb of your body ache, but that one day, Tina and I would clean ourselves up, wear pantsuits and prove our mothers wrong.
And I guess, this part hurts the most every time I think about her, that one day she came over and there was a look on her face and I knew that the talking was done, that she had began to change that very morning, and weren’t in sync anymore, she mentioned something about going South and her cousin and a job waiting for her there, and I started grabbing my stuff to go along with her, and she, with a plain and commanding voice, told me that I wasn’t going. And that was the last of anyone I saw, the faces next and before were all the same, heck sometimes I didn’t even see their faces, intimacy for me was a luxury, the scars and marks I have on my knees and back will tell you stories I can’t bear to remember. I have to tell you, child, that the world is a lonely place, full of other lonely people, and to find just one person, who you know will be loyal and understanding of your every misgiving, to have just that one companion to keep to for all of your journeys, is unlikely, that like me, you will have to endure a life with solitude, and the sooner you accept and learn to cope with this, the better your chances at surviving are.
And there will be many atrocities, people will want to use you and dry you up, your affection and hopefulness is a dwindling thing, but here is where I must tell you, my child, that I will love you with every broken, damaged and incomplete cell of my being, that I will never let anything hurt you as long as I am around, that even as you and the others may wince at my figure and idiocy, my love will not wither or cave in to my own weak self, that I will give everything I am to you. As you grow, you will find me a difficult and intolerable person, I do not doubt this and I will not fight this, that come your teenage years we will have many arguments, and as an adult you may come to loathe and despise me, this may mean that you have found a comfortable place in this world, that next to the others you do not feel like an alien, an outsider, and to understand that your hatred towards me is a perfectly natural, organic thing.
Which is why I have written this letter, as something you can always return to, even if I’m not around to reassure you, that you will always have my tenderness and forgiveness for every hurtful thing you may have said or done, because I am more than a mother, or a lover, I cannot help but wish the best things for you, to want to shed my ordinary self in favor of someone else, to give you away into the arms of strangers who have not known the nights I have, but I will not ever give you up, and I cannot promise to become the best parent, but, and this will be the last time I say this, my love for you is strong and everlasting and know that I have tried as hard as I could, to change as you would want me to.
(I hope you love me back one day, but if you don’t, that’s OK)