The song above is Romulus, by Sufjan Stevens.

I have no reason, no basis for why this song reminds me every single time of my childhood.  Most specifically of the Old Lady.  She didn’t smoke.  She did color her hair but I’m not sure why because she wore a tightly curled wig every time she left the house.  So I suppose she colored it for herself.  I remember her hair was thin, very very thin, a wispy gray that was so soft and fine.  She did own Chevrolets exclusively but that’s okay; I’ve always liked a good Chevy myself.  I never had a grandpa.  Maybe it’s because I was ashamed of her.

I’ve looked back a hundred times, to try and understand.  To pinpoint the moments she should have known, to look with adult eyes on scenes that should have been blatantly clear, to wonder if I would know, to see if I could see.  I’m not certain.  I can’t say.  So some days, I just play this song and cry, for no good reason, for a woman who tortured me and allowed me to be tortured.  Life’s a stupid thing, isn’t it?  I don’t understand now and I didn’t understand then…no matter whatever happened in that house or how much I hated her, hated them all, I still loved them, loved her; they were my family.  Why didn’t she love me back?  I was just a little kid.  And I was mostly a good little kid, who did my chores and lived my life, quietly, without complaining, without tattling.  Life’s a stupid thing, isn’t it?


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