I always want to call someone when I’ve been drinking. And I don’t even drink like I used to. Tonight I’ve had 3 glasses of Grand Marnier (80 proof) straight. I like Grand Marnier, but I didn’t drink it tonight to write. I drank it tonight because the Shock Top had sediment in it and I wasn’t down for the “beer pulp”. Barf! Tonight I wanted to call my grandmother. I’m lying on the couch, watching the Maya Angelou documentary on Netflix and I wanted to call her. There is a point in the movie where they show a clip of Ms. Angelou on a talk show (not Oprah) answering questions and a young black girl says “I just wanted to ask Maya…”. Whatever her actual question was doesn’t matter. What matters is that Ms. Maya Angelou said, “I’m Ms. Angelou to you”. She went on to say, “I’m 62 years old and Im your mother, auntie, grandmother, and so much more.” The girl understood and remained silent. She realized she was wrong. She realized she’d overstepped by calling this woman by her first name. It made me think of Grammy. I think of her often (though I’d never tell 😉) and I miss my Grammy. I miss her like the sun misses the darkness. I miss her like the ocean misses crashing into land. I miss her like the grandson she raised (but never really cultivated) misses his grandmother who told him that he was her most favorite child, but got shunned after he told her he was gay. I long for her. I long for the love she showed me when she tried understand me. I don’t feel that from her anymore. I don’t talk to her anymore either. She won’t call and neither will I. I miss her because she loved me once. But it was too late. It was too late because she chose to love and protect her son more than she loved the grandson she chose to bring into her home to raise. It was too late because the abuse had already happened. It was also too late because she still won’t own that it did happen and she was complicit. But I love her. I hate that I do sometimes, but even the defiant, grief-stricken, bold man that I am today, loves her. And I weep for her. She isn’t strong enough to own her mistakes, but I think one day soon I’ll be strong enough to forgive her. But me forgiving her is NOT to give me peace. It’s to simply let her know that I see the woman that she is. I see how her plight in this life forces her will to be steadfast even when she knows she’s wrong. I see her. I’m the caged bird that never SUNG his truths. She’s now the reason why I do. Her apathy is the reason why I’m so emboldened to tell OUR truths. It’s clear now that weak people can build strong ones. I learned how to speak up for myself because no one ever did. I learned that from her. I hope in her next life that she’s stronger. I hope in my next life I am too.