I’m on the coach leaving London. This journey is always evocative as it takes a route through where I grew up. Through memories, a winding path along hopes and heartbreaks. More heartbreak as I didn’t dare to hope believing I’d be dead by 30, often hoping that would be the case.
I’m sat facing backwards. Do I dare to hope? Do I dare to hope I can leave some of my past behind, the past that says I’m not enough to fall in love and be fallen in love with? Can I dance the life and love that lies within me alive? Do I have the courage to dare, to risk? I couldn’t do more than hint to the first girl I’d met in so long that truly made me dream. Ok, a crazy dream as she lives in Italy but in her company I found the depths of the Tom who could love so deeply waking.
I’m exhausted, so vulnerable. A week of friends, companionship, Pearl Jam then visiting my dad in hospital. And today giving up a PJ show to spend more time with dad, to make sure I’m back in Bristol to work tomorrow. I’m processing a lot. Pissed at my dad for not understanding that to see him after all that’s between us is huge. There’s a casual thanks, it’s all he can manage. I tell him his cleaner sucks as his home is grim and we need to sort that out for him before he goes home but it’s seen as criticism not that I love him enough to want his home right. It’s so much, too much at times. The praise falls from his lips for my siblings, one who chooses to have next to nothing to do with him, the other who colludes as if his life depended on it. And perhaps the life of the child in him does. And perhaps it’s one of the most courageous things I’ve ever done to walk back into my family where I’m scapegoated at every turn, not accepted, where I’ve had to hide me, my vulnerability. To walk back in and stand in a loving place for my father. Didn’t always manage it though and I’m grateful I’ve grown enough to accept I’m not perfect.
And I had to witness so much casual racism from him, so much creepy behaviour around women staff. And the need to be the centre of attention. His stuff is sure magnified when I’m spending so much time around him. Wow.
I’m really aware I need to be home, to rest and allow all this and so much more to process and I’m also also aware it’s less than 20 minutes till Pearl Jam come onstage and I’m on a bus. And my body feels like it wants to rock out, to sing my heart out, to be around people who accept me more than my family. Fuck, I mean I had my dad making dig after dig about me going to Pearl Jam shows abroad and to have my father be jealous and want to criticise hurts. It takes a certain skill to make the comment…you must be doing well…into a criticism. But my uncle could as well. It’s too much for him to be happy for me. But this is the man who replied to me saying one day I want to have a healthy, loving, happy relationship with the words…don’t be so arrogant.
I had the best time in Leeds for the show on Tuesday. I queued overnight for the rail and I’m convinced this makes for a better show as I don’t sleep so my ego boundaries are less resilient. I also was very aware I took only a couple of photos and rocked out in a different way, less self consciously, freer. It was great.
I’m tired. Very tired.
And super vulnerable.