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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Yes, I'm still writing

Here's an excerpt:

"You’re smart, Mor. And I’m so proud of you. But you don’t know anything important.”

“How can you say that, Dad? I worked my ass off to get where I am.”

“I know that.”

“Then what the hell do you mean? Because I don’t know to weave a fucking basket or catch a goddamn salmon?”

His face went hard and cold. Or I thought that at first. But on second glance I saw pain there and my heart dropped out knowing I had caused that.

“You think if you work hard enough, say the right things, and walk and talk white they’ll accept you?” I felt like he’d nailed me to my chair, and I couldn’t make any words come out of my closed throat. “You’ll never be white in their eyes, Mor. Never. The world will never forget that you’re Indian, no matter how white you act with your big important degrees, with the white man’s magic coming from your fingertips. And meanwhile, what? You don’t want to learn our language. You don’t know our stories. Where are your spirit power songs? Your guardian spirits?”

He leaned in towards me, eyes ablaze, the laugh lines usually so evident on his face smoothed away by the rough touch of fury. “So no, you don’t know anything important.”

He got up. Before he could storm out I started trembling so hard I thought my teeth would chatter right out of my head.

“Then why did you take me away? Why did you bring me here?” I shot to my feet. “Why won’t our entire fucking family talk to us?”

Dad stood with his head bowed, his gnarled hand on the door that lead out to the living room. “Don’t walk that road. You won’t like what you find at the end.”

Fear trapped air in my chest, along with whatever else I might have said. I choked and wobbled on my feet.

Dad disappeared out the door. I didn’t follow.

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