Burning in the ears
A text from my mother, yesterday:
“I saw that ‘it gets better’ link you posted on facebook. are you “coming out” with that, cuz we are totally on board with whatever makes YOU happy…..”
Another text, ten seconds later:
“Did you get your birth certificate yet? I sent it in the mail…”
My ears caught on fire. I began the response.
“I got the certificate.”
*…backspace backspace backspace.*
“Sure why not. I got the certificate.”
I pressed send. It was my latest in factually accurate, yet noncommittal, plausibly sarcastic responses to the question. Kinda like that other occasion when I insisted that, yes, I am totally fabbbbulous. Each time I wondered which people would believe: my words, my tone, or the plumes of smoke wafting from my smoldering ears.
My ears melted down my skull for a few moments. Then:
“seriously??? it’s really late for april fool’s day……what’s it like?”
I massaged my ear. My hand came back unsinged, but my ears still felt hot.
“not trolling. as for what it’s like…
It’s like…a burning in the bosom. You can tell people about it, but they won’t know unless they’ve experienced it.”
Mom’s response came back after a few more minutes.
“Is that why you turned away from the church? because youre gay?”
“No. I left because I never burned in my bosom.”
Just in my ears.