Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 81: Letting Go

Lark (The Dreamer): Hey Mom, can we talk?

Mom (Me): Of course. What’s on your mind?

Lark: I feel like I’m changing so rapidly. It’s only been a few weeks since my twin and I separated and I feel like a completely different person.

Mom: What do you mean?

Lark: I mean it sort of feels like I’m… Expanding. I’m not exactly sure how to explain it, but… I’m remembering new things.

Mom: You mean certain memories are becoming clearer?

Lark: No, I mean I’m remembering things from after my time. I know I’ve visited those memories and explored them, but now I’m *remembering* them like they happened to me. That shouldn’t be possible.

Mom: Maybe… Maybe the 20s *isn’t* your time.

Lark: What do you mean?

Mom: I mean I’ve always been a dreamer. *Always.* I’m sure that was amplified by being trans — dreams were the only place I could reliably exist as myself, even before I really understood who that was. But even after transition, I still daydream all the time. I’ve been dreaming and daydreaming my entire life.

Lark: Hm, that explains some things — like how my clearest memories seem to be of dreams and aspirations, and your lived experience feels hazy now. I’m also remembering things from before Bloom’s time, which… That doesn’t seem like it should be possible either. I heard about how much it hurts her to try recalling memories from back then, but recalling dreams from that era doesn’t seem to hurt at all.

Mom: Huh, that’s… That’s true, isn’t it? I can remember my dreams from before Bloom’s time — doing that doesn’t hurt the same way. In fact, I think my earliest clear memory is a dream. I must have been three or four years old…

Lark: It was a recurring dream. I don’t remember all of them, but I remember we had recurring dreams somewhat often when we were younger. I was sitting in… A bar? That doesn’t seem right.

Mom: It doesn’t, but I remember that too. It looked like a saloon in a wild west town.

Lark: That’s exactly it. I had to save the world because it was about to be destroyed, so I met up with a companion who drove me out into the desert… We always saved the world with a second or two left to spare.

Mom: We must have had that dream five times or more.

Lark: I think I remember a picture of a clown? I don’t think that was a dream though, wasn’t that hanging in our room?

Mom (surprised): I think it was! We stared at it because when we were really young we slept with our eyes open. I feel like that’s an actual memory, but I doubt Bloom remembers it.

(Lark stands in silence, processing her new memories.)

Lark: I couldn’t access any of this before. I guess my twin and I really got wrapped up in each other somehow.

Mom: I think that was my doing. My 20s were the first time I was truly on my own, without a school to give my life direction. I was trying to become an adult and grow into someone who could thrive out in the world, but I was also trying to fulfill my dreams. Those two things got muddled together in my mind because *I* muddled them. You and your twin felt like one persona to me.

Lark: And it wasn’t until now that you realized my twin and I are two separate personas and pushed us apart again. All this time I thought I was struggling to realize my dreams and shape myself into a certain kind of person, and I guess I was since we’re all different aspects of you? But in another sense, that was never about me — it was about my twin.

(I waited patiently while Lark worked through the implications of her revelation.)

Lark: How is this supposed to work?

Mom: How is what supposed to work, Lark?

Lark (focused): How do I put this… Because I was confused with my twin, I used to think I was a driven, independent person. But that’s not who I am, and even though I know that now, it still feels like I’ve lost something important… I feel like I need to get it back, even though it’s not actually mine. How do you let go of something you thought you were?

(I take a moment to consider Lark’s question before answering.)

Mom (deliberate): There isn’t really a clear answer to this — everyone has to find their own answer, I think. So I can’t give you a definite response, but I can tell you a little story… A story about us.

(Lark listens attentively as I gather myself to begin.)

Mom: I used to push myself to become more politically active a lot. I would keep up with current events — the steady erosion of privacy and civil liberties has always a concern of mine. I wanted to be more than an advocate; I wanted to be an accomplice for queer rights, even before I knew I was trans.

Lark: Important work for sure, likely driven in part by our hidden desire for queer identity.

Mom: Surely. I tried to engage with politics in various ways throughout the years, trying to hone my fury into motivation and political action… But it didn’t work. I tried again and again, but every time my rage got the better of me. I would beat myself up over not engaging effectively, and in the end, my anger fueled nothing aside from paralyzing anxiety at not realizing my potential.

Lark (sympathetic): I’m so sorry, Mom.

Mom: It still bothers me that I’m not more politically engaged, but I don’t berate myself over it anymore. I tried for years to forge myself into a weapon for justice, to hone my anger into a fine blade… But I only ever succeeded in bending myself further out of shape. Whatever my soul is made from doesn’t hold an edge.

(I let my words hang in the air as we both absorb their weight.)

Lark: So what did you do?

Mom: I started taking estrogen and found other motivation. I found a way to fuel myself with love — the result is this project, which is my most successful creative project ever by any metric worth measuring.

(Lark takes a moment to contemplate my answer.)

Lark (content): I’m glad you brought me here, Mom.

(I smile and pull Lark into a warm hug.)

Mom: I’m glad I brought you here too, dearest.