Meet my Grandmother. *

CAM00279 (1)

The (insofar as I’m aware) “original” Barbara. There may have been others before her with the same name somewhere.

I am not…and never have been…privy to that. Beyond the fact that I know that my mother signed off on everything as “Claire B. Kanyak.”

The B standing for Barbara.

So…

Barbara is a female given name used in numerous languages. It is the feminine form of the Greek word barbaros(Greek: βαρβαρος) meaning “foreign”, see article “Barbarian” for details )According to the “Free Dictionary”.)

Barbara https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_(given_name)

And…in case you were wondering, here’s the Urban Dictionary account of my name – http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Barbara

(I..admit to a “hunh?” feeling…but…The Latin meaning of my name I can no longer find…and gods I can’t begin to explain how many forensics speeches I had to judge way back when…that used this one goddamn speech about “Barbarians” and how the word came from “Barbarbarbarbara”…because yeah…at some point, yer gonna have an issue trying to sort out what another human being says…

But this is also prolly 2000+ years ago…)

The Oxford English Dictonary?

Nuthin’. Beyond that there’s a resort town in California…

What busts my hump the most?

She was removed from the Catholic Liturgical Calendar in 1969 because the Church…oh…bless ’em…had no proof that she ever existed. Because hey! We can’t just exist because some one spoke long ago in an oral history that was never written down.

*cough ahckhack cough seriously most of the New Testament cough oh wait I R Female apolorgies…

I was born in 1968.

So…that’s fun.

And The Last Name I have, which may or may not mean “Hawk”, or “Hawker” (one who works with hawks, as opposed to someone selling possibly shoddy goods on the street, like them what sells 20 pairs of socks for 10 bucks at every street fair in the city…but…that wouldn’t surprise me either…)

..isn’t true. Unless my Grandmother said “she is mine” like in the old tales…without understanding….Heh…no…no…

And if I go by what my real last name should be? Anderson? I’m still fucked. Because I know…and by “I know” I mean that half of me is Italian, Dutch, and Scottish…and the other half is Hungarian/Romanian…according to my long dead mother

All of…which leads to a bit of a bad temper no matter what…

Anderson?

Clanless.

Thanks for the puppy, “Uncle” Walter. Least y’gave me that much. (I miss that goddamn dog…)

What I know is that I come from a very short line of adultresses (I give up on whether or not I spelled that correctly.).

Apparently, I am meant to be “She who has no name.” Least…according to everything so far. Including my tissue paper and crayon birth certificate.

And what I am?

*My grandmother raised me for as long as she could. For as long as she was able. I remember her holding me gently when little wrappedupsotightlikeatensioncoil me went bounding from her chair (The one in the pic is not the original) to her hassock and back until I slipped and landed wrong…

My right arm still sticks out a bit funny if you compare the two…

And oh christ was my mom pissed……

I am the child who watched her Grandmother stare out the window at the spire of All Soul’s Church between 79th and 80th on Lex (where I went to preschool and kindergarten before “All Souls School” became a part of the cutthroat Private School System) and saw her face grow graver, darker, sadder.

And I couldn’t do anything about it because I didn’t know what happened…

Because she’d lost an 18 year old son to drowning in the old country (or so I was told…but…I actually, to this day, believe)…

And I was the one sent to across the street to the hospital to feed her whatever she was supposed to eat after I’d “Graduated” High School because my mother couldn’t deal with it after Gran had taken one too many falls…

…And I’d picked her up when I got home from school no matter how late it was a few times…cursing my guts out because I was scared and my grandmother kept trying to apologize in between her cries of pain and all I can remember is how much she weighed as I tried to haul her back into her her chair…and I yelled at her to “Shut Up!” because anger fuels strength and god knows…

…and…

…I remember coming home and her sitting in her chair and saying “Taffy. I couldn’t…I tried…”

And my puppy was dead.  That silly hairy mutt who I subjected to a number of questionable haircuts…who I remember…

(…Who I remember being given to me by what I thought was a fairly large man as I sat up on the top of the couch trying what I think was my level best to become one with the wall…

And then…

And then there she was…”Friends yes please??

And at that moment…Walter was my hero.)

And now…now…I understand the expression…

And I had to deal with it.

And I called my mom at work and she blew three fucking fuses in her head over the phone and I said I’ll take care of it…and…I did…

With a little…fuck that…a whole lotta help from my friend Victor. She’s still buried, insofar as I know, in his old backyard in LIC.

And I’ve buried far more than I care to and sung for those that are gone…

…except for those…who were blood.

And that window onto the Spire that used to carry light into our living room was bricked up by the Allen Stevenson school for their new mega Gymnasium and….everything in that apartment began to wilt because of the shadows…

And then…

And then my mother cursed at me when I picked her up off the floor and I cursed back  because that that point…? Anger…

My mother and I had a mutual agreement about anger.

We both had it. Butted heads…

We could find a moment of recognition, and then in the next second lose it like a bubble popped on the wind…

Because there was a word…missing. A truth missing.

And so. And thus.

So. The picture above is the only thing I personally have left of “my family”, because…

Heh. Because I think she’s a great ratcheting bitch who understands that a name is nothing.

This is what I “know” about my Grandmother (some posthumously told to me by my mother, some from the very little I can remember…. Grain of salt not included here. So get your own…)

She and her mother didn’t get along She got married to a journalist in Hungary at whatever age and she popped out a boy who drowned at 18.
She came to America in…1916…17…18? And wound up in Yorkville on 81st…when it was Magyartown and not Germantown (no offence…but there’s a reason 82nd between 3rd and…York?…is now called “St. Stephen’s Way”, because Germantown started at 83rd street…and yes, I admit…I’m too fucking tired right now to look up the avenues…)

Magyarország.

And my grandmother Barbara she fucked an Organist (musician) who then begat my mother and my mother Claire Barbara fucked…

…Is it bad that I know “Uncle” Walter worked in Advertising, but have no clue how or in what capacity?…

…and…here I am.

With a first name that no one could take as a Confirmation Rite and a last name that’s probably the last name of my Grandmother and my 18 year old uncle who drowned …who would be at this stage…old…had he survived…No idea how any of this would work out but my head hurts…

I wrote on the bottom of the pic a long time ago…

It says

“Open beyond what you think you can know”

I wonder if that’s why I still have it.

Maybe. Maybe not. I exist.

I have no other choice than to accept this as My Truth.

Got nothing else.

Heh. And still, and thus, and so…all I can do is unclench my fists, and breathe.

And…this doesn’t hurt either.

 

Because that? The above?

S’what I got to hold onto at the moment.

 

Advertisements

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s