Silence=Death; Shady Memories

Last year I blogged about marking my 20th birthday (07/25/78) in Colonial Williamsburg However the circumstantial photographic evidence says otherwise. While not always as organized as I could be, photography is one area of focus (sorry- not sorry- for that attempted humour). I have photographs from September and early October 1978 labeled as films #108 and #109. The four rolls of slide film I shot in Williamsburg that year (numbered 110-114) were developed in October. As I was working at the Film Counter of a drug store, I can’t believe I would’ve let those rolls sit unprocessed for months, or numbered out of shooting order.

I was still living in Chatham when Theatre Kent produced “The Fantasticks” in April ’78. So I did not move back to Toronto until at least June, and started the Film Counter position until late June or July- and I don’t believe I would’ve gone to the store owner after only a few weeks to say I was leaving town. immediately, for a week. Even doing so after 3 months seems brazen now.

Being off by a few months is hardly earth-shattering; outside of sworn testimony as a witness in a capital crime trial, I guess. But I have no recollection of the actual reason(s) I felt compelled to risk my first job in the city, and faulty memories aren’t helping. I can only surmise my tying the event to my birthday (so strongly that 20 years later I revisited Colonial Williamsburg specifically for my 40th birthday) was part of repressing a scarier reason. Although I had been exploring my sexual freedom, this was before I contracted a case of mono (partially hidden by a case of strep throat), before the onslaught/recognition of hiv/aids, and before any failed romantic relationships. It is a mystery.

It means I can’t just put repressed memories into a neat box marked before age 6 and be done with it.

And it links to what I consider my most personal, deepest, least understood, poem. I wrote Somewhere Sunday, March 1, 1981 sitting in a comfy armchair in Toronto. My recollection (subject to all the limitations expressed and implied in this blog) is that I finished it in one sitting. That often happened with my poetic prose, but was exceedingly rare for any piece with more structure. This piece has both a rhyming pattern and very specific word use.

Last month I wrote that this post would “update my faulty memories in Memories Without Emotion from a year ago, as well as present two dreams(?) that will not leave me.” The second part is now done; see Teddy Bear Tears.

Please Support My Work

Please visit Supporting Me for suggestions on how you can support the costs of maintaining this website. Or show your appreciation for this TOQ fighting for equality since the 1970s.


1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Silence=Death, Birthday Post – Deep Within I Know I'm Free

Comments are closed.