family mysteries and my failed attempts at finding my doppleganger


Over the holiday, I discovered my young cousin to be a budding poet, writing poetry all night after dinner, and also found some intriguing family photos. That and eating a real meal for the first time in a while, it was a good visit to NE Ohio. I was on a mission to mainly find photos of my ghostly aunt Shirley in her 20s and 30s. My resemblance to her (especially when considering the dark circles seeming to always plague my eyes) is often mentioned by my family since I was about 16 (and in this lies a special piece of irony). I knew her in her late 4s and 50s, so I would be interested to see what the fuss about in regard to my being her reincarnation (also an inherent irony in that). I found a photo of her at 3 that I will post here soon, as soon as I have had it a little longer to myself. Her look is typical of Shirley — wise beyond her years with an attitude bubbling just beneath.

But I did find this photo. All my mother knew about it is that the third guy from the right is my mother’s uncle Joe. She couldn’t remember which instrument he played or the significance of this band and anyone I could ask is six feet under. Maybe one day I will somehow get to the bottom of this little family mystery. Or maybe not. But I like to think about a distant relative strumming his banjo or summoning a wall of sound with his tuba. Or seducing a lady named Edith with his satin saxophone.

This will be a poem no doubt when I can write again. That is gone for now. One of those “dry periods.” I forget what poet said that these periods are always miserable, but get better (or more tolerable) with age because you kind of begin to realize it is just another period you will get through, as you have before. I guess I will be able to attest to this truth in 40 years or more — the time I think it will take for this to be more tolerable.

But I know I’ve always got the music.

Published in: on December 1, 2007 at 3:19 am  Leave a Comment  

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