I just wanted to tell this story

9 Mar 2014 by Brianna, Comments Off
This is a monster doll I knitted. It is only tangentially related.

This is a monster doll I knitted. It is only tangentially related.



When I was three, I liked two things: Whitney Houston and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I loved two things: My family and Disney’s The Little Mermaid.  None of this has changed. In my life, I have worn out two VHS tapes of The Little Mermaid. I always skipped past “Fathoms Below” to the scene where Ariel and Flounder are scavenging human things, a practice that I will continue to my dying day because nobody cares about you and your stupid human problems, Eric. I loved Ariel, I loved how she collected junk and I loved how she had a tail and adventures and a loving family but still didn’t feel normal, still wanted to have a body that made more sense to her. Like Me. I loved Ariel but I secretly loved Ursula more.  Ursula was a freaky monster who lived in a cave and was a powerful witch who didn’t care that she was alone and weird because she knew how cool she was.


Anyways, that is not the story I wanted to tell.  This is the story I wanted to tell:  When I was three, I went to the swimming pool with my mom, my brother, my mawmaw and papa, and a few uncles. We went to the pool all the time. It’s hot in Florida. My brother was a baby and my mother had to hold him while she swam.

My uncle Matt was videotaping everything. I don’t remember why, but my best guess is that my parents, my brother and I were moving back to Bermuda, or had just moved to Florida. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there is a video tape somewhere in my house where a lot of my family is swimming and splashing around in a pool. There is a point where the camera walks over to this little grassy area. In the grass is three year old me. She’s curled in on herself and staring at a blade of grass intently, plucking it between her thumb and forefinger.

Matt talks. He says: “Brianna, what are you doing? I thought you were the little mermaid, why aren’t you swimming?” or something like that. I haven’t owned a vhs player in a decade, I don’t remember the exact words. I do remember that three year old me looks at the camera while Matt is talking. Her face is completely blank. When Matt is done talking, three year old me slowly looks back down at the grass and resumes her previous activities. I didn’t talk through any of this.

I remember what I was thinking about because I always thought about the same thing when I was off “in my own little world,” as my mawmaw liked to say. I wasn’t thinking about anything. All my little brainpower was focused on that one blade of grass in my hand and I just stopped thinking. This was a favorite past time of mine all through high school. I liked when my brain stopped.

So that is my story that I wanted to tell. There isn’t really and ending to it, or a story arc or any sort of character development. There isn’t any theme or grand ideas I expect anyone to pull out of this. Which is sort of like life: things happen and then other things happen. Sometimes we look back on past events and try to find some reason behind them. Sometimes we don’t.
I have been writing and writing my make believe stories (aka fiction) where everything happens for a reason (because I made it up). But when I talk about myself, I don’t really want to have to make sense of things. I don’t want to have to be triumphant or inspirational at the end. I don’t want to be a poor unfortunate soul that makes others feel better about themselves. I just want to be what I am, even if it doesn’t make any sense. So that’s what the point of this is.

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