river rat: My tattoo. I once believed words had the power to right a lifetime of neglect, that they could leap into the air and magically absolve.
I am frequently off in my thinking about when exactly your birthday falls, so I’ve dedicated the months of December, January, February and March to celebrate – privately – the occasion of your birth. Thinking that, just now, I am excited at how more than a month remains. Please know that I shall indulge myself properly, in your name, for the remainder of my one-third year celebration.
The exact date (of your birth) I once considered memorializing on my wrist in the alphabet of a long-deceased foreign language, so the mere threat of additional academic study and arduous research would force me to memorize how it represented the date of you coming into being, landing before your mother and mine, sisters of sorts.
People would ask, of course, the meaning of those symbols and swirls and delicate flourishes resting there, on my wrist just a few cells’ thickness above coursing blood, and each time someone inquired, stories would gush forth greater than tales of Ulysses, Kubla Khan, and Scheherazade.
In them, we would conquer worlds and defy gravity. From tales born of ink and flesh our names would ring together – on pitch – cleaving mountains, scouring them of earth and rock, burrowing to planets’ cores in search of truth and love. Mythologies surrounding our storied victories and collapse(s) would hold spellbound small children when re-told by parents who still, blessedly, possessed keys to holding such emotions, such fire, tightly in their hot hands, without letting it burn away joy and wonder.
However, of course, I have not yet tattooed the actual date of your birth on either of my wrists. I think it’s important that you know how it is still the only tattoo I have truly and seriously considered appropriate as my first.