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My Grandma used to say “I’m through.” when she was done. With her meal, with a chore, with someone who was bothersome. It was the way she said finished—and she must have used it often, made it part of her normal vocabulary, because when I hear the word used out of typical context, I can hear her voice with finality, even after all these years.

I’m through, and plates clatter on their way to sink and the dishwasher.

I’m through, the dustcloth is tossed to the bottom of the stairs, the paper towel finds the trash can, the bottles of cleaning liquid rattle atop the washing machine.

I’m through, even with people. When my Aunt—a grown-up, but still her daughter, wasn’t thinking logically, and giving Gram a hard time—Gram wouldn’t waste he time “talking to a wall,” she said. She’d wait until folks came around and made some sense with their words.

As Gram used to say, then, I’m through. I’m through with this judgment, with these archaic black and whites. I’m through with these shadows of love, with ignorance and arrogance. I’m through with the silence, the stares, the exclusion, the pain. I’m through with the thick black line you’ve drawn between us and all. The cold hellos, the dry goodbyes. I’m through with how you use religion to make us feel this way.

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