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December 2007

The Source of All Things

Recently released as a full-length memoir, The Source of All Things was first published as a feature article in BACKPACKER in December 2007. This is the full-text of that article.

Tracy: [Putting her hands up as if to say “stop.”] Okay, okay. So mom wasn’t interested in being intimate? Why didn’t you go have an affair?
Don: [Nodding.] That’s what I shoulda done. By all means.
[A break. Tracy takes a drink of water, shakes her head. Stands up, sits down. Don looks across the valley. A hawk skims the trees.] Tracy: Okay. [Sigh.] Now, how many times did it happen? In various degrees of whatever it was. Coming into my room…whatever that was. Till it ended.
Don: Between 25 and 50 times maybe. You know, I never kept track.
[A long silence.] Tracy: [Fighting tears.] You must have felt like **** about that, right? I mean, I didn’t want that, right? [Sitting down, hugging her legs to her chest.] I wasn’t a willing accomplice…right?
Don: You weren’t a willing accomplice. I didn’t expect you to be willing. I really felt screwed up. Why would I jeopardize my family like that? And I’m not using this as an excuse, but I was abused when I was real young.
Tracy: Did you do it to Chris?
Don: No, no. It’s never boys.
Tracy: [Her eyes squeeze shut, her face registering fear.] Who else then?
Don: I haven’t had those feelings for anybody, ever since.
Tracy: Since when?
Don: Since you. It ended when you left, when you ran away.
[They’re both crying now. The wind has picked up.] Tracy: So one day it was just…over?
Don: No, it’s never over. You have those feelings, but they’re just like this tape. It replays but you learn how to stop it. You learn how.

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