I No Longer Live in The Assassinís House
It was a strange dream I had Ė many years ago. I, along with my father and my youngest sister, were traveling in a subterranean train. In the dream, we were strangers to each other and didnít speak. There were only a handful of passengers in the dingy-yellow lit car. We all were silent and kept our heads bowed.
I had discarded the dream as nonsense and not thought about it again. It wasnít until I started writing on the subject of leaving the assassinís house, and began to give it serious thought, that I remembered the dream.
Towards the end of the journey, a man brought each of us, my father, my sister, and I, something that looked like a napkin. He gave us each a pen and asked us to sign our names on the napkins. Our signatures were not in a comprehensible language. The writing looked like hieroglyphics. Garbled, as it would if it were a sum of signatures; one on top of the other. When we arrived at our destination, we all went our separate ways. The subterranean station was dimly lit. The walls were lined with people sitting on their knees, like maimed beggars. They were dressed in black and they were pointing at us and calling us in a strange language.
The title of this piece is written in the form of an affirmation. An affirmation is only as good as our ability to accept the idea enough to carry it out. Some say it requires faith. I think it requires the ability to let go; to reject whatever it is we affirm weíre no longer a part of. But let go of what, I wonder, when perhaps what weíre fighting is a ghostly shadow of ourselves from way back as if our names were only translations of hieroglyphics.
And I can affirm: I no longer live in the assassinís house, but IT is the ghost. It lives through us, through our children, and our childrenís children. It has been with us through generations. The ghost has lived through my grandparents, great-grandparents and their parents before them. It was my fatherís spirit, my motherís submission to it. It was the love/hate syndrome passed on to each of us; a tradition passed on through generations. A behavioral glitch. Accusations, misconceptions, arrogance, and the ability to express opinions about you, but always behind your back. Misinterpretations of love, specifically: I hit you because I love you. I lie to protect you. I blamed you so I could save myself. Anger sets in and one day becomes an uncontrollable desire to destroy. I destroy your credibility so that I may appear to be credible. I destroy your goodness, so that I may be the good one. I kill your creativity, so that I may shine. I point to your imperfection, so that I may be PERFECT, PERFECT, PERFECT!!! And the ghost, like a maimed beggar on a subterranean station, keeps calling us in a strange and distant language.
The assassin is my house, my flesh, my spirit, and it has made its own affirmation; one that is so much a part of me, it is hard to rebuke. It tells me: I AM THE ASSASSIN. And I donít know how to be otherwise, though I may try because I know my actions are wrong and self destructive. They hurt others as well as me, but there should be no mistake about it, the assassin is also known by my sisters and brotherís names. It bears my childís name because I taught her with the knowledge passed on to me through generations of those who skillfully assassinate the spirit. And the train continues to pick-up passengers.
So I can affirm repeatedly, but I donít know how to leave the assassinís house without leaving ME behind. I donít know how to separate from that which has always been pain and comfort, love and hate, hunger and feast; the reason to live, and to die.
When I feel that I want to destroy myself, it is because I donít know how else to leave the assassinís house. It hurts me, but it is in my heart, my mind, and my spirit. It has been my sight and my breath, since birth. It hurts me, and I so much want to leave it, I affirm: I no longer live in its house, but thenÖ where do I live? I canít tell us apart. To destroy the assassin, I must destroy myself Ė thatís what I think. Maybe some day, when I understand how to split us apart, I will have learned to think differently than Iíve been taught, and then, I will leave the assassinís house. And on that day perhaps, my name will no longer be an ancient hieroglyphic, a trademark of the past, but simply Carmen, or better yet, my mother had named me Isabel. My father and his mother didnít like it and when mother woke up, they had changed my name.
Carmen Ruggero ©2006