lose of confidence

The first big building is being built on our street. She sat on the planter in front of the last remaining individual family house on the street. And held the smoke in her mouth, letting it balloon first before exhaling. Her posture was relatable to me. Deflated. Exasperation. I feel stoic in the face of ready emotion. A culture of emotion. I hope these feelings will temper into momentum. A forward motion. There instead seems to be a soup. Stasis. Anger. Listless anger. Replaced by sadness. And then glint of a big idea. The next idea. The prospect of affiliation. I’ve often considered the happenstance, not ironic nor serendipitous. Of growing up the protestant work ethic, of having it encoded. Along the way. A frame of reference. To work. But for what? For Whom? God? The family? There comes a time she told me, that a worker or farmer like your dad encounters a biological fantasy. That one morning his body will not be able to get out of bed like before. The New York therapist helping me reconsider my sexual orientation — at the time — must be aware that the words ‘biological fantasy’ will ring over and over in my ears. After our session. My mother told me the other day — present time — that a longtime farmhand had resigned working with my father. For the past twenty or so years my dad has worked with a primary farmhand who typically also works for my brother at the machine shop. The farm hosts the machine shop, which has grown into a settlement of red tin buildings and sheds anchoring the patch of asphalt — Hollow Springs Road — that has a mailbox with a number. It’s called machine shop with my family name before it. My father would sell an unattached farm that Tommy helped him maintain. Even though the auction would be taxing on my mom, she already joked of ‘hugging Tommy’ when it’s all over. In many ways my mom runs the farm. She does the paperwork and taxes. Manages the money. I assume that my brother’s wife plays a similar role. 2.0. I ask if he became depressed when Tommy quit? I knew the answer. It was in her voice. It was in her telling me. I expressed great anger — back then — when the family did not tell me how bad it had gotten. Only when the ‘s’ word had escaped his lips did they think I needed to know. So, I ask about the ‘d’ word. There seems to be other stores of confidence … out there. I intuit them. I try them on for size. I did not know the pivot would be now.

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