Voices on the Wind Voices from Home
Passing On the Ways of the World by Gary David In a downer trailer park we ended up across from a crystal meth lab a SWAT team raided one day, rifles raised and yelling—like in the old Westerns— “Come out with your hands up!” Some punk my daughter’s age used to tear around on his bike, popping wheelies and spitting gravel. The kind of dad-less waif who slashes tires at ten, steals a joyride at fifteen, beats and rapes a jogger at twenty. I was painting my porch and he stopped to watch. “Wanna try?” I smiled, thinking Tom Sawyer. He grabbed my brush and eagerly began to slop on green paint. “No, like this. Do it like this—smooth and easy.” Then it hit me: I was passing on the ways of the world—a shared pleasure my daughter has no need for. Such intergenerational transfer to her is a mystery deeper than our poverty. Over the years a passel of DSM PhDs gave us a raft of labels to save her from drowning in depression: attention deficit asperger’s epilepsy dyslexia schizophrenia bipolar whatever—a whole complex of syndromes and disorders. But all their degrees failed to fathom this hole in her heart, mine, these bloodlines passing on nothing.