The Singing Cowboy’s Grandchild

The above photo is of my grandfather in Brazil. He was lankily muscular & extremely tall; though his body was proportionate his hands resembled bunches of bananas. He apparently used to dress like a cowboy (“gaucho” to be precise), play the guitar, sing, and romance well-to-do women.

One of these well-to-do women was my grandmother (see photo above), who was reasonably attractive but also chronically naive to the point that people would describe her as being “childlike,” naive, or even unintelligent. While I recognize that it is not politically correct to speculate whether someone is/was on the neurological “spectrum” or not, I would not be surprised in the least to find out that my grandmother was indeed somewhere on that spectrum.

My grandfather apparently maintained several affairs & even a mistress during the time he was married to my grandmother. They never divorced, and died within a year of each other.

I do not have a picture of my great-grandmother anymore, and I don’t know where it went. I might have given it to my sister for safe-keeping back at that time when I was selling all my shit to pay the rent. My great-grandmother was apparently a type of “medicine woman” (paid for consultations & various “remedies”) and also secretly read old “Hebrew” texts. Make of that what you will.

Above is a picture of me and my folks from Christmas of 1976. I did not crop their heads from the photo, that’s the way it was shot. I like this photo because I think it sums up my attitude towards incarnating on this backwards planet.

My mom & dad met at a disco called “2001.” She was a recent immigrant from Brazil, and was there with her rich boyfriend; apparently they were “on a break,” but decided at the last minute to go to the disco that night anyway. My dad was…sort of married? Sort of divorced?

Anyway, my future mom meets my future dad & my future dad is handsome and charming and has the physique of a bodybuilder. My future mom is pretty with dyed blond hair & so my future dad comes on pretty strong. Having looked at the archival photo evidence, I can confidently affirm that these were two reasonably attractive individuals.

Shortly after this meeting at the disco, I am apparently produced. I’m not anticipated. My dad is either sort of married or sort of recently divorced, and he tells my mom that if she can “lend” him $1,000 he can pay the other lady off. Somehow in the deal, a giant gaudy hutch of some type is acquired & will stay in my family until Adult Me pays someone to manually take it apart so it would fit out the door.

My mother was a microbiologist & incredibly intelligent. Sometimes she seemed to consider my dad a musclebound ape of a human being, but apparently he had won some writing contests in high-school & was just more of an overall underachiever.

I (see picture above) was considered unnaturally intelligent & precocious—but at the same time strangely childlike and naive. I also seemed to have a very “liminal” comprehension of gender differences and where I personally landed in that overall schema, which resulted in me not really getting along with other females my age & sometimes driving my mother crazy.

I also apparently informed my mom at the age of around 3 that there were “spirits” living in the apartment from “Africa” & they were apparently talking to me & explaining to me the nature of the universe. I would report & exhibit strange bits of phenomena that could be considered unexplained, including the continuing “spirit” communications & a car starting by itself.

I was also deeply into the whole Catholicism bit. My parents weren’t really very religious & were only sending me to weekly church school as sort of an Italian cultural thing. But I fucking got into it, boy!

In the end, it turned out that I was an enthusiast of anything weird, occult, and/or unexplained. I was sort of a morbid child, you could say…and sometimes even charismatic. I once convinced a bunch of my schoolmates in 1st grade to join me in drawing a massive “mural” on craft paper of the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake in California. Among the images depicted was the destroyed Hollywood sign & Kermit the Frog falling screaming into a fissure in the ground. (I was forced to go into therapy after that incident by school management).

My father died untimely at the age of 42 of a massive heart attack. For weeks after his death, he would appear to me in my dreams lost & disoriented; I had to explain to him over and over again that he had passed on.

You may have noticed that I use the word “apparently” a lot. My mom only filled me in on a bunch of details concerning my family history much later in my life. I have had to assess which is likely true and which is possible exaggeration.

But what is really true? Isn’t reality ultimately subjective? And what is reality? CERN scientists have literally admitted the universe probably shouldn’t exist. Aren’t we just clinging on to fleeting bits of reassurance that our would is indeed solid?

***

I did a spontaneous “meditation” on Christmas Eve to divine what might happen in 2021. I received “confirmation” on some of what I “received” as soon as the next morning. And that fucking creeped me out.

But what is “meditation?” Aren’t these just bubblings from one’s own subconscious? Aren’t synchronicities, in the end, simply intensely personal (as opposed to universally relevant) & explained away by psychotherapeutic means?

And is what is considered “psychic” really just the comprehension of subtle-yet-mundane clues leading to a logical conclusion? You know, like Sherlock Holmes used to do?

Didn’t I “speak” to “spirits” as a child because I was simply lonely? Didn’t I crave being “special” somehow as a remedy for feeling like a misfit? Didn’t I learn “meditation” as a way to escape my parents’ continual yelling & screaming at each other?

And didn’t my great-grandmother take up the occult in Brazil as the only real methodology for self-empowerment available to an older woman like her at that time & place?

***

I can see the emotional & genetic “fingerprints” of my lineage when I look back. I suppose I am, in a sense, the “culmination” of everything that has come before. To what end, I am still not 100% sure. In fact, sometimes I find myself consciously “rejecting” some-or-all of it; armed with the knowledge that when we remember history, we don’t quite repeat it.