When I was a little girl I used to borrow my father’s ‘spare air’ that he used for scuba diving, and his weight belt, and I would lie at the bottom of the swimming pool and savour the quiet and the feeling of weightlessness that came for the next half an hour. My skin looked like porcelain in the water, my hair looked like a mermaid’s, but most of all, I couldn’t hear anything and no one knew I was there. But I would think in poetry, and then get out and write it all down.
As I grew up, and the complicated reality that is my life slapped me about, I learnt that when I lose my temper, or when I get a bit too emotional for my own good, I either black out for a while, or I don’t remember much of what has gone on. I will tell family and friends, that I am feeling ‘backwards’. And because of my love of Nina Simone, and soulful, jazzy type tunes, Nina is my alter ego. Or, it was before we all figured out that I have a lot in common with Dexter – the beautifully magnetic and rather endearing fictional serial killer who, like me, is quite calculated in his hatred of those that hurt other people. But, for the purposes of this blog, and because I would like to stay out of jail, I will stick to the name Amalija. Or better, Mocking Bird Down.
I have no grace. No frills. No lace, and most of all I don’t care. I have temporal lobe epilepsy, and depending on which doctor you speak to, I also have Bipolar and one or two other things that render me the person on the guest list who you are afraid will smack someone in the mouth before the night is over. Yeah, every family has one.
But I mean well, and I love hard, and I fight for what I believe in, even if what I believe in is misguided. So come lie with me at the bottom of my pool, my backwards is not all that bad a place to be.