My dad used to sing this song to me sometimes, just the “Ah, Marie! Ah, Marie!” part.
He called me Punk mostly, if he called me anything. But my mom called me Marie, so he would hear that and sing that song. It never occurred to me to look it up, but I did, the other day. And I added it to the youtube playlist I have about my dad, that I made right after he died.
My mom would call me Honeybaby, a lot. When she txted me, she liked to put the bee emoji, the honeypot, and red hearts. She did the praying one too. Sometimes a flower.
She called me Sweet Baby a lot, and Punk sometimes, but mostly Marie. She went through a stage of calling me Mija, when her grandkids were little, but that was only a year or so.
My dad was born in England, you probably know, and he lived in Germany a while as a kid, where he was fluent in German–from playing with German kids at school, I guess? He and his sister would speak German at the dinner table so their parents wouldn’t know what they were saying. He forgot it all.
Dad could be simplified–I could try to simplify him–but really, a person is full of so much. Just one day in Germany in the early 1960s, playing on a playground–the sand in a sandbox, swings, jumping off swings, a slide, some green grass and a tree. King of the hill, pretending to be pirates–who knows. How did kids play, in Germany in the early 1960s? Probably like today. I’m thinking of the smell of sand, and the way my hands would smell from holding the metal of the swing chains.
We’re full of so much, and somehow he heard this Italian song enough that it got in his head to sing at his only daughter, many years later.
I had wanted to cut my hair off, when my mom died. It seemed like good symbolism, but Ming doesn’t want me to, and I think it’s pretty, lately. Maybe I’ll leave it. I could get that tattoo I thought about, rosehips. But I don’t have money, and I doubt I’ll do that either, though Mama loved roses. I guess I could write blogposts and make zines. Hmm, how surprising. Never what we thought you would do, Laura-Marie.
Ming comes home from being out, and I ask, “How was your time?” He tells me everything he did, then asks, “What did you do?”
I say, “Oh, you would be shocked. I did the weirdest things.” Then I tell him how I did the things I always do: wrote a letter, worked on a zine, txted people, read a random article about such and such, ate something. I’m trying to think the last time I shocked him. Maybe I should try harder.
Please excuse me as I sleep not enough and feel way too much. If you need any feelings, I could give you some of mine. I’m thinking of food banks, or when someone pumps extra breastmilk, she can donate to a breastmilk bank–have you heard of those? I could donate my excess feelings to a feeling bank.
I’m imagining emotion nurses hooking people up to IVs, so the feelings can flow into their bloodstreams, people who forgot how to feel or need some anguish to finish a breakup poem they got stuck on. Haha, very silly.
That’s a good idea, though. When I was feeling really happy, I could donate some extra happy so a depressed person could come in for an infusion. It could save their life. We would put a bunch of happiness, contentment, and excitement in the emotional emergency room. I would definitely do that.
Or I could volunteer for a shift holding hands with sad strangers. That would be cool. At the emotional emergency room. Or just listening to sad strangers cry. I could do that.
If only the world was like that. There could be a menu of emotional emergency room activities to choose from. Someone to hold your hand, someone to listen to you cry, someone to sing to you, someone to wrap you in a blanket and hold you there for a certain number of seconds. Someone else to hold the stopwatch.
I always think how doctors will give me a pill, but not a hug. Are pills really better? The milligrams can be measured, but here I am, right here, a human, and there you are, right there, a human also. If only that meter between us could be crossed. It’s like a chasm, at times.