Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Sharon Doubiago wrote My Father's Love: Portrait Of The Poet As A Young Girl, the first volume of her memoirs, about the horrific alternative to love that she received from her father. For her father's love was presented in the form of emotional and physical abuse -- and even rape.
Doubiago, a poet, writes about the worst events in her life so eloquently and beautifully, that I marvel it is a book about a hideous childhood. We look at the 1940s and '50s with such nostalgia. But those were the years during which Doubiago grew up, and sexual deviance seems to have been all around her.
From the homeless men who hid in the bushes and jumped out with their pants unzipped in front of young Sharon and her friends, to numerous family members, Sharon Doubiago seems to have been wanted for one reason only: to satisfy the sexual cravings of men, molestations that her mother refused to see.
Night comes. To go to bed is like being tied to the railroad tracks. Lying there waiting for the 4:20 train to grind you into Eternity. Your ears ring and ring and your heart jumps crazily all over your chest. You can't show you're afraid, he will know you know. Just pray, do not sleep, do not go to sleep. To stay awake you have to keep your mind busy, you have to constantly think (the bag's not buried enough), you have to talk to yourself, you have to see things (the screen's not back on tight enough), you have to remember (don't return to the scene of the crime, someone will see you, you'll remember). To keep your legs crossed and your eyes open you have to sleep on your back. You have to listen with all your might for him coming again. . . . You pray for the bleeding to stop. You pray that your bloody things are never found.
Doubiago not only writes beautifully. She changes the genre of memoir. It has long been accepted that memoir represents the memory of the writer whether the memories are accurate or not. But Doubiago supplements her memory by using diaries, scrapbooks, and other records to document her family's life.
I am so glad I purchased this book. I bought it at City Light Bookstore in San Francisco. I've never seen it anywhere else. I bought it because it is signed by Sharon Doubiago and I wanted to add it to my small collection of autographed books.
I had no idea I would discover a gem of a writer. I have also purchased the second volume of Doubiago's memoir and hope to read it soon.
True, Doubiago's story is not easy to read or understand. How could a father do such things to his little girl? But sadly, a lot of men -- and some women -- do such things to little girls and boys.
The most recent statistic I heard about molestation is that one in three girls is sexually molested and one in four boys. The attacker is usually a member of the family or a friend of the family.
Important facts to keep in mind.
Infinities of love,
|Sharon Doubiago, a great talent