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  • Fractured Doll 50" x 56" Oil on canvas. Available as Giclee on canvas or paper at ChimeraDitto.

    . . . I am nothing special

    My home is broken. I can never go back. My parents were both black when the only people that mattered were white. They were not special in any other way except — they could sing and play and they were clearly bad for each other.

    In the late fifties, early sixties, they traveled from one dive to another looking for their big break until my mother got fed up moving around with three babies and an abusive husband. She refused to go anymore. That's how we wound up in Detroit. Us. Not him. He went on without us.

    By the time I was three, he was gone and mysterious while she, by far the prettiest woman I could even imagine, was omnipresent and unreal — like a goddess. Still they were both Mississippi Delta blacks; descended from slaves. So that's what I am. My birth records say I am colored. Anyway, nobody important ever knew my father and those who knew him said he didn't matter; except as proof that I'd never amount to much.

    I guess a bad start precedes a rotten finish.

    Anyway, they separated before I knew him, but not before I knew that I loved him — a fact I kept carefully hidden. She became both my protector and my nemesis. Even as I defied her in the hopes that he would return, I would not leave her. She was my heroine, while he was only a dream.

    Detail — Fractured Doll