In the middle of Rocks’ Harold [April 2. Suggestion: Panda. Rock: Rhyolite], a scene between me and Adam took an abrupt turn into non-fictional territory. The moment right before that turn, I envisioned a crossroads in which the path that seemed most right to follow was the most honest one. So I started going into detail about some aspects of my life that I never really speak about openly. It just started happening before the part of me that is extremely self conscious of these things had the time to mull it over and stop myself. I’m not afraid or ashamed to talk about my birth or my weird body, but I never really thought I’d air it out all at once to my Harold team and a Harold Night audience.
It’s kind of funny and cool that this all came up and out when it did. This stuff has been on my mind more often than usual. So when Adam’s initiation of that scene flashed me and my memory pretty much right to the heart of the matter, I went for it.
Well, the reason it’s been on my mind lately is because only a couple days ago my mom wrote me an email entitled A Riley Story. I was thrilled to open and read it. My mom is an amazing person with some unbelievable stories that would make your head spin. She has tons of them. None of them are written down anywhere. I’ve begged her for years to start writing. I can only imagine how daunting of a task that must be, but she really has led quite a life. I’m not asking her to write a memoir and get it published. But at the very least, for 100% selfish reasons I would love to sit down with a collection of my mom’s stories from years past and just laugh and cry over them.
So, A Riley Story. Out of the blue, as an exercise, Mom finally wrote a story for me. It’s the story of my birth. About 90% of the story I already knew from the many talks we’ve had (we’re friends). But seeing the words on a page just broke me down for the rest of the day. The shit I put my mom through before I was even born, my God. She’s just super heroically brave and sometimes I really can’t even handle how much I love her. I don’t know how much else I have to say on the subject right now besides, Mom: I love you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for being anything I’ve ever needed.
Below is A Riley Story. By Jean Berlow Soloner, the greatest of all time.