Gift(s) by Rene Seledotis

I suppose I had been taught to box myself in. I remember when my room was nothing but a straight path from the door to my bed. There was the desk, a mound of papers on top, drawers filled with documents from when my dad still used it as his office before I was born. Two massive totes filled with schoolwork. Everything I stacked my life upon. Somehow a daybed worked its way here even with the bunk bed. It was the bed my father’s family let my mother stay in when she was too scared to drive home in the snow. My dresser drawers were stuffed unopenable with clothes they bought for me. Two jewelry boxes sat on top: a big brown one my mother got me for my sixth birthday and a bigger brown one her mother-in-law got me a year later. They were both coated in junk. When I cleaned them off I found a homemade poster I had been too embarrassed to keep hung up. I hung it up again. It sat above the nursery paintings made by my mother’s sister-in-law, fairies and flowers with faces staring at me. I have been watched my entire minor life. I think of the book my mother keeps on the downstairs bookshelf by the door: Rediscovering Catholicism. She got it from her mother. She says it’s one of those gifts that you’re supposed to keep because people look to see if you have it when they drop by. I have been ever the receiver of gifts.

Rene Seledotis is a transgender fiction and poetry writer who uses his writing to explore the hoarding disorder he has struggled to overcome. He has served as a poetry editor on the Oakland Arts Review. He sends warm (and cold) greetings from the lakeshores of Michigan.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash


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