February 18, 2020:

Where gender conditioned our respective evasions.

My grandmother was an unwed teenage mother in the Ozarks. My mother an abused child, locked in closets, raped at eleven. I was a white male: aggressive, tall, self-determined. I made my own path, admittedly gropingly, but with far greater facility open to me than could ever have been available to either of them.

So that I eventually dropped my masks, once they were no longer necessary to ensure my ability to make my own decisions. They never dropped theirs, to the ends of their lives.