Jim Knipfel, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Sibylle Berg, Carol Shields, Jean Nelissen, Thomas Hardy, Markies De Sade, Joy Ladin
Uit: Slackjaw: A Memoir
"There, you see? Can you imagine how they would feel if you killed yourself?"
"So, what, I should go on living solely out of guilt? Guilt overhow they would feel if I were to end it? That's not much to workwith." I chuckled.
"See? You just laughed! If you laugh, that must meansomething. Everything's not completely dark."
"Well, Wagner said," I responded, one more young man whotook his Wagner too seriously, "`Amidst laughter should we faceour doom.'"
"Never mind," I told her, knowing the whole thing was amistake. It wasn't going anywhere, and never would go anywhere."Thanks for taking the time, but I'm suddenly real tired. I'mgoing to bed."
"Are you still thinking about hurting yourself?"
"Well, yeah. But right now I'm just too damn tired." Thesefew minutes on the phone with her had completely sapped whatenergy I had left. She began to say something else, but I hungup. Useless. I lay down on my mattress, still dressed, and fellasleep.
The next morning was brisk and clear outside. Therewere things I was supposed to be doing, but for the life of me, Icouldn't remember what. I put on my hat and coat, left theapartment, and started walking in a direction I'd never gone. I hadstarted wearing a black fedora everywhere when I was sixteenyears old. At the time, I thought it made me look like Bogart. Iwas mistaken. So many of us go through life trying to be Bogartor Cagney, but we mostly end up like Elisha Cook, Jr. I certainlydid. But the hat stayed. It was my most identifiable feature.
I walked for hours, hoping I could exhaust myself and walkthe bad thoughts out of my head. Once my legs started gettingnumb, I turned around and started back home. While I walked,I took inventory, only to discover that there was nothing to count.
When I got home, I opened the door, threw my hat and coaton the mattress, snatched the razors off the desk, took them into the bathroom, and searched in vain for a comfortable spot on the tiled floor. After a few minutes I gave up on that silly notion and set to work on the right wrist."
Jim Knipfel (Green Bay, 2 juni 1965)
Onafhankelijk van geboortdata
De Amerikaanse dichteres, schrijfster en hoogleraar transgender-wetenschappen Joy Ladin werd geboren in Rochester, New York in 1961. Ladin was werd als jongen geboren en heette eerst Jay. Zij behaalde haar Ph.D. van Princeton University in 2000, haar MFA in Creatief Schrijven aan de Universiteit van Massachusetts. Amherst , in 1995 en haar BA van het Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York in 1982. Na haar eerste ambtstermijn in 2006 koos zij voor een geslachtsverandering, omdat zij toen wist dat haar baan veilig was. In 2007 veranderde zij haar voornaam van Jay naar Joy en liet zich scheiden van de moeder van haar kinderen na een huwelijk van meer dan twintig jaar. Na haar coming out stuurde de Yeshiva University haar met verlof. Tijdens haar verlof doceerde zij poëzie aan haar alma mater Sarah Lawrence College. In 2009 publiceerde Ladin de dichtbundel “Transmigration” onder de naam Joy. In 2012 publiceerde ze haar memoires “Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders.” Ladin was finalist voor de 2009 Lambda Literary Award. Ze werd genomineerd voor de Pushcart Prize voor Poëzie en ontving een American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship.Jay Ladin is de eerste openlijk transgender professor aan een orthodox-joodse instelling. Zij bekleedt de David en Ruth Guttesman leerstoel in het Engels aan het Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University.Zij heeft twee dochters en een zoon.
The lost father smiles down
From the snapshot summer
Where his children can always find him,
A past they try to see as a future
In which he has shed
The terrible skin
No one who loved him
Can bear to call his, least of all his children
Whose universe hangs
On the nail of the man
Dissolving before their eyes
Into a woman
Calling their names
In a voice they could only stand
When they didn’t realize
It was speaking to them
As though in the loss
Of the man they loved
Love were traveling toward them.
Joy Ladin (Rochester, 1961)