Sins of the Father


The opposite of epigenetic trauma is wisdom. We inherit gold through our genes as often as we inherit debt. An unconscious life is genetic usury of your grandchildren. This is the original birth of vampirism. But wisdom is gold when it comes from the skin. Charisma is the vibration of one’s DNA string. These threads connect us to our ancestral telephone. The sins of the father are felt through four generations as the mitochondrial DNA are shed three times in a row. It’s a trinity baptism. Like all of our rituals, we cast our spells in threes. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Life is the inheritance of wisdom and trauma. If reincarnation is real, surely karma is recorded in the DNA.

Recessive genes skip a generation showing themselves on the surface. They are dolphins diving and leaping above and below the waves. We carry genes from the flags of our mother and father, but the male y chromosome is inherited paternally. In this way, we shed our past like a dead snake loses its skin on a thorn. Where you tend a rose, a thistle cannot grow.

Shannon was the size of a munchkin. Her eyes were deeper than the back of her head. She was Celtic and dark. She was twisted by the sins of her father. He was jealous of her charade. She was marinating in his suffocation. She saw the life of a rabbit and decided to bolt. She thought she could outrun her endocrine system. Shannon showed me a world I hoped was fake. She was sitting in my apartment on the floor when a burst of light erupted from a speaker that wasn’t plugged in. She didn’t flinch as she looked up at me to see if I would blame her.

Shannon was trapped in a magical world surrounded by marauding disbelievers. They taxed her sanity with a thousand cuts from a thousand pairs of scissors. Shannon was a gypsy who grew up on a pedestal of tacks. Don’t ever turn your back on a ritual survivor. If you gift them your trust they lose respect for you immediately. As well they should. You have no idea what they are capable of thinking.

I would meet Shannon twenty years later in the town of ashes. She burns there still casting her spells on patients more lost than she is now. She keeps a boy on a chain like a pocket watch that needs winding. She barely notices the time. Before him, I dipped into Shannon with my tongue like a ladle and drank from her experience. We poured each other tea and spoke of magic and psychopathy. What makes a heartbeat when the chest is evacuated? The answer is a series of echos from the sadness of lungs who lost the reason to breathe. I tracked her brow as it furrowed from her stories the way it always did. She is more than a catch, she is the ocean. Shannon is a pirate pretending to be a surgeon in a clean room. She could pop a cork with her teeth if she drank alcohol. She had strict rules. Every drug was a monogamous relationship.

We demand healthcare from the same people declaring plant medicine a felony.

Cannabis is a jealous lover who wraps her fingers around the temple. She is a gentle guide showing you where to look. Dopamine comes from the retina. What we see is a chemical illusion of what we want to comprehend. We are cyphering chemicals from each other’s brains with foreign fishhooks from friends and lovers. I lost Shannon from seeing too much of her. I knew her like a boy knows a cave behind the ballfields. But she could never come clean. Exposure would burn her at the stake. This is the safety of turtles and gators. We develop a fetish for thick coatings. We find secrets to build a nest where nobody would look. The most powerful among us are the hardest to heal. They carry on the longest without a limp.

Shannon is the sin of her father. Her father is the sin of his father. We are trembling echoes of what happened to someone else who died a long time ago. We are vacuum tubes and milk bottles with settled cream left on the steps. We are the Ice Cream truck combing the neighborhood like a lawnmower looking for blades. If I missed Shannon now, it would kill me. If she missed me, it would end her secret. Secrets keep us invested in a committee of one. Self-loyalty is more important than society thinks it should be. If a secret brings you closer to yourself you should keep it. Everybody lies to maintain their identity.

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