18 April 2010

Dominant Allele: Wild

I wanted to take a moment to put down a little groundwork.
My parents grew up poor... My mom's parents lived in a 200 year old, two room, hand-hewn log cabin with no running water or electricity. This was in depression-era Appalachia.
Their people had already been there a while. When the brand new American government began scouting into the savage wilderness past the Eastern Piedmont, and making records of what they found, my family was already established out there, A mixture of displaced Ulster Scots living and making families with the indigenous who had been there forever.
I can finger my direct line here. Grandpa was a coal miner, he brought his family (mom was 6) down from the mountain to work industrial jobs in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cleveland. He went back after his children were raised, literally, and economically. The mountains were in his blood, he despised the city life. He wanted to move back and be where he belonged. I am lucky to have been able to be there with him and Granny often. He died when I was 26.
Granny moved down here 11 years ago. I go back to see the ones that are left. There are many relatives my age there, but I'm afraid we don't have much in common anymore. They have been mutated by Coal Industryopathy, Wal-Martiopia, Oxycontinuity, and Ritalinability. It's pitiful. sorrowful.
... And
My dad's family are from the swamp. We are connected to the family farm in Murfreesboro NC...still the same last name...we don't live there. The direct line leads to slavers granted land from King George. My dad's family line weren't the ones who inherited the farm.
Swamp dwelling, small farming. Dad grew up terribly poor, joined the army before he was legally able by lying about his age...he did it so the family had one less mouth to feed. He sent his money home. He killed so he wouldn't be killed in Vietnam.
I never knew my grandpa, he died before I was born. He was a bootlegger, painter, farmer. (my mom's side all made 'moonshine' but more for home use. Uisbaugh.) Almost the entire Vaughan clan lives hereabouts, I don't have much in common with many of them because they all chose to make 'better' choices than bootlegging and are very good and comfortable American southern baptists (many have WalMartiopia and Changeophobia)
I do have a point...
My mom and dad and their parents all went for a piece of the American dream that came pounding on their doorsteps during the age of depression and post war ApplePieNess.
They raised me and my younger brother to want to have all the trappings they were able to now buy. They had a good healthy McCarthy education, It was so much better to have a choice of shoes to wear than to be barefoot by necessity. They, too could have the comfortable homes and lives that they saw at the picture shows and later on television, Plenty of easy food... leisure time.. well mannered children.
Have you ever tried to dress a monkey?
Mom must've had it tough. Though she tried to put the frilly-bottomed tights, and patent-leather shoes and pretty bows on her fair-skinned little girl, I ran through the earth and everything in it with no regard for convention. Temper-tantrums and willfullness that would, today, have gotten me on some prescription regimine. If I couldn't have my way, there wouldn't be a way...if she locked me in my room for both of our sakes, I would turn out every drawer, relieve the bed of its sheets, mattress and box-springs, and pound the floor with my heels, then fists. I remember distinctly the day she had to physically force me on the school bus as a first grader. I braced myself, foot and hand at the bus door, while everyone watched, I hollered like a banshee. Damn it all...she got me on the bus.
Slowly I conformed enough to function.
I even started to mimick some of my peers, I learned I was supposed to pair off and make a family when I was old enough. I learned a lot of things. I tried to be what I was supposed to be.
It didn't work out so well, most of the time. I was miserable, unless I was doing what I wanted. Mom was miserable, unless I was doing what was expected. Everyone else was miserable when mom is miserable.
We fought and argued so much. Dad and bro ducked for cover.
I made bad mistakes to gain what I thought was freedom.
My wild nature makes me unsuitable for anything less than true freedom.
Some social mutation cause an allele to show up in the industrial age. Some kind of conformity gene, coding for civilization. It's phenotype glossy, and modern, alluring.
In my parents it is dominant.... but I think both are carriers of the recessive WILD gene.
I am so lucky. My phenotype is wild, uncivilized, heartpoundingly so. I have to be true to myself. I'm in the process of cracking off the burnt crust of being held too close to the bling.
They don't like it very much, but I'm only truly happy when I'm running wild and free.
I am getting closer to the jumping off place... so close.
Anyone want to jump?

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