My mother was heavily drugged when I was born, as was the hospital norm. She woke at some point, however many hours later, and I was presented, washed and combed with a bow scotch taped to my head. An african american nurse, who my parents called “colored” when they told me the story growing up, handed me to my mother and said, “She gonna be bad.” How did she know?
No one knew what time I was born. No one remembered the details of my birth. My mother was not present so to speak and my father was not in the room, as was the custom. I took the lack of information personal and finding out my birth time became a cause.
I wrote away for my formal birth certificate from the New York City Hall of Records. I paid extra to get the document with all of the details. It took forever to come and when it did, they had sent the simple version with just the date on it. I lost my mind for a bit while I waited and called and explained and gave proof and waited and waited and waited. Not knowing was unbearable. It was so important for me to know. To claim my birth. To care about when that little pink blondie baby who someone labeled “bad” was born.
The funny part is, like in much great literature, when the certificate came, when finally i got the thing i so desperately needed, it no longer mattered. I have it somewhere, but I forget the time printed there in black ink on the white paper. But that has no bearing on my opinion of that little baby Holly. I love her and she is amazing. Thank you for living through it all so that I can be here now.