NaNoWriMo Wed 9 Nov 2011

Her voice, sensual in the way of a gentle breeze, brushes through my thoughts leaving them swaying at their roots. I sigh.
“If only it were that easy!” My voice, plaintive like a two year old’s, surprises me. She smiles, lines at the sides of her eyes crinkling and instantly removing any sign of past hurt. People who smile a lot appear incapable of power abuse.
“It is that easy. What’s not easy is easing into it when you’re not already eased into it. Therein lies the problem.”
“How do you ease into it when you’re not already eased into it?”
She laughs. “Wanting to ease into it causes the problem.”
“What are you supposed to do then?” I huff, feeling exasperated. She smiles again, “just notice.”
“Notice what?”

“Whatever you notice. Bring your attention to your breath. Don’t judge. Just notice. Don’t try to be different. Don’t try to do something. Just notice what’s happening for you.”
Yes, I see. It slows down my urgency. What is going on for me? She’s watching me and smiling. What am I noticing? I’m noticing a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s contained there but its edges are vaporising upwards. And a tingling in my groin that is not sexual. And a sweet taste in my mouth. She still looks down on me. She still sees me as beneath her. She always has. I will never be her equal. Her blue eyes are taking me in. I will never be her equal. I feel okay about this. The sick feeling is still there but as I focus on it the feeling drifts apart. She doesn’t bother me. I don’t need her.
“We haven’t addressed the past.” I say this into the space between us. The sick feeling pricks me. She snaps her head up the tiniest amount and the outline of her eyes thins. I’m only breathing down as far as my stomach now.
“What is there to address?” Her voice appears nonchalant.
“A great deal. You left. And before you left.”
Rebecca clears her throat. “Steve, I think we’ll need to dye your hair.” I laugh. I wasn’t expecting that. “Okay, what colour?”
“Red.” She smiles. “Like mine.”
“That will make me rather conspicuous. And. My hair is dark-”
“Yes, we’ll need to bleach it first and then apply the red. You’ll be noticed less if you’re conspicuous. I’m sure they’ll expect you to be drab and hiding. I’ve got an orange hairy coat in storage that will fit you and it’ll be perfect over those jeans.” She nods approvingly, looking me up and down.
My mother is staring hard at me. I wonder if she’s noticing. “You think it was an easy decision?” Her lips are thin as she says this.
“What? Which decision?” I cock my head to the right and smirk.
“To leave.”
“No. I don’t.” I shake my head slowly, realising I really don’t think it was easy for her. “You had so much invested in your power over me. It must have been hard to let that go.” I do not take my eyes away from hers as I say this. I see tiny reactions, muscles twitch, in her face.
“I don’t know what you mean.” She speaks as if she’s speaking the truth, yet something is missing. She’s become cold. If she doesn’t know what I mean it’s because she doesn’t want to face it.
“I think you do.” I fold my arms, leaning back in my chair and watch her. What will she do? Will she deny it or will she face it? “You must remember, mother? You want me to remind you?” Her eyes crawl my face, looking for something. Rebecca fidgets in her seat. It must be uncomfortable for her, sitting here, witnessing this. She brought it here though. She opens her mouth once or twice, as if to say something, but closes it again. The air feels heavy and the fridge hums loudly. My mother sits back, and drops her forearms to the table. Intertwining her fingers she moves them rhythmically over each other. Always moving. Her eyes are no longer on me; they watch her fingers. It seems different: she’s the caught out child this time.
“Haven’t you got anything to say, mother?” I’m really surprised that she’s gone dumb. She’s not even protesting. I expected words either way.
“No.” Her voice is sulky. I laugh. Incredulous. She’s behaving as if I hurt her. As if the years of crap I’ve endured are nothing. I have to be careful not to take it on. I need to give her back the shame she piled on me. She needs to wear it. It’s hers. Not mine.
“Right-” and I can’t think of anything to say. What can I say? Reel off times, dates, and incidents? Air it all in front of Rebecca? Have another human being know the indignities I went through? What would that give me? Is it worth it? I’m not sure. I wanted her to acknowledge the suffering she caused. At the very least. And instead she’s sitting there like a sulky child. It’s shit. It’s vile. It’s pathetic that she won’t acknowledge what she’s done. What will it take? I realise, suddenly, that I’m breathing hard. I sniff and rub my nose. I look at Rebecca. She’s looking at my mother. Differently. She’s looking at her like she’s seeing her properly. Her mouth has dropped open slightly. I turn my gaze back to my mother.
“Let’s start with your improper handling of me when I needed the toilet.” My mother doesn’t move at all as I say this. Even her fingers have stopped twiddling. “You remember, mother. Even as a six year old, you insisted on holding my penis when I took a piss. Now why was that?” She doesn’t move a muscle.
“Control.” Rebecca’s voice, tiny, whispers the word. A light is going on.
My mother stares, unblinking, at her fingers. It even appears she’s not breathing. Can she even hear me?
“Mother. You need to acknowledge this,” I whisper. Maybe a whisper will break the ice. Uncle Ron broke the ice at Christmas. On the pond. He said it was important so the fish could breathe. He let me help him. I held the chisel straight and he put his big hand over mine and hit the chisel with the hammer. I remember the hiss as the ice broke and the cracks moved like lightning across the pond in all different directions. I needed a pee. It was just Uncle Ron and me. I told him what to do. What mother did. And he did it but it was different. He did different things. Extra things.
“Uncle Ron, mother.” My voice has an edge to it. I don’t want it to crack. She breathes in sharply. She knew. I knew it. She fucking knew. And she did nothing. I hang my head. Rebecca’s hand is covering mine now. I grip it. My thumb squeezes it against the side of my finger.
“You knew, didn’t you, mother? About the things Uncle Ron did? About the way you set me up for Uncle Ron? You knew! How could you not know?” I choke this out, determined not to cry in front of her. My breath is raw in my chest. She has started to rock a little, backward and forward. Why doesn’t she say anything? It’s driving me fucking nuts! Do the decent thing, mother, and acknowledge me, for fuck’s sake! And now I am crying. I can’t hold it back. “You knew that Uncle Ron was molesting me, didn’t you?” If she doesn’t answer me this time I swear I’m going to knock her block off. A tiny nod. I sit very still, “what’s that?”
“Yes. I knew.”
I feel confused. Overwhelmed. So many thoughts. She knew. I sniff. Why didn’t she do anything?
“Why didn’t you do anything? Why didn’t you stop him?”
“I did!” She glares at me. I shrink back but then I remember it’s her who did me wrong.
“He molested me for two years before you did anything. Why did it take you so fucking long?” I bellow this. The sound of my voice fills the room, hits the glass wall. It sounds good. Loud. Outside of me.
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?” I look from my mother to Rebecca and back to my mother. “You don’t know?” Short, like a gasp, a laugh escapes me. “You don’t know why you let your boyfriend molest your son for two years?”
A scream surrounds us. And my mother crumples to the table. Her body heaves with sobs. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know…” She sounds like a witch, a hag, from a fairy story. I almost feel sorry for her.
“Yes, you do.” Rebecca’s simple statement cuts through the drama. “It was easier for you to pretend it wasn’t happening than face it. Wasn’t it?”
“No. No. No. I don’t want it.” She’s sobbing into her arms and I’m bored by it. She always fucking does this. Makes it be about her. I turn to Rebecca.
“Right. Let’s dye my hair then. What do we need to do?”
“Yes. Perfect time.”
“But… your mother…”
“Fuck her. She’ll be all right. She always is.”
“Fuck you!” My mother’s voice sounds odd around those words. She’s lifted her head from the table. “You don’t know what it was like! Your father committed suicide. He left us to cope and we had nothing. I thought we would lose the house. Ron helped us stay there.”
“And I paid the price!” I bend over the table and glare into her eyes. She meets the glare and holds it for a long time.
“Yes. You did. And I’m sorry. I truly am.”


One thought on “NaNoWriMo Wed 9 Nov 2011

  1. Pingback: Shooting Script | everything is art

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