Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Children of the Damned (part two)

 I go 'home"to my 3rd stepmother's house for thanksgiving ,it's really the only time lately I come to visit.My 3rd stepmother is on the phone and holds up a finger,indicating 'I am busy"...I quick take a look into the kitchen...and see everything is in order...cooking simmering...my help was never needed 'around there"..i look in on my 3rd stepmother...again with the holding up her finger..but this time rolling her eyes ...as if at whomever is on the other side of the line...I smile at her for some reason,as if this derogatory gesture she has made at the person she is talking ever so sweetly too is a warm hug between us...I am glad she is occupied..glad I don't have to make with pleasantries..as pleasantness isn't my 3rd stepmothers's nor my specialty..My 3rd stepmother's specialty has always been being devastatingly beautiful well into her late 50's..I go up stairs to what is considered "my room" when ever I 'come home" the 'home " one of boyfriend's "left her"...a large duplex in the "better" suburbs of Memphis,ohio.On the bed 'in my room" I see a gilded purple,red and black velvet old skool photo album...I know it's not mine..but figure because it's on 'my" bed...and because it's so vivid looking I can't help but open it..and "spindle through it.." there's just one photo an oversized dated looking color photo that's about 9 inches by 12 inches ...it has one of those cool looking thin white borders around it...and the color is extraordinary...but not as extraordinary as the image itself within the thin white border...that ,peaking at the half opened door..I slide out of the album and move to this tiny desk lamp.in the photo are maybe 2 dozen or more men and woman dressed in costumes. Strange costumes...there are men and women in shrouds. Cloaks...deep purple and deep,deep red and also men in SS uniforms standing beside men or women in Klu Klux Klan uniforms...that are whiter than white..the 8 or so other men and women in their 30's or 40's are stark naked except that they are wearing colorful ,party hats you'd wear at at child's birthday party or for new years eve.In front of all these people is my 3rd stepmother lying naked on a gold satin sheeted king sized bed...the entire room,the bed, the figures in back appear to be not so much in a "real room' but a sound stage...on the left hand side of the photo is false wall,like one sees in a movie that emphasizes the right hand side of the photo where a half dressed man in his 30's or 40's is fixing his hair in a dressing room ..I try to think  approximately how many yards away the photographer had to be to capture the  two dozen or so "party-goers",the large bed and  the lone man in the staged semblance of "Green Room/Dressing Room".

I peak again at the door...and think to close it but instead listen real close...and hear a clink clank of pots or pans being moved around...and take the picture to a light closer to the album ,just in case I have to quickly place back in the album.i assume my 3rd stepmother,who used to be an actress was for whatever reason in 'my' room looking at old movie stills of some film no one ever heard of or probably saw from the late 1960's.According to my 3rd stepmother towards the end of the 1960's all bets were off concerning modesty,content nudity and theme "in the movies"and that was the main reason my 3rd stepmother "left the biz"I turn the photo around to see if the name of the film is on the back of the print only to see the words "Dumbo gets conceived" I hear a gentle 'knock ,knock "on the still opened door and see my #rd stepmother watching me.like an idiot I quickly slip the photo back into the photo album,as if this will rewind time or something.i had not heard my 3rd stepmother come up the steps and I notice that although she is full evening dress for the thanksgiving meal,she has slippers on her feet.

"Oh..." she says coming toward the album I had placed back on the bed,and picking it up"i had no idea I had left that in here.
she had never made any mention that she was my real mother,I am thinking at the same time I hear my 3rd stepmother.My REAL mother's phone beeping .
"You never asked," she says,more to the text message she just received than to me.
I cannot speak to her, I am thinking ,not after seeing that photo album ,I am thinking and wondering why she just responded ,as if I had.
I am glad to hear her phone beep again ,just to let me clear my head,which is reeling.I decide that ,no matter what ,I will later find that photoalbum wherever she might hide it.
'And do what with it?"she says,again more to the phone than to me.
again it strikes me that I am too embarrassed or bowled over by what I saw in that photo album to speak...and have to do some 'replay" in my mind to recall how she knew I was going to find the photo album.
She yawns theatrically and next opens the closet door making a snap.snap with her fingers as if aiming my eyes to a black velvet sports coat,a white laundered shirt,a hanger with grey pressed trousers and a bright crimsoned tie...all hanging on the hooks on the inside of the closet door..
"All we ask is you make yourself presentable and useful...Dinner at eight,' it is the first time she has looked me in the eye...
she makes another sanp.snap with her fingers..and says,"change"
Not really believing THIS is what she is concerned about I too ,rather gladly,switch gears to the matter at hand...the overpriced suit of clothes on the closet door.
"Change."she says again.
"I will when you leave the room."
She closes the door from the inside and steps closer to me,"Change now.In front of me.You saw me disrobed.Now I want my turn."
She crosses the room to the dresser and removes a pair of fresh underwear.The old kind.The tight little kind she knows I never wear.
'Do what I say or I'll have them poke out your fucking eyes."
She throws the underwear on the bed and sits on a chair in the far corner of the room.
"whitebread.That's what they call you.Never has a subject so let us down."
"A subject? I am your son I  say pointing at the photo album
still in her hand.
"No.you were in me but never quite Of me..You're a freak of nature..if you haven't noticed chippie"she says making a swirling gesture around her eyes...and next ears..indicating I see and hear things no one else does. She places the photo album on her lap and folds her arms.For a moment I think to snatch the photo album and bolt out the door
at the same time her phone begins to beep again,she shuts the phone off,not even looking who it is.
"So.You won't change.'
"Not till you leave," I say
She stands up
"oh boy...you'll soon learn a thing or two more about having respect for your Betters than you ever wanted to," she grabs my face and makes a gesture with her fingers poking at my two eyes.I swerve past her and run down the steps and out the front door  and take a quick breather ,hearing her open the front door and yell,'Don't you ever come back here again"
I start walking away from the house,i see the sports jacket and whiteshirt  come flying out the door just as two black cars pull up in front of the driveway.I see them through the car window..as they hurry outside the cars ,seeing I suppose the pants being thrown out the front door.old friends of my mother's I have seen for years,who always come for Thanksgiving.
"I think your mother wants you to stay,at least that is until the police come," One of them says,and from the other car I  hear another old friend of family's wife say,'what kind of monster tries to rape his own mother on Thanksgiving?"
I hear the sound of police cars in the distance.
And "the family friend" I knew since I was like born says ,pointing to his phone,"I can make one phone call and this,he says gesturing toward the sound of the sirens ,"will be over before it begins"
Two more cars pull up to the house, more "friends" who had obviously been informed what has supposedly happened.
'Put the fuckin' suit on Dumbo,"The man says slamming the car door,his wife saying,'All we want you to do is CHANGE into SOMETHING different...that's all"

The police sirens get louder and I back track to the front door of "our house" picking up the tossed clothing and walking insdie the door I was just asked never to come back to. I see my 3rd stepmother/my mother.Burning the the photograph in the sink.
Not turning around ,she says in a sing song voice,"I'll be up in a moment..to see you"

I pause midway up the stairway which is hidden from the den and whole downstairs. I hear the guests come in the foyer holding making a loud fuss about how wonderful everything smells,how they left the bottle of wine in the car to keep it cool..talking and laughing like everything is normal, I think.Hearing a beeping sound from several phones at once. and next,
in unison,"Everything IS normal!Dumbo.'

I walk up the steps ,to the bedroom and sit on the edge of the bed. On the pillow is a piece of white bread which I pick up and start rolling into little balls...I stop myself and try to mimic their tone of indifference and remove my shoes.

No comments:

Post a Comment