Charles Fisch ©Jan.11, 2011
My intuition squealed with distress…
The mother I had known and trusted my whole life was no longer herself. The house-broken wife in her usual shabby tent dress suddenly appeared as a crazed spy from hell! Shrouded in an old trench coat, kerchief and sunglasses ~emotionless, yet silently boiling with rage~ she grabbed me sternly by the wrist and pulled me behind her like a bewildered animal. We headed out into the night…As it turned out, I was going on my first date ~at age five~ the worst date of my life.
My mother’s intuition was more developed than mine. Somehow she knew that my father was dating her best friend. So, we all went on “his” date. Mother stalked them like a hungry carnivore, while dragging me along like a piece of toilet paper stuck to her shoe. We hid behind buildings, fences, trees, crouched behind cars, as we followed father up streets and down alleys. When she ran faster than my tiny legs could keep up, my feet never touched the ground. At the slightest whimper I was shushed into submission.
We eventually caught them in the act in a most unexpected scary dark place. Mom shrieked out years of frustration. Dad bellowed back with indignation. The usual screaming match, but more psychotic. We slept at grandma’s house that night. A restless sleep…The image of my father, naked with another woman in a grungy place amongst murky shadows and my mother screaming, left a Gordian-Knot in my stomach ~for decades.
While dad was away at work the next day, her panicked girlfriends arrived to our darkened home. Their attention was beckoned by muffled crying, which led them to a candle-lit room with curtains closed ~where mom lay in bed. She rose decrepitly as if she were a patient in a palliative care unit and with arms raised to the sky, yelled, “KURVA !" (koor'-vah = whore).
The gossipy confidantes kept telling her that her most beloved and trusted friend since childhood had betrayed her. Being loyal to a fault, she couldn't believe that Magda would try to steal her husband and hurt her. She needed proof ~and now she had it...
Mournfully, she recounted her tragic escapade from the previous day with Shakespearian skill, accentuating her soggy saga with furled brows, clawing fingers, throaty sobs and tears the size of eggs smashing to the floor. Her chorus of wailing women completed the morality play.
In the end, mom’s greatest outrage was that dad had sex with Aunt Magda in a patch of grass under a bridge ~he didn’t take her to a nice hotel.
The gossipmongers’ advice ~to withhold sex as extortion~ backfired on mom. Dad was a practical guy. If he couldn’t get it at home, he got it elsewhere…
Aunt Magda became a pariah. But there seemed to be endless neighbourhood “whores” who were enthusiastic about dad’s charms. Mom continued to hunt them down regularly. She could have been so much more than a housewife... Bounty hunter would be at the top of the list.
"There is no such
thing as perfection.
Each step is a step
towards the next step."
Thankyou to my lovely,
smart sister Susan Fisch
for helping to edit my writings
in both English & French.
She does a great job.