Friday, November 30, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Exorcising Mother

It’s still surprising Mom lived so long. She was a sweet lady, always donated to UNICEF and Make-A-Wish. She worked as a maid at one of the Chicago Hyatts for thirteen years, and again at the Radisson for eighteen more. She cleaned rooms, folded toilet paper into white roses, and occasionally spiked visitors’ medications or the minibar with untraceable chemicals. As Aunt Theresa put it, she was a prolific but unassuming professional.

When she died, it wasn’t by a hitman. It was liver failure. I was there, bawling my eyes out, and the only assassins to blame were diet and genetics. She’s why I eat so many salads.

She’s also, I think, the reason why all my ex-boyfriends are dead. As far back as I can think, Mom was very supportive of who I was. Dad still doesn’t understand – he thinks I can just like girls if I try hard enough. Mom understood and coaxed me to love who I loved, though she refused to lower her standards. The boys I liked weren’t good enough for her. When I was dating Micah, she actually went to his concert to watch how he behaved. I saw her halfway through his set. She made a little “swish” sign at her neck, which meant I wasn’t seeing him again. Like, romantically again. She didn’t kill him. Heroin killed Micah. I’m pretty sure heroin killed Micah.

It was a month after Mom’s funeral that I noticed a problem. I was with… Jake. It sounds tackier than it was, but Jake was a Canadian brewer hoping to turn full-time hockey player. I know, it’s terrible, but he was so earnest. Or he seemed earnest. Actually, he was an asshole who called that he was sick the morning of Mom’s funeral, and it turns out he was actually drunk with his team. I saw the pics on one of their Facebook Walls. I was so mad, and I was plotting to dump him via that same Facebook Wall when other status updates came in. Jake, who was almost born on ice, had slipped in his shower that night and broke his neck.

I was devastated. Like, Aunt Theresa and my friends thought I was going to kill myself. These two girls from Mom’s church actually drove me to grief counseling sessions, to and from, and took me out to lunch afterward every time. Mom knew really nice people. I mean, except for the mob ties.

It was at one of these sessions that I met Hunter. Hunter. God, I can’t believe I ever dated someone named ‘Hunter,’ and that name hurts twice as bad in retrospect. It turns out he would go these sorts of grieving sessions to prowl for easy lays. I kind of suspected it, but he had the nicest hands I’d ever seen. Hands are a thing. Don’t judge.

Anyway, Hunter tried to sneak out of the house with my wallet and was, by means I still haven’t figured out, decapitated by the screen door. You probably read about it. It was kind of a big deal in the newspapers. I hear it made the front page of Reddit for a minute.

Then there was D’Angelo. He restored vintage cars, and we made out in the back of the only Rolls Royce I’ve ever been in, and a week later a pneumatic press broke and the Rolls fell on him. And then Gustav and Aleksei, who I wasn’t really in a thing with, but they both fell through the same patch in the ice. I remember them because right before my cell rang, I swear I saw Mom in my mirror. She looked like she was cleaning the frame.

Am I crazy, or is my mom’s ghost killing all my boyfriends? Dad said he still feels her presence, but I don’t have the balls to ask him if that presence feels like it strangles people. He’s lucky that he doesn’t want to date anymore. It’s also frustrating, because if he would, and those women died, I’d know Mom was looking after me. I mean, stalking after me. Poltergeisting after my sex life, because it isn’t hard enough being gay in America.

It’s super-weird, but I moved twice, and it hasn’t stopped. I could probably get the Match.com people arrested as an accessory at this point. Last week a cute guy cut me off in traffic, and ten minutes later I drove past the smoldering ruins of his car. “Afternoon Delight” was on the radio. That was Mom’s favorite song.

I once saw a psychotherapist to find out if Mom is just a useful delusion, expressing latent telekinetic abilities. What if I was actually killing all of those people with mental powers, and schizophrenically projecting it onto my late mother? The doctor thought this was all a scam to get prescriptions. He’s dead now.

It’s lonely. I mean, I guess Mom is stuck in a homicidal purgatory which is probably pretty lonely. I still have friends, and Aunt Theresa, and Dad, while Mom doesn’t even have Twitter. I’ve tried telling her, and praying to her, and praying to God to maybe finally take her away, but if you believe that omen on the turnpike, it hasn’t taken yet. It feels too harsh to have my mom exorcised, especially just for my sex life. I don’t know. It isn’t fair.

So now I just tell people the truth. Nobody believes my cute maid of a mom is now snapping necks from beyond the grave, and I need this stuff off my chest. I don’t know. What would you do?

25 comments:

  1. LOL poor girl! I guess her mom thinks she still knows best.

    Btw your recording didn't work for me. ^_^ shame I was looking forward to it.

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    1. Sorry the recording still isn't functioning. Having a miserable time getting any embedded MP3 player to take. Open to suggestions for anyone who works with Blogspot inputs.

      I'm curious - so you thought the narrator was female?

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  2. I wanted my mama exorcised while she was alive, so perhaps I should pass on answering that question. However, to turn it back to you, does the death of any of those people diminish the world in any way? Was the sex mind-blowingly amazing?

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    1. If it had been mind-blowing, I think he would have mentioned it. Which, perhaps, says something about him? Or my callousness as an author?

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  3. "balling my eyes out"? 'BAWLING' surely?? Typo aside, John, it's a great story with some fab. one-liners. But I'm also a little confused. Helen above refers to a girl. I read it as being about a gay man, not a straight woman. Then there's your sly reference to the Oedipus myth. I'm not quite sure where that fits in either. Well ...?

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    1. You're absolutely correct about "bawling." That's a bad typo on my part. Won't make excuses for it - sorry.

      It is about a gay man. I thought I made that clear in Para3, but maybe I didn't do the job I'd thought I had. I'll ask!

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  4. Great fun! I like the fact we don't really know what the cause is. It's nice to wonder. And also, hands! I so get that (Em has lovely hands btw). Don't judge!

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  5. John I think this is my favoutite one of your flashes ever. I could just feel the enjoyment rippling through you as you wrote it. It's playful and yet has an undertow of edge too. The details of the boyfriends too is just right.

    Excellent, really excellent

    marc nash

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    1. I definitely had fun working on it, though I was constantly afraid I was doing something terrible. I mean, obvious Mom is, but it's very relieving to find people enjoying this! Now if only I could get the audio to run.

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  6. I got that the narrator was male. Maybe his mom changed her mind and want him to try to "go straight"?

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  7. This was fun - the mom with mob ties, nailing ex-boyfriends even from beyond the grave. I wonder what pull she had on the mobsters to take down these random dudes, but maybe that's best left unmentioned.

    Maybe it's because my mom would go toe-to-toe with lawyers as part of her job, but I found myself identifying with the narrator (although I'm straight). She hasn't ever nuked any ex-girlfriends that I'm aware of, but who knows what she'll do when she's beyond earthly jurisdiction? :-D

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  8. Aww I feel all warm and fuzzy now, you actually wrote a romance? Well sort of LOL I quite enjoyed the cameo by Auntie Theresa ;) Hmm the police are probably going to start noticing if mom keeps this up. Maybe Auntie would believe him, but I'm not sure who else.

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  9. Oh my gods, the poor soul, to have a homophobic ghost mom! Loved the chilly line about the doctor, made me believe it's everyone who "threatens" him gets killed.
    This one might be one of my favorites by you! I love the evilness, the despair and the wry humor :)

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    1. Interesting, so you read the mother as homophobic?

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  10. hehe...this made me smile. "[She] doesn't even have Twitter."

    (also, not Romance) :)

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  11. This is delightfully creepy. Nice one.

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  12. Y'know John? This would make a fantastic movie.

    His mum sounds like one hell of a woman, maybe a little excessive, but still, one hell of a woman.

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  13. Oh John how you make me laugh...this is so brilliantly realised and blackly comic

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  14. I knew the man was gay. LOL Poor man. He needs to tell his dates beforehand: you may die if you date me. My mom's ghost is a killer.

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  15. He dated a Canadian who was a brewmaster but wanted to be a pro hockey player? By the time you get your brewmaster's papers, you're too old to make it to the majors. What a poser -- no wonder the Canuck was dating foreigners :-)

    I liked the layers in this one -- mostly it was funny, but by the end I was wondering just how helpless and naive this grown man was. No wonder Mom didn't feel comfortable with heading towards the white light and finding a new body.

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    1. Once you entered wondering how helpless he was, did the humor die off for you?

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  16. I think it's his mother. After all, Mom knows best, right?

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