A Story by Floundering About

This will be, I hope, the first of many episodes.

In 1973 my mother went to Vermont.  What’s in Vermont?  I would have asked had I been alive at the time.  My father had no chance to ask this.  She had been working as a rape counselor for the government.  A precarious job, the counseling was sometimes itself a kind of rape.  But it was for their own good, she convinced herself.  Sometimes she wasn’t convincing.  I imagine it this way.  Her beeper could beep at any hour: another form of suspension between yes and no that did not suspend reliably.  She quit, the suspension did not.  But perhaps it erred frequently on the side of no.  Enormous effort to pull over to the other side of the bed.  One day, my father recalls, car was gone.  He says nobly that he was driven mad by worry.  I’m not convinced.  Her friend, who had sworn not to tell anyone especially not my father, was apparently convinced by his nobility and told him where she had gone and with whom: “to stay with some friends in Vermont.”  Somehow he obtained a phone number.  He spoke to her.  “And you know what she said?” he says, “she said.  She said that.”  The words come out wordlessly through his eyes and the muscles of his cheeks.  Or perhaps they come in.  These things have a way of flowing liquidly through him.  I am amazed by his permeability and move my feet nervously away from the puddle.  “I don’t know why I’m telling you this,” he says, or is it “telling you this,” the pores of him drying up.  It may not have been 1973.

© 2010 Floundering About

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It usually takes more than a paragraph to confuse me, but I was baffled by several sentences: “And you know what she said?” he says, “she said. She said that.” and “I don’t know why I’m telling you this,” he says, or is it “telling you this,” the pores of him drying up.

Yet, I get it, I guess.

Posted 12 Years Ago

Good write. I love the part about the counseling being a kind of rape itself. Clever. I still think my favorite is "move my feet nervously away from the puddle" of the father's flowing emotions. You did a good job weaving the words into each other. Almost poetic. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the story.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on July 1, 2010
Last Updated on July 4, 2010
Tags: mother, father, omission, emotion, vermont, rape, depression, mania, worry