Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mothers and Sons, I

[This was part of a longer work, tossed aside for what seemed like good reasons at the time.  The 'novel' does not have a very elegant name, which I won't reveal here.  As far as I can tell this story deals with Italian mother fixations, that old myth, secret Jewish tendencies, yet another nice fiction, and the urge of men to control women, even obliquely - probably true most of the time, but not as much as some may think. EM]


1. There was something about the woman which reminded Aaron Servi of his mother. Perhaps it was the way she towed her son along, like a ship bringing some object across its wake by an unskilled helmsman, dragging him to and fro in choppy, unsettled waters.

Perhaps it was her bobbed brown hair, her hazel eyes, and her pert, impertinent nose, so much like his mother's that Servi blinked again and again to force the persistent image to fade away. Perhaps it was none of these elements. Something dark and evasive moved across this busy, sun drenched street in Rome, like a rumor of some sin or malfeasance which no person could name or utter, but which rested over the avenue like a miasma, a concealing pall, the very form of something broken with a world that remains settled in the shell of a dark mystery.

Servi did not doubt that she was dragging the boy to some day school on her way to work. They were speaking to each other rapidly and in the bustle of the street and the wail of the scooters, Servi could not hear a clear word. But from the texture of the sounds they produced, he could tell that neither was truly listening to what the other said.  Their words were carried aloft in the rush and tumult of the morning avenue, never to meet.

There were two dramas being enacted here, the mother’s and the son’s, and they only glancing intersected along this busy street, in the hustle to get somewhere, in the crevices between the need to arrive and the desperate posture to love and protect. Servi saw the connections between this scene and the scenes of his own existence grow like a vine spreading up a tree, prepared to choke it of nourishing light and water and air

He felt  sadness for the boy. The sadness resembled the melancholy of Servi as a youngster to such a vivid extent that he became the boy, looking up at his lovely mother, assembling some plea which she would only dissemble with a hail of biting words.

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