Because I needed a moment to get the week behind me, I stopped into a bar for a beer after work on Mother’s Day. I wasn’t going to miss anything or have anyone angry with me because my Mother’s dead.
I’m sitting there sipping a beer reading a book a friend lent me by Doug Stanhope, Fun With Pedophiles. I figured some lighthearted reading was in order.
A guy sits next to me and says, interrupting my reading I’ll have you know,
“So, I hope you’re doing something nice for your mother?”
I’ve seen the guy, a neighborhood fixture. Like a hood ornament on a junk heaped shit box. I doubt I’ve said twenty words to him. Ever. But today, even though there was a dozen or so others in the bar, he felt the need to speak to me.
I know I could just say she’s dead. But, whenever I’ve done that in the past, it opens up an entirely new can of corpse worms. So I answered that it was all taken care of.
You’d think that would end it. He’d give me the all clear for being a dutiful son and move on to remind someone else of their duty. But no. He wanted to know what I did. Flowers, I said, I got her flowers.
The kind that hurt when both jammed up and pulled out on ones ass. But, damnit, I couldn’t remember it’s scientific name. Don’t you hate when that happens.
Then he starts telling me I should be doing more. Dinner, dancing, rec room remodeling. He reminds me how important she is. How if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be here right now. Aw, fuck! Gee, Ma, thanks for this one!
I’m not indifferent to the need for people to talk and give advice. There’s a word for them. What is it? What is it? Oh yeah, bothersome bastards. But I also feel they should know when to fold ’em.
Sadly, they rarely do.
I close my book and put it face up on the bar. I have to end this. I have to end this abruptly. I have to end this with such a staggering end not only will he never look at me again, his mother’s uterus will quiver.
All right, you got me, I don’t HAVE to.
I want to.
I want to be left alone for what is left of my beer before I have to wander out into the street to the safety of my home.
“Well,” I begin to explain our Mother/Son relationship to this seeker of knowledge. “You see, my Mother doesn’t really like it when I spend money on her. Over the years she’d received everything she wants. She’d rather, because I’m a professional writer, that I spend some quality time and use my skills to honor her.”
“That’s very nice,” said the man wiping away a single tear. “What did you write for her?”
“A song. I had some friends record it so I have to go pick it up after I leave here.”
“What it called?”
“My Mother’s Cunt.”
If, from this moment on, you look in a dictionary for the word rattled you will see this man’s image. But I calm him, sooth him, try to stable him by saying,
“Don’t worry, it’s a tribute.”