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  • Kim Idol


There’s a bomb in the middle of my living room. To anyone else it looks like a mashed up cardboard box addressed to me. A hand printed label is pasted dead center just above a felt tipped phrase, “Merry Christmas!” written in the same familiar, scrawl as my address and my mother’s new address crouched above it.

If I open this gift the messy mix of feelings I have for my mother will tsunami style roll over me the way feelings do particularly during the holiday season when I am so sentimental that a fallen leaf can make me cry. Once released the aforementioned feelings will crush me and I will take on the aspect of a grumpy old hag who hides in the woods and eats little children.

I can’t stand abandonment of any kind. As a matter of course I carry bags and gloves in my car so that I can pick up bird, cat and dog corpses. They look tossed away to me. Lonely.

I can also be vengeful. Some asshole in my neighborhood poisons pigeons now and again. If ever I find him…

ANYWAY. The bomb. For years on appropriate holidays I regularly called my parents. I sent them cards and gifts until I wore out. Eventually I realized that they didn’t need anything from me on any level so why was I always barreling down the road after that sack of sadness.

I believe in the multiverse because all my life I’ve lived on one universal plain while my mother inhabited another one. She’s tried to reach me, but I’ve always felt as if she was viewing me through the misshapen aspect of a funhouse mirror and as a result she was always reaching for someone who didn’t exist.

Whether she liked me or not, she never seemed to know who I was which always made me feel like a phony. For my part I created an image of who I wanted her to be and stood it up in front of her like a cardboard figure filling in the gaps of a relationship that always made me feel like someone tossed down a well.

Don’t tell me that I would feel better if I made friends with her. Knock it off. I think my mother thinks she loves me but I don’t think she can. My mother loves a daughter who never existed. When we lived together that set of circumstances was awful. But we don’t live together anymore.

What I need to do now is be okay with the mother I’ve got, a woman who I don’t trust. Then I need to release a perverse fantasy that entangles me in a relationship that services neither one of us. Why should she be who I want her to be? Why should I be who she wants me to be? Let’s get real. It’s hard enough liking oneself by oneself.

That said, I also have no intention of hurting my mother’s feelings. So this year a couple days after Christmas I will email a proper thank you and I will leave the Yuletide bomb sitting in my living room, unexploded, until it’s time to put it away.

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