43. There was a man who.

There was a man whose father left his mother soon after he was born.

There was a man whose father left his mother soon after he was born and started another family somewhere. The man developed an unusually close relationship to his painting teacher; the man’s older brother joined a religious sect and dropped out of sight for decades.

I loved this man, and still do.

There was a man whose father could not give his sons the love they needed to flourish, but saved it all for himself; whose father so dwarfed his sons that to this day they cannot physically endure his presence in the same room.

There was a man whose mother played the same musical instrument as he. And though she’d separated from his father many years previously, she was too blinded by the competitive war they’d waged to give her son the approval he needed to make it his life’s work.

There was a man who loved a woman who’d vowed never to become like her mother, but was more like her own mother than she cared to know.

I loved this man, and still do.

There was a man who had wanted to become an artist, but started a family instead, and grew silent.

There was a man whose wife suffered from his silence and went insane.

There was a man with a daughter whose lot it was to become an artist, to correct the family error. But the man silently stymied his artist daughter and nearly drove her insane.

I loved this man, and still do.

There was a man whose mother brought him a bag of bagels on his birthday, and then took the remaining ones home with her when she left.

There was a man who vowed never to become like his father. His entire identity so hinged on not becoming like his father that anything else became preferable, even living a lie.

I loved this man; maybe I still do.

There was a man whose mother left his father when he was very young. He and his mother shared a love that was legendary.

There was a man who went in search of his father many years later, found him, and rejoiced when he discovered how much alike they were. His father still feared his mother’s vindictive fury.

There was a man who created a legendary love between himself and his mother to still the fear that he might have reminded her too much of his own father.

I love this man, and I see more than he can know.

There was a man whose mother convinced him that his girlfriend was after the family’s money. Each time he found a new girlfriend, his mother convinced him that this girlfriend was also after the family’s money. The result was that the man remained alone, because he could never quite believe that anyone could love him for who he was.

There was a man who could not love the son of the woman he loved because he reminded him of the boy’s father.

There was a man who could not love the son of the woman he loved and rejoiced when she finally bore him his own son.

There was a man who so rejoiced when the woman he loved finally bore him his own son that he nearly drove the son of the woman he loved who was not his son insane.

 

To be continued.

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2 comments
  1. And yesterday, running down the stairs, suddenly wondering which foot was hitting the step at that particular moment—was it the left, or the right?—she lost her footing, stumbled, and nearly fell.

  2. J. said:

    A week ago he had been on an errand in another part of the city. As he was driving back he arrived at a point where he was going up a hill, but was suddenly struck by the thought that he was going downtown, and could not reconcile the dissonance in his mind.

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