In Chaos there is Cosmos

The Letter

 

Dear Mother,

You might wonder why I didn’t start this letter with “dearest”. Does your prodigal son no longer hold you closest to his heart? In his nocturnal revelries, has he finally found something so lovely that he simply kicked you off the the pedestal and has now a new deity he adores? Or has his heart turned to ice in the frigid abode where he now resides? Rest assured mother, I have not replaced you and neither has my heart frozen over. Sure it is cold here, but I indulge myself in the most potent of spirits that warm my breast every night (and the occasional afternoon). It lulls me to sleep like you used to those very many years ago. I still remember the fresh peppermint and the stale cigarette smell of your breath, as you almost smothered me before my flight. Marlboro Reds was it? Don’t worry I didn’t really know back then, until recently, I smelled that familiar scent off my own jacket. Funny how it has been so many years yet I still feel that hug whenever I wear my jacket. Do I smell like you now? I wonder. There is no one that would hug me or complain about my breath though so I guess its okay.  Would you find it endearing? Would you bicker if I smelled like you? Or would you feel guilty to not have raised me better? I wish I could ask you in person but alas. Anyway, I don’t call you dearest as I do not hold anything “dearest” anymore. I’m more detached perhaps like an old monk. I still hold you dear of course. “Of course because I have to?”, you’d quip.

No.

Well yes… but no.

Perhaps because I need to. If I don’t hold you dear I will forget. I have forgotten many a things now, for instance was your hair brown, or was it black. No you’d color it brown to hide the grays. My brown hair was from father. No? Guess I have forgotten him completely. Old age does that you. Tell me, have you forgotten your father as well? I bet his hair is all silver now or has he lost it all? More importantly, do you remember my father? His brown hair (allegedly) or the faint B&H stench of his cashmere sweaters. I tired B&H for a while too but somehow, Marlboro Reds stuck with me. Would Dad accuse me of being a Mama’s boy for that? Heh. Anyway, let’s not talk about him, you were the Virgin Mary of course, raising two boys on your own. How is he by the way, my brother i.e. Does he treat you well? Do you still hug him? Does his jacket smell of anything apart from that god awful cologne he got from that business trip to Munich. Do you remember? He used to wear it every single day. And when he ran out he put water in that little glass bottle, shook it hard and sprayed it on as if it it were never empty in the first place. Hug him for me would you?

I almost forgot why I started this letter to you. Well I had started a previous one but that one was boring so I crumpled it up and threw it got into the waste paper basket, almost. I was never as good as him at sports was I? What was I good at? Oh yes, disappointing you. Am I still disappointing you? Do you still wish Dad should have taken me with him? You do don’t you? Joke’s on you Ma, I took myself away….

Sorry, I didn’t mean that. Let me start afresh. Clear page.

Dearest Mother,

Are you happy now that I call you “dearest”. No, but I do mean it mother. You “are” dearest to me. Much more dear than this lousy bottle. It’s empty anyway, unlike you. You were ever full of love and joy. Like that time at the airport, where you joked that I should color my hair blonde and that I should get a blonde wife and sire blonde children. Gosh! That airport memory keeps playing like a movie scene in my head. You are played by the lovely Julia Roberts, I’m me, and my handsome brother is played by Liam Hemsworth. Funny how I can’t recall any movies with such a scene where a mother is teary eyed over her son at the airport and her other son is chatting with some air hostess few yards away. We should totally make that movie Mom, would you win an Oscar for that? You were always great at manipulating your emotions and sometimes mine. Will I win an Oscar? Best actor in a leading role goes to…

I’m almost running out of space and I keep digressing. Actually I am unable to muster up the courage to tell you that I won’t be coming in for Christmas this year either. My boss won’t let me leave. He never gives me leaves, and I can’t really quit. Guess this job is “dearest” to me, eh? No… I hate it but I can’t do much. I hope you’d understand…. Single mother and all… classic Erin Brockovich. Thousands of miles away and still it takes thousands of words to tell you something simple. I wish I could send you my hugs by post and you could send me yours. This could be our new Christmas tradition. What do you think? Enclosed is also a cheque for a million dollars. Just kidding! So yeah I’m unable to present myself in person and the inconvenience is deeply regretted.

Your minor inconvenience

-R

P.S. Give my nimrod brother one of your tight squeezes would you?


Art: Return of the prodigal son, Rembrandt