Aw, Mom!

Mother appeared to me as an eye.

Just a regular old disembodied eye? someone asked.

No, a very large blue eye, directly above me in the clouds. An eye with a tear eternally in one corner, an angry broken capillary near the green iris. Mee-maw, as I was encouraged to call her, never blinked. I wasn’t allowed indoors, for she wouldn’t be able to see me there.

What about when it rained? I was given a see-through vinyl umbrella for such occasions.

Mee-maw watched me incessantly. Critiqued me when I peed, or otherwise answered Nature’s call. When I got older, the private pleasures of the body were in no way private for me. She’d cry, and I’d hoist the umbrella. I announced my intention to pursue a career in a paper towels factory, a building with a solid roof frosted with tar, to keep the weather out. My mother wept so copiously that she washed out a nearby bridge. How could you? How could you abandon your own? I produced papers that showed she was not, in fact, my biological mother at all. I was a child of oak trees and soil, as it happened. My lawyer confirmed this. Mee-maw reacted badly.

The lawyer and I had to spend the next several years sheltering under the forest canopy, until we were quite covered up with moss.

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