Mother had always seemed strangely neurotic. Strange to be using such a word to describe her, now that she is dead. But she had her quirks. Her unexpected generosity, her sulks, her withdrawals into herself and her spurts of effervescence seemed to indicate a paradigm where opposites, seeming incongruities blended and coexisted harmoniously, though sometimes eventfully.
It seems strange to be talking of mother thus but i don't judge her any more.This has nothing to do with the incontrovertible fact of her death but that the passage of time has softened the hard edges of my tumultuous relationship with her and has enabled me to understand the nature of her oscillations and why these putatively anomalous propensities coalesced in her, often surprising us, back then, with their intensity but never so much that we hated her.
I had a tough relationship with her. As a young girl, in thrall of my father who lavished utmost indulgence and overprotectiveness for me, i viewed her as an outsider. Her ineffectual remonstrances to my father such as 'you're spoiling her' or 'she's a big girl now, for god's sake', went largely unheeded. If my father was my prince and hero then so was i his cherished. I loved my father, i fancied a husband like him. In fact, even now, with my sleeping husband's becalmed countenance lies tranquil beside me it is not his face that i see but superimposed over it, that of my father's, immeasurably handsome, ardent and welcoming.
At sixteen my father raped me. All those romantic fantasies that centred around him collapsed precipitately. I had often thought about a corporeal commingling with my father but such forcefulness wrenched my being out of me, shattered me completely. To this day i am unable to balance the irreconcilable dichotomy between the father of my hopeless yearnings and this monster. If i still retain a wistful yearning for a husband i can never have it is because the image of my father, before he did this horrific deed, remains unaltered as the ultimate apotheosis.
I think mother discerned that something was amiss, even divined the actuality. She never spoke of it because i never confided in her. But she was a tower of strength. I can see now the stoicism with which she bore a difficult marriage, retained her uncompromising integrity and never managed to let me feel alone after that day. My father's ostensible expansiveness concealed a hedonistic concupiscence while my mother's gentleness held an inner, unwavering strength.
And now that she's died a few months back i traverse our kinetic terrain and find much in it that is satisfying. As far as my father is concerned i inhabit subterranean dreams of a fulfilment i know i can never have and how irrevocably he broke ,indeed sundered all faith i had in him.But fantasies, insufficient at best are a pallid recompense for a life, a pattern of being , a consciousness of plenitude i can never have. But at least they ensure the momentarily pleasurable oblivion of a night's sleep.