[Marshal and his mother…]
Mattie Anderson’s face, tilted to one side so that she can peer into the room, is so beautiful that for a moment Marshal can’t find it in himself to breath. Her hair is brushed back from her forehead, pushed behind her ears, falls over one shoulder, her eyes are full of love and doubt – and her foolish, unworthy son thrashes around on the mud banks of failure and hope like an air breathing fish that hasn’t yet taken its first lungful of air – jerking through its last death spasms, filled with self-loathing at unattainable goals, but seeing, far away, almost like a rising sun, the hope and meaning of inhalation – dying, in juddering, gill-flapping, tail slamming panic until suddenly, like a solar flare, it’s there: like the beauty of his mother’s face: the knowledge of how to breath.
I love you, Marshal thinks. I have always loved you. All my life has been about nothing but this: the worry lines around your eyes, the half-smile-half-asking-whether-you-dare-to-smile turn of your lips, the glimmer of your forehead, the expression of understanding and compassion in your eyes, makes my floundering seem so stupid, so base, so abstract and irrelevant, so tangential to anything that really matters… Forty-eight years old and twenty-two of those years are a gift to me, borne lightly as if they weren’t a burden, as if they weren’t a cross to bear, a son with a mental condition, now up, now down, now neither up nor down – and in this moment of appalling descent I glance towards some distant light and see that I am utterly and totally loved, that this gentle face gazing at me, tilted sideways around the door, is utterly beautiful in its empathy and care, that you have always put me first, high above yourself, that I have had so much more than any son has ever had, my entire, ungrateful, flailing life held and protected and nurtured like a flame in the cusp of your hand…
Emotions I can never express…
From Green Messiah by Luke Andreski
More available at www.lukeandreski.com
© 2012 Luke Andreski. All rights reserved