Edited and chapter added.
|For the Love of Mommy
Bordered by sun parched fields the timeworn house was silent now. The clapboard siding, warped and peeling, offered sanctuary to various rodents and unchecked vegetation. There was a time when mortal passage breathed life into this sleepy structure. A life pervaded with veiled whispers and unspoken desires.
Growing up in the radical 60’s on a 70 acre farm, with just my father was not the worst of times. Afternoons were spent fishing in the bass filled pond, set just a dusty romp from the porch. As seasons changed I would trade my fishing gear for a shotgun and seek out the skittish whitetails that consumed our crops before harvest.
My Mother passed when I was two, and my only memories of her descended from a dust covered 6X9 beside my Father’s bed. It was no surprise when I discovered my Dads nightly outings involved a woman. He had shown no interest in women since Mom’s illness, but after seven years His grieving had waned enough for him to seek out companionship.
The first time She came to visit I saw her from the field. Concealed by the chin high stalks I watched her climb out of my Father’s truck. Her legs were bare and as she slid off the seat her skirt slid up much too far. A sudden flush rose in my face and I buried myself deeper in the dense shoots. As she swayed across the yard the sun outlined her extensive legs through the flowered sun dress. Her blond hair in a messy ponytail fell to the waist. I now knew the motivation behind my Fathers recent truancy.
Sandy was the most gorgeous woman I’d ever seen. Even more beautiful than the models in our tattered Sears & Roebuck catalog. My new fondness was quite evident, which entertained my Father immensely. During our dinner of pork chops and mashed potatoes I learned that Sandy had a daughter who was 2 years older. Her name was Sissy and would be joining Sandy on her next visit.
The rest of the week was spent trying not to show my elation with the thoughts of a younger Sandy. The realization of Sissy and I possibly becoming siblings had not registered in my hormone induced designs. My dreams were consumed by the two of us walking hand in hand around the farm, as birds sang and animals played, unmindful, yet somehow stimulated by the enchantment of our newfound friendship.
I woke early Saturday morning with an anticipation normally reserved for Christmas morning. As the last star of the night faded, my eagerness shone bright. Bathed, dressed, and with hair combed, I bounded down the stairs and into the kitchen, where a knowing chuckle from my Father bought a burning color to my cheeks.
“What’s the matter, can’t a guy take a bath,” I challenged.
“Long overdue I’d say. Just wondering what happened to your hair.” Still grinning, he spooned scrambled eggs onto my plate.
“Nothing, I just used the comb to get the weeds out of my head Dad,” I fibbed, unable to expose my real intentions.
“Well, I think you look mighty nice, son.” Pausing he added, “I’m sure Sissy will think so too.”
I felt like climbing under the table, but instead continued to shove my breakfast into my mouth since nothing I could possibly say would diminish my unease with the moment. After the dishes were put away my Dad headed upstairs to do his own primping. A few minutes later, he appeared in a pressed white shirt and seldom worn tassled shoes, and it was my turn to twist the screws.
Trying to sound serious with not much luck I teased, “You going to church a day early Dad?”
As we laughed all way to the truck, a great understanding, shared only by a Father and Son, consumed us. Who could know this same appreciation for each other would bring us to hatred unprecedented for a family.