1. Orphans Of The Storm


    Date: 11/20/2017, Categories: Taboo, Author: Tinastits2, Source: LushStories

    Paul Simon's classic song Graceland drifts through the car radio, and fills my head with her image. It's as if she's sitting next to me, her bare feet on the bash board singing out-of-tune with the rhythmic beat of the uneven tarmac. For a woman in her mid-sixties my mother knew a good song when she heard one, and this is one of her favourites. Pushing the volume button and I join her in an imaginary duet: Memphis - Tennessee, I'm going to Graceland. There's an overwhelming sense of deja-vu as I turn off the 40 from Nashville and head towards Lamar. A journey I've done so many times before. The chance realisation of being just a few miles from the Elvis mansion, whilst listening to Paul Simon's tribute isn't wasted on me. It's just another uncanny coincidence that seems to be happening a lot since she passed away. My heart lifts as I pull up outside her old home. An old wooden farmhouse set in two acres of rolling fields. A place where I'd spent most of my school vacations, and where in later life she'd taught me how to be happy again. The killer sun cascades through the windows as I settle myself into her favourite chair. The humidity assaulting any remaining energy I have left after an eight hour flight, and a three hour drive. I hungrily unwrap the Cheese sandwich that I'd bought at Ricardo's, my mum's favourite deli. I like Ricardo, he's a decent man. He's been my mum's landlord for twenty five years. Generations of his family before him have owned the farmhouse going ...
    back over 100 years. He served me himself whilst offering his condolences, and told me everyone in the town liked her. I'd known his two sons from when they were first born, mum and I went to their christenings and now they were young men. They came out to shake my hand, which was kind of them. I have always known my mum preferred male company, and men seemed to like her too - she never really got on well with women for some reason. She'd say: 'You can tell a man to fuck off and he'd either laugh or leave. If you tell a woman to fuck off, she'd be more angry about the fact that you'd sworn at her.' She always made me laugh with her silly psychology. I open the first bottle of my six pack and take a long pull, happy to be here with my thoughts. Past memories continually chase me around this house. Like the pigeons in Trafalgar Square they were everywhere. If I fed them, they'd clamber all over me, flap about and peck at my thoughts, and if I kick out at them, they'd reappear under my feet trying to trip me up. My parents separated when I was ten. My mum confessing to a lover and a drink problem. Soon after that she headed south to Memphis, leaving me and dad in the Capital city. My father, all indignant and pious fought her in the court and won. Although a couple of years later I'm sure he regretted his victory. I was the reward and not a particularly good one. I turned into the epitome of a rebellious teenager, and we fought bitterly at every opportunity and on every subject. I ...
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