A Fine Blustery Evening

19 03 2010

Yon Maternal figure is a woman of nature, indeed! Ever since retiring from a long and rewarding career as a botanist at Cambridge, she has maintained the habit of taking a daily soirée along the same path after dinner every night. She has always gone without human company, and it has always been the same. She cooks dinner, sometimes making plant-based jokes with the dog (“Oh, the stew has nothing special, really, just some Capsicum annuum cultivar, Piper nigrum, Daucus carota, and Allium cepa! But I wouldn’t expect you to know that”), eats at the large wooden table in the kitchen, and washes up. In the summer, the long hours allow your mother to watch the blazing sunset as it touches the fields of Triticum that wave in the gentle breeze outside her windows. She loves these evenings; she loves the smell of the Matricaria Recutita blowing in from the rolling hills, the warm soapy water on her wrinkled old hands, and the beams of sun as they contradict the clouds that are now pink, now violet, now grey in the waning light. She relishes the glow of her hardwood floor, which she polishes constantly, and the sway of the Allium schoenoprasum that grows in planters on her veranda. Never would she relent the comfort of hearing the water swish familiarly down the drain as she dries her hands on the worn tea-towel and picks up her walking stick. Some days it rains, yet it does not daunt your old mother; she simply picks up her battered green umbrella and takes a coat. With absolute certainty, she slips into her walking shoes and lets the frenzied canine out the door. Nothing daunts her, because nothing has changed since she took up residence in her retirement home in the foothills.

Today, just as any other day, your mother steps onto the dusty trail that leads up to a zenith of beauty atop the highest point of her property. Up the gradual dirt incline she climbs, noting the beauty of the green leaves on the deciduous trees as they glitter in the last light. Past the large boulder she goes, and as always, she considers for a second the massive glacier that left it there on the land so many thousand years ago. While the dog bounds happily through the Panicum virgatum, your mother is careful not to let anything sharp come into contact with her skin; she is a haemophiliac, after all, and the slightest paper cut would surely leave her no time to get to the hospital before the end.

Finally, she reaches the top of the hill. Flushed with pleasure, she sits on the little park bench that your dear father built there before he got a flesh eating disease from a clam and died. As always, she closes her eyes and lets the wind pass over them, inhaling deeply. The dog comes to sit beside her, panting happily.

Just as your mother is about to ease her eyelids open, a bright white light causes them to tinge pink and she snaps to attention in shock; there, not half a kilometre away, a portal from another dimension has opened and is spilling every manner of creature onto the prairie. Your mother sits in wide-eyed astonishment as unicorns, hippogriffs, centaurs, fairies, dragons, sphinxes, dwarves, elves, orcs, lions, tigers, bears, mermaids in wheelchairs, angels, midgets, Candlejack, Santa Claus, the bogeyman, and other unsavoury beings come stampeding towards her. They flatten her beloved prairie-grass and kick dust one hundred feet into the air as they move at her; neither her nor her confused canine companion can move, yet the creatures do not trample the pair. Rather, they separate into two long processions around the bench, and then disappear back into another portal not ten feet behind them. All your mother can do is watch, and after a moment, she loses her fear and cracks into a wide grin. Amazement becomes her, and she thinks in a split second of what trouble the sceptics will have explaining the path of destruction and the dragon droppings left on her property!

Yet just as the last centaur is disappearing with Cthulhu into the shutting portal, a tiny blood clot lodges in your mother’s brain. She dies of a thrombosis with a look of stupefaction on her face.

WHY??!! WHY?????!!!!! Your cries lacerate the night as the authorities load your eternally surprised mother and the newly neurotic dog into their vehicles. Your overburdened mind reels, because of the incredibly low probability of a haemophiliac dying of a blood clot. However, the only possible answer to your rending misery fails to reach your willing ears as the wind whispers it you o’er the fields- 42.


The Headrest Machinations

15 11 2009

Your most belovéd Mother disdains with obvious despondence all pillows. No one has truly been able to muster a relevant explanation, beyond an occasional machination that involves abnormal amygdala activity, or simply dust mites in the trillions invading such items. At any rate, she shuns them aside, choosing a piece of wood encased with a fluffy piece of cotton that is seldom changed, to spare a few pence from her wallet.

On a misummer night, after addressing several bank account balances and a few e-mails from important people saying not-all important things, she- as is her wont- took her nightly shower in cool water, and readied herself to enter five full REM cycles of sleep. She slipped off her plush, velvety sandals, and mounted the bed with a prolongued exhalation proper of a good day’s work. She laid her head against the wooden block, al-ready dented with years and years of usage, and closed her eyes. Your mother desired nothing more than to shut down the bedlam that was her brain at the moment: ever so cluttered with responsibilities, with compromises, with pending things that need addressing, with lost acquaintances and broken hearts, with the redolent reminiscence of her days of lore, and of every thing that could possibly occupy a person’s working memory at any given time. Reconciling with sleep had always been an issue- not only because of the omnipresent fear of pillows- for they were everywhere, in every home, looking menacing and just awful, but because her mind would not suffer a moment’s silence.

Her nightly routine carried on with its perpetual relentlessness. She tossed about, grumbling lost words of discomfort to no one in particular. She clutched the comforter till her hands no longer felt pain- they felt nothing, after so long- and sighed with the utter disappointment that was her nightly life of late. How she hated being terribly indignant of pillows. They were the cause of it all… it was not her brain chemistry that would not align to endure the soft plush of a pillow, not her stubborn and braying refusal to even try to have it otherwise, it had to be the pillow’s fault. That round object that people so willingly welcome each night, that they slobber with their open, bacteria-ridden mouths, or punch into odd, unearthly shapes, or even cry when misfortune visits them. Your mother’s body trembled with uncanny rage, and the tears blinded her eyes in the dark.

And then she saw it: a tiny portion of her existence struggling with the greater universe that embraces pillows in daily comforts. She saw her hair torn by a cyclone that would not relent, that pulled her in great pain into the vacuous irrationality that cluttered her sleeps- or nonsleeps. She closed her glory-filled eyes, and let the tears wash down her stupid, silly fears unto the mattress, to be forgot among the springs and dust-mite colonies. Craning her neck in a soft fashion, she pushed her wooden embodification of repulsion and distress unto the floor, where it made a loud cracking sound and met its end. She had done it… She had mastered her equivocations and torn the weary leather page out of its weaving. It was the beginning. That very same night, she was going to be happy once again. She was to regain her lost love of this natural, unfathomable world, to cling and tense the loose-weave fabric of her life. That very same night, she was going to buy a pilow, and for fuck’s sake sleep like under a spell.

She jerked upwards with a deafening, victorious roar and sprinted towards the door. And just as she swung the front door open, clad with her car keys and purse, a small two-leaf clover transmutated into a giant cricket, who proceded to eat your mother whole, and jump with Godly force far away from Earth all the way to the Betelgeuse system.

WHYYY??? WHYYY??? FOR ONCE, ANSWER ME, GOD: WHYYYYYY????!!!!!! Your clamour rents the night apart, as you observe the unfolding of probability. And whilst reasons literally would try to rain upon you with the inclemency of the newly-form’d weather, the true pertinent answer to your plight is 42.

Newtonian Mechanics? No!

14 11 2008

Thine Motherly figure was accepted into a most prestigious university to complete her research on single atoms and the complex relations between the electron fields and the nucleus. You truly have not seen her in a couple of days, for she is deep into her investigation and for the moment cannot be bothered with other trivial things as making your food or kissing you goodnight- she hired the extremely overbearing nanny for that. After struggling for nearly two years in a row with different methods and different approaches from particle accelerators to a little mishap with a battering ram and some sulfuric acid, for her own amusement, she did not come unto anything concrete. She exhausted her scientific repertoire, and still found everything ensuingly more complex. Hope withered deep in her foundations with every sigh that followed a failed routine.

But then, something happened… By chaotic chance or preordination in the long causal chain that defines this universe, she finally started to make small developments on that one fatidic day. Her head swivelled with exhaustion, overrun with the dizzy anticipation that discovery injects in the blood stream in the form of adrenaline and another coctail of hormones and chemicals. She wiped off her forehead with a trembling hand, advancing in a massive equation from a model that seemed to deliver results. Oh, the good things that would come out of this discovery. She saw a massive chain of events in her eyes: unraveling the complexities of quantum field physics, of vacuum, and in turn solving the one-body, two-body, and three-body problem! In her eyes flashed a long sequence of Eurekas in the wake of her single finding. If she can only get the experiment right. Her hands trembled, for all pointed in that inevitable discovery, that beautiful finding, that ravenously wanted solution that could topple down endless barriers. The glory of it all!!!! 

But just then, as your mother moved to complete the experiment and claim victory over the complexities of the vacuum, the tectonic plates direclty under her feet shook with ravaging might, opening a hole several metres wide that sucked your mother and her entire experiment unto oblivion, into the centres of the world where all is hot and there is no life sustained. Your mother fell with a deep, elongated wail that was al-together evanescent in the nightly noises.

“WHY?????!!! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY AND GOOD… WHYYYYYYY???!!” you release into the open air at the brink of the abyss that swallowed your beloved mother, with tears drizzling down your red cheeks filled with sorrow and plight. And whilst explanations exist in numbers akin the unnending mutations that genes have undergone since the beginning of life on Earth, the only de facto solution that truly applies is 42

life is like noodle

3 10 2008

Chinese restaurant;
noodles guzzle down your mum.
Reason: 42.

The Sweepstakes

18 09 2008

Your mother wins in a most renowned sweepstakes a trip to several Caribbean islands, aboard a marvellous, state-of-the-art intercontinental cruiser. It is one of those sweepstakes that promises in blatant letters “many will enter, few will win,” as a caveat emptor, foreboding your close-to-nil chances of winning; yet somehow, by the many whims of the wise universe, she finds herself packing for the adventure of her life: two full weeks of relaxation and sunbathing, in a spectacular paradise that many would kill for, or in fact, have to pay large amounts of monetary currency for. Her voyage is entirely free, and as such, your mother makes her way unto the pier, where roaring and almost envious individuals contemplate her and wish her luck. The ship is shining new, and everything seems in place; a ship at hand to bear her hence unto better days.

The cruise is scheduled to pass over several Caribbean islands, with beautiful sun settings and sun risings, each bearing at hand something magnificent, that her enclosed world never had the chance of contemplating. The boat swims steadily, pushing many tonnes of water on its wake, unto that promised land of adventurous wonders. It is the spectacle of nature that compelled her unto the rails every single night, when the sun was to hide away behind the veil of salt water and the sky was to turn a dark tone of navy blue, the starts were to ignite their switches and glisten in eternal beauty millions and millions of kilometres away. Your mother could breathe that clean open-sea air, clutching the rails as the only form to stay firmly planted on the boat ground, ere she flew away amid the vast sky. She took a deep breath just as the sun dove as is its wont into hiding and marking the evening, with a broad smile on her face.

By a staggering coincidence, the Earth became flat and the boat tilted in direction of the bottomless void of outre space, wherein your mother slipped off the rail and floated adrift to die millions of kilometres away. The Earth returned to its round state once again, and bore the ship back to you, bereft of your mother.

“WHYYYY????????? BY THE CURSE OF MARY MALONE AND HER NINE BLIND ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN… WHYYYYY??” you cry a deafening roar of despair and ruin, when the sound waves carry the message of your mother’s fate unto your ears. And while reasons are as numerous as grains on the beaches of this world, the sole pertaining explanation is 42

In The Spirit of Olympic Commemoration

11 08 2008

Your mother trains ardently for nearly fifteen years (almost to the point of neglecting you, but not quite) in the best swimming clubs and associations of the country, positively determined to enter the Olympics and win, in spite of everything, a gold medal in at least one discipline. And wouldn’t you know? She actually manages to be in such condition that she is drafted for the nation’s swimming olympic team. She takes a plane, entirely radiant and at the same time fully concentrated on what is to be her duty- nay, her obligation to herself and her kin. You yourself swell with pride and sentiments of glory that seem to walk with your mother.  At long last, she is in the olympics, the oldest athlete to ever take part in the games at some formal competition instead of being just another adornment in ceremonial procedures. She is ready…

The pool churns at ease from one side to the other, and like the water your mother feels coherent and light, able and flexible, slender and powerful. She begins to stretch, flexing her muscles and warming up to the rather cold water. Her eyes are quickly covered by the waterproof goggles you gave her ere she stepped on the plane on her way to the olympics, and her hair is contained in a quaint rubber hat, sporting the name of the nation she proudly represents. All the hopes and dreams seem to be embodied in her frame, in her swimming equipment, and in her goggle-covered eyes that flick with fury. At the beckoning of a loud siren, she steps unto the starting block, announcing that the Individual Medley is to begin at a moment’s notice. Her whole body seems to constrict with pressure and the tension of the moment, as she leans down ready to leap into the water. And then…. BANG, she jumps into the pool with ferocity and grace, and her head soon emerges to the surface, at all speed.

Your mother trails behind at third place on butterfly, and you begin to feel a very human fear that she is to lose. She remains in this position for the duration of backstroke. Another swimmer passes her on breast stroke, and you cannot help but feel worried. Your mother is focused, however, fully aware of what she has to do. Freestyle is her province… it is her time. For the last one hundred metres, she triggers her most potent swimming. The water lifts itself in perfect harmony with her body, and seems to filter her at an amazing speed, past the third and second-placed swimmers. The last twenty-five metres are nearly ended, and she is still not first place. Borne out of her conviction and spirit, she picks up an ever mighty pace, and in a breathtaking moment she wooshes past the leading swimmer, claiming first place for her own… There are only five metres to complete, just one more stroke…

Just as her hand is one precise milimetre away from the slippery pool wall, a 150 kilogram sumo wrestler is borne into existence thirty five metres on top of your mother’s position, and drops at a constant velocity of 2 to the power of 2,263 kilometres per hour, serial crushing her and sinking below pool ground, to their utter deaths.

“WHYYYYYYYYYY??? WHYYYYY??????” you let our a roaring cry after overcoming the bewilderment, feeling your mother’s aspirations for gold and her own life slip away with your bitter tears. And while reasons float adrift like hydrogen particles in the continuum of space, the most pertinent explanation is 42.


11 08 2008

A lovely afternoon at four o’clock, your mother begins her daily tea ritual… she pulls a fine china saucer out of the lower-left hand cabinet from between the dessert plates and the sherry cups followed immediately by a teacup on the next shelf; she then places the saucer and the teacup carefully on the tea table. She takes a shiny teaspoon—part of a relic silverware collection— out of the top drawer located to the left of the stove.

Enjoying every single step of her protocol, she proceeds to put a water-filled earthenware teapot on the stovetop at medium flame; and as the water begins to warm up, she browses through her delicate tea selection to make a decision that would mark her afternoon. Time is running out, the water is about to boil, but she finally chooses her favourite Earl Grey black tea. She fills her teaball with its fragrant dry leaves just as the earthenware teapot begins to whistle to announce it is ready to be taken off the fire.

Your mother lovingly places the teaball within the teacup and proceeds to pour the boiling water on top. She brews a perfect infusion, exactly three minutes for a strong taste that would live through the pale milk she’d add after the two cubes dissolved leaving a sweet caress behind. Marvelled by her creation she sits before it, inspires deeply, and brings the precious elixir close to her lips. But as soon as the cup touches her mouth, the divan she was sitting on comes to life and, along with the rest of the furniture in the house, stampedes off to the hot African savannah through the walls; taking your mother away forever.

Between stupefaction, disbelief and bewilderment, you drop to your knees and cry to the horizon visible through the torn walls: ‘WHY?? O, WHY!!!???’ And while a myriad of reasons line up to answer your question… the one that is most relevant is 42.