Tell me about your childhood.
Well, there was my mum with her long, ghostly hands at the end of which always held something-usually it was a clove of garlic, basil maybe, there was something scented about her personality-to be honest I don’t remember what her hands looked like, much less her face, but I do remember her kindness-I’ve been quite choosy since young, and she’d pick out the bits I didn’t like before the plate came to me, and said absolutely nothing about it. They used to say I had her eyes, her nose, even her thighs a neighbor once said-but these days, considering what I’ve become-no one would compare me to my mother, though I’d like to think I have years ahead to live and time will unfold some beautiful, unexpected part inside me so I can claim to be my mother’s daughter again, or just to be connected, with someone something a dog, goldfish, a tree except they don’t speak much I hear-I’d give away whatever’s left of me, though anyone could see that it wouldn’t be worth much.
As for Daddy, I honestly don’t know why so many men, born gentlemen and white knights who inevitably lose that precious part of themselves to marriage, and turn out to be absent fathers. The friends I’ve had, or well, the people I’ve met in my line of business-technically colleagues, but I’d like to think us linked together by more than a shared payroll-anyway, none of these girls have had good fathers, I’m beginning to think they’re some clever Hollywood creation, just like fairies and flying ponies-manufactured so little girls have some fantasy to cling on, before the unreality of it comes apart. My father, for a while we were the closest buddies you’d ever seen, I’d insist to go everywhere he went-even braving the pre-dawn darkness to follow him to the factory, where he’d have paper and crayons to keep me occupied before we’d reconvene at lunch, and tea breaks. It was then I felt that someone was proud of me for exactly what I was, I didn’t have to be anything more. Only with Daddy, my mother was made of grace itself, but Daddy had more colors to him-tall waves of laughter, anger, sadness-always in the extreme and a little bit dangerous,but never from anywhere but the heart.
Anyway, Daddy vanished-he didn’t leave the house or anything, but there came a day when I realized how quiet the place was-and the few words exchanged between us, all trivial and empty-and when I strayed, “from the righteous path” as Aunt Mona herself declared to our church-of course Daddy emerged, the man I once knew and instantly recognized, passionate and full of things to say, except this time he was on the other side. Like the rest of them, all on the other side. My mother, she’d look at me and tear up and hold my hand meekly-as if what I’d done had blown all the wind out of her, she seemed frail and could barely manage a sentence in that condition-but at her weakest point, she didn’t even need to say it-she’d keep loving me anyway, that remains and I believe will eternally be my only encounter with love-its fierce, unquestioning and unconditional nature-when things changed, and darkness-my darkness-took everyone and everything I had, there she was. The only one on my side: my mother.
There you go Doc-tah, there’s all you need to know about my childhood. There were bigger events, more things-but I guess that about sums it up well: my own personal Pandora, inside it a ballerina jerking its way to a final dance.
From the file of Rashida Looms (or Kelly 1)
Age 18, McK****
From the desk of Doc. Phillip Staine,
(Notes to be referred to Case 14*A)