The Mystery of Our Mother



Long ago, she told us, when we were just a hope in her heart or not even that, because she never wanted children (or thought she didn’t), a higher power touched our mother’s head and said: Stop what you’re doing! Two little girls are waiting to be born, and you need to have them right away, because the world is desperate for their brightness. So she stopped studying anthropology, which she really did love and maybe would study again someday, when you’re all grown up and don’t need me anymore.

Edited Draft
Initial Draft

We’ll always need you!

I’ll always need you two, that’s for sure. I’ll try not to drive you crazy with my mommy needs.

Tell the end.

Well, I stopped going to anthropology school and I married your daddy and we brought you into the world. And here you are! It all worked out perfectly.

Where is Daddy?

You’ll see him next week. He’s taking you to ballet.

Last time he never came.

I’ll be here. Just in case.

He can’t make a bun.

That’s not important, honey.

Before ballet . . . ?

Don’t whine, sweetie.

He threw Tam-Tam out the window of the car. He said she was moth-eaten.

That was unfortunate.

How could you marry him?

Love is a mystery.

Does Daddy love you?

He loves you. That’s what matters.

He said we were young spendthrifts.

Did he, now.

He said—

Can we not talk about what he said?

We’re just telling you . . .

I don’t need to be told. I know your father very well.

How did she endure these conversations? Of course our father didn’t love her, any more than she loved him. He was fifteen years older than our mother, twice divorced when they met…