Have you read The Almost Moon? The much anticipated third novel by Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones.
I remember how I anxiously awaited its arrival on the bookshelves. But it left me disappointed and unfulfilled. All my time waiting to read it and I was left with a very empty feeling . . . until today.
The novel is about a mother-daughter relationship and as I read it I thought of me and Kyky and I just couldn’t relate. I couldn’t imagine such a tumultuous relationship. That is until now. I should have been reading it with thoughts of my mother running through my head. She is the crazy mom that should be smothered, not me! I’m the murderous daughter, not Kyky! Now I’m thinking it might be one of my favorite books ever written!
Through the air vents I could hear screaming, then doors slamming, crying, more yelling. I couldn’t imagine what was going on upstairs but I knew I wanted to stay hidden in the sanctuary of my basement bear cave. You see, we all live together. Mostly, not happily, but dutifully. That is me and Kyky, not so much Gram. She thinks we are indebted to her; not the other way around. Anyway…
Straws finally broke on both ends – Kyky and Gram were at each other’s throats. Kyky locked herself in the bathroom, Gram picked the lock! Kyky ran down the stairs, Gram followed. A feud that has been brewing for weeks was finally boiling over!
Kyky can be a total bitch to Gram, but Gram usually/always deserves it. I should scold her and remind her to treat her eldress with respect. But how can you respect someone who is so self centered and never admits to being in the wrong? Someone who has to make everything about her, even this wedding?
Details about the fight are not really necessary for this story. Kyky left with her Elvis bag in tow, filled with enough clothes to be gone for days. Gram threw herself a pity party that no one else attended, no matter how many people she tried to invite. A typical end to their brawls.
So tonight I have been stuck with my pouting mother sitting on the couch by me. She keeps trying to carry on a conversation. A conversation that she always tries to bring back to how she was right and Kyky was a bitch no matter if we started talking about dinner or the weather. It always ends with Kyky in the wrong and her feelings being hurt.
I try all my normal diversion tactics to get her to retreat to her room. I made her watch the new Starzz Spartacus. A brilliant series full of blood, raunchy sex and beautiful half naked men in sandals and loin cloths – something she would hate! Way too vulgar and disgusting. But she stays. Her only comment is that the barbarians don’t dress very warm for the snowy weather they are battling in.
I play fetch with Fenway who she despises and I get him all riled up, growling and running around out of control. She grabs the damn toy and joins in!
I can’t take it!
Then I remember how Sebold's main character Helen shows up at her mother’s house and suffocates her. Wraps up her body and puts it on the porch. She cuts off her braid as a keepsake. My mother has short hair. What can I take? Damn, I wish she had bigger feet. She has a great shoe wardrobe. I would take all the ones that are too high for her. The ones she buys thinking she is still thirty-something and unable to walk in.
Ok, so Helen’s mother lost control of her bowels, mine lost control of her mouth. Lucky for me . . . I won’t have to do the sponge bath after I kill her! Helen’s mother was mentally unstable, mine is just crazy, mean and narcissistic!
Helen does have something else going for her, besides the fact that she is a nude model at age forty! OK, we don’t share that similarity. Well maybe if I were a model for a sketch class studying the classic middle-aged body, the ones with saggy boobs, tummy pooches and big, curvy, dimpled butts. Helen has an x-husband, an accomplice that helps her cover up the murder and move the body. Who could I call to help me!? Not Kyky. She would be too overjoyed jumping up and down in sheer excitement. My brother-in-law, though I am sure he would appreciate what I had done, is a lawyer and couldn’t possibly break the law. My dad would help – but he is 3000 miles away. Can a body keep till he gets here? Maybe in the cold garage? Mom thinks it is a good enough refrigerator for Thanksgiving leftovers, why wouldn’t it work for her? No, I would have to dispose of the evidence myself. Good thing I’m an Investigative Discovery junkie! All those sleepless hours of watching true crime might pay off for me.
My mind is just racing. Must keep filling my glass. Must buy bigger wine glasses to save my energy.
Finally, she has fallen asleep on the couch. Still in my space, but at least the constant nagging and lecturing has stopped. There is a pillow, a possible murder weapon.
I waited too long. My window of opportunity has escaped me. She raises her head and notices that Conan starts in ten minutes. She can’t miss his last show! Conan saved her.
Besides, my bottle of wine is gone. And she has already bought her dress for the wedding. I guess I’ll have to let her live.
Oh, God! Her dress for the wedding, that’s the next episode.