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The International Writers Magazine
- Dreamscapes

My Mother Was A Sex-Craved Pill Popper
And I Loved Her Very Much
Alan M. Danzis

'For Sarah'

"No fooling… you’re Genevieve Mandible Truman’s baby daughter?"
I was an eight year, three month, and six day old little troublemaker admiring my new pigtails in the cracked and smudgy hallway mirror when my mother came home in a pair of ripped black jeans with big, explosive, huge, earth-shattering, turn-the-TV-off-get-rid-of-the-kids-and-let’s-go-have-some-drunk-rough-and-kinky-sex-for-hours-onend news for my father: she was getting an enormous, colossal raise as well as a very modest equity adjustment.
The only problem: she didn’t know what the heck an equity adjustment was.

My father, who was currently occupying his beloved couch impression – which he had been grooming and honing with his gigantic beer ass for years – mumbled something about it being another raise that companies tend to give out when they feel guilty about underpaying someone for so long.
"So, it’s like, a double raise?" my mother asked.
"Yes, dear," my father replied, "Now, go do a temperature adjustment on that turkey and macaroni casserole."

A few years and a few equity adjustments later, my High School drop-out parents with varying addictions (including a penchant for gambling) quickly became typical New Jersey yuppies in a modest, slightly new five bedroom house in the suburbs. It wasn’t long before my grumbling father and increasingly tan mother were forced into feeding an additional mouth in the form of a whiny, four-eyed brother; paying a below minimum wage salary to a stuttering, kleptomaniac, big-breasted immigrant from Costa Rica named Rena Pepé; and picking up football-sized piles of crap from a gigantic female Saint Bernard named Margo with a nasty little habit of slobbering on my parents’ bed like a jimmied open NYC fire hydrant on a hot day.

In our basement – which quickly became the dumping ground for a twice-played-on Ping Pong table, broken Christmas ornaments from three decades ago, and treadmill Mom used when she was going through her I-wonder-if-men-still-fantasize-about-me phase – my father constructed a crude and rickety bar for himself.
Over the period of six months, he slapped together:
… plywood from a tree in our backyard struck by lightning…
… an old Toyota bumper he snatched from the town junkyard…
… paint my brother swiped from his elementary school custodial closet while the janitor was sipping ten-year old scotch out of a filthy old tennis shoe under the basketball bleachers…
… some Plexiglas from the top of our neighbor’s broken foosball table…
… nails my sister stole from the Hardware Store she worked in while her manager was looking up the skirt of a woman reaching for a toilet brush on a top shelf…
… and hundreds of Guinness bottle caps that my father had been collecting since he was five.

It wasn’t before long that my father, with the aid of his collapse-prone bar, managed to turn his rare, infrequent, occasional drunken stupors into full-blown, intervention-requiring alcoholism. Jealous that he was the only one in the family with a demoralizing and debilitating obsession, almost overnight, my mother decided to become addicted to prescription pills; I guess she desired horrified, tear-stricken glares from her young, impressionable children as well.

A few months into my Freshman year of High School, my mother moved out of what they "lovingly" called "the master suite." The nanny that spoke less English than our gardener’s sixteen month old son took up her third of the bed a day or two later; my mother didn’t mind though, seeing as she slept soundly in her in own room on the third floor with four small Chihuahuas on $2,200 Chanel sheets. Besides, provided that Dad kept shelling out the money for the cosmetic surgery – which became so intense and so drastic, Joshua, Brianna, and I could barely tell it was her – Mom was privy to any of her husband’s whims, fantasies, and blatant marital indiscretions.

On Joshua’s twentieth birthday, after losing a Superbowl bet to Bri, my younger brother had our beer-swigging, adulterating, and increasingly abusive and abrasive father committed. Even before Dad’s first meeting with the world renowned psychologist Dr. Schwemp, the two of them began a book-dueling war. Simon and Schuster versus Random House; it was the talk of all the People magazines of the world.
Over the period of thirteen and a half months, their individual ghost writers each slaved over competing tell-all-books about our decrepit and long-suffering mother that were so scathing, she was forced to seek sanctuary at the Betty Ford Clinic.

When Bri’s book finally came out in August of ’93 – a full month before Joshua’s – the tabloids began running almost weekly pictures of my mother attending the funerals of several beloved entertainers and black professional athletes that had been rumored to have been her lovers over the years. Each and every single one seemed to run the same cover picture: a close-up of my mother’s face, veiled in black, and her white-gloved hand holding a silk, monogrammed handkerchief (probably worth $450) that she used to dab the tears from her mascara-streaked face while her butler held Lippy, her favorite Chihuahua, decked out in a blank veil and topcoat.

Over the next four years, I moved up in the sales world going from entry-level assistant account executive to senior vice president in just over seven quarters. Bri continued to pursue an acting slash modeling slash school teacher slash waitress career while looking for Mr. Right in every single bar, club, and dive in lower Manhattan. And Joshua sat on my couch and slept a lot. We saw Dad once a year on his birthday and Mom as Christmas. Not long after that it, it became every other Christmas.

It was in December of ’99 when my mother died of her inevitable, completely predictable, and painstakingly boring drug overdose. She was laid out in a $14,750 coffin she picked out eleven years ago when she saw a movie about some woman that died in a plane crash and her uncaring children decided it would be cheaper to cremate her. All her friends – those of which who actually showed up – kept whispering how she looked less like herself and more like a pitiful drag queen doing a Sarah Jessica Parker impersonation while hopped up on methamphetamines.

"No fooling… you’re Genevieve Mandible Truman’s baby daughter?" the slightly drunk 29-year old trying to pick me up asked again, as his fingers lightly tapped his smudgy glass filled with vodka and tonic.
"Well, Brianna was for a few years, but then I took over," I replied, dabbing some foundation on my face as I checked out my reflection in the mirror behind the bar, "I’ve been holding down that position for about the last twenty-seven… I mean twenty-four years or so."
"Well, I had to be somebody’s daughter right?"
"Yeah, but I mean, Genevieve—"
"I hate to burst your bubble, buddy, but her real name—first off, was not Genevieve. It was Sophie.
"Second, her actual breasts were buried miles beneath the surface of those two nuclear reactors.
"Third, she had more venereal diseases around her mouth than a forty-five year-old ex-queen of porn that sucked on more sticks than the Tootsie Roll Pop Owl…
"She had more abortions than a High School senior that sells her body for jeans and thongs money at the Mall of America…
"And she saw more gentlemen callers than a twelve-year old Russian prostitute named Olga living in the Bronx.
"Fourth, her money ran out about the same time they raised the price of Xanax.
"And finally, during the winter, she didn’t shave anywhere. Oh yeah, that’s right, good-old seductive, sexy, and voluptuous Sophie was definitely lazy about keeping the old carpet clean."

I took a shot of tequila after spilling all that to the poor, unsuspecting stranger. The man didn’t say anything for a minute. Then: "You must have really hated your mother, huh?"
"Well, she was a two-bit whore," I said, "But then again she was my mother."
"Doesn’t mean that you had to love her."
I took a sip from my drink.
"How could I not love a mother that used to get up at five in the morning just to wash every shred of lettuce for a salad she made me for lunch every single day? How could I not love a mother that taught me the fine art of having just a long enough slit in your skirt so that you never have to pay bus fare? And how could I not love a mother that kissed me on the forehead and told me she loved me every night that I lived in her house, no matter how drunk, stoned, or tired she was?"

As I paused for a moment to think about the time my mother beat up the seven-year old boy on the playground that called me chubby, I see Brianna enter the bar. I wave her over with my hand and start collecting my things as she heads my way.
"It was nice meeting you," I tell the man in the business suit who lost any shot in hell of getting my number the second he neglected to offer to pay for my drink.
"Nice meeting you, too," he says, not even looking up from his vodka and tonic.

I head over to Bri and we hug and kiss each other on the cheeks and ask each other how our day’s been. As we sit down at a table and the waiter comes over, I glance over and notice that Brianna’s slit in her dress is about three and three quarters inches long; as the waiter comes back with our drink and stares lovingly at my sister’s long, slender legs, I can’t help but think Mom would be proud that we were probably getting about ten dollars knocked off our bill at the end of the night.

© Alan M. Danzis Jan 2004
Dreamscapes Fiction


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