Here's To You, Mrs. Robinson
Summary: A headtrip with everyone's favorite Oedipal scapegoat, Mulder's mom! (Close your jaw.)
Before everyone starts sceaming "OH GOD, NO!!! Not *another* song story!!!" at me, let me just assure you that this is not a song story, event houghit features songs, although not necessarily structured around them. I just liked the reference, so I guess I owe a gratuity to Simon & Garfunkle. (Give yourself a big round of applause if you're old enough to know who they are. =)
"London Bridge is falling down..."
"I never agreed to that, this was never part of the contract."
"No, absolutely not, you are not taking both of them, it is out of the the question."
"...you're going to have to make a choice..."
"...London Bridge is..."
"No, no, Bill, we can't- this isn't right, this is horrific, it's a sin, we can't do this, this is my baby-"
"Make your choice, one or the other. There is no time for this."
"Don't make me do this, I cannot!"
"...falling down, London Bridge is falling down..."
"...y'is ga-dal y'vis kaddish schmay ra-bo..."
"...my fair lady."
And life takes on the flash-frayed flatness of a photograph. Only black and white to tell you where to step.
"Can a queen move sideways?"
"It doesn't matter, Sammy, it's just a game. We can change the rules."
After you have to do something you can't, and then do, you can stand back and wait for things to happen. Mostly it remains quiet. But you can still hear the past, like horse's hooves. Memory is a woman on a train, looking backwards through the glass at a nighttime country, watching miles of track go by, a sad movie star smile on her painted lips. Itis children singing, it is summer, itis running feet on a slatted wooden porch and the hissing spring recoil, shot-loud anticipated bang of a screen door after fast-fading careless hands.
Memory, in her other incarnations, is two children at the top of the driveway holding bicycles. Each bicycle is a red moment, separated from the next by something skinny and breath-taking.
Memory is a wine-spalshed dinner dress, volcanic. Archaic. Innocent or whorey and a glance.
"Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack..."
I remember how the light caught on the polished floor, how my legs went out like a racehorse dying under me. I remember how tears make watered silk of sight, how his strelinh silver cufflinks gleamed like the Living Lord in the unbearable glare.
"...with silver buttons, buttons, buttons..."
Memory smells like hospitals and winter.
I rememberthe first time. How calm, how sure, how perfectly, rustically, insidious. I was the Wife of Bath, I knew no shame. How irresistible and insincere. I remember the pressure of his hands.
"...all down her back, back, back..."
Niagra Falls was not at all what I expected. We went there for our honeymoon. I had honey-colored hair. I was so young and there was no way in hell I even knew the words for it then. I expected the water to fall so soundlessly, like molten glass. Instead, the roar was deafening. I could see him laugh when I put my hands up to my ears. I thought that what I was hearing was the voice of God.
There were gardens that summer on the Vineyard, gardens for miled until the cliffs, all waiting with their soaking green hearts exposed. We had nothing but strawberries that year. I have not had them since. I had a yellow maternity gown with blue silk cornflowers. I used to sit on the porch and watch the sun go orange to the sky. I just got heavier and heavier when I was carrying Fox. I could feel his little half-formed heart beating away like wet wings inside of me and it was like enclosinga secret. It was the last of the gorgeous lemonade summers. I ate strawberries and I was a queen.
My son wears a suit to work and speaks in tongues with other like-suited men of matters vague and heart-rending. I do not hope anymore. He asks me why and I can look across him. His eyes have not lost the questioning. I do not have the heart to slap his reaching childish hands. It sickens my heart that I can no longer give him a Band-Aid and hope he will outgrow it.
Where is my big finish? This is no fairytale, we actors get no curtain call. My son, he wants to know what happened to the swirling silken princess in her watery glass coffin. Do I tell him? Can I sufficiently explain that not every story ends with a ring? Protecting him is exhausting. We will never speak of these things.
Although I have considered it- all witches must confess or burn.
I remember the day in 1976, after the Bicentennial, when I saw for the last time the unforgiving glass of the building a fought with for years. My comrade, how we battled, where inside haunted, hurried, rabid creatures run with half-concealed ambition. How I learned to hate, in my seersucker and pillbox. How I walked the wall, digging, like holding teeth against a cut to renew the sting. Because it has been war since we left Eden.
"My flag boy and your flag boy, sitting by the fire- my flag boy say to your flag boy, gonna set your flag on fire..."
Should I tell him, then? Lance my guilt to show the horror at the core? Pull the stem and expose the fetus of my last, best sin? How shall I begin?
"...'the time has come,' the Walrus said, 'to talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings. Of why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings'..."
And to confess to such a sin? No priest would dare to kiss these sunken eyes. Shall I whisper it, while rouge boils the framework spectre of contrition? Shall I tell it all at once or piecemeal, that I am a liar, an adulteress, a murderer? Shall I release it with a cry that would assault Heaven with its praising pain?
It is all so terribly unfair. I was so young then. Could I have known I had the power to call down such sorrow? Trapped as a rabbit, I never had a chance. I lost what was mine, my husabnd and my daughter and my son. I put distance between myself and everything thatis redeemable and pure. This is what happens when you act, when you choose. You learn that we are doomed. You understand that every action is a choice, a challenge, a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat.
My son is everything I could have wished for. He grew up tall and he grew up right, wielding words like scissors. He cannot bend his back. He is a study in cruelty, in violence. He is perfect.
Life is not worth as much as he is. But I am all out of decisions. My choice was a choice for discharge, for amputation. My son became the part of me that was holy, that was pure, that could enter a temple and not fear the wrath of God, as my daughter, a living lie, could never do. She was too good for this world. She would not have lasted an hour under his burning clean. She lived eight years and left a man-sized hole behind her. I could not have wished for more than that.
" 'Come into my parlor', said the Spider to the Fly..."
Weakness, spread like fire in a stable, was what carried her away. One momentary wine-splashed burial and cells began to divide as if by commond. And it was still keeping a secret. Like keeping someone's crime. Like hiding a splinter to escape the dreadful pain of extraction, a coming pain which springs back like a screen door slamming its hinges. Self-destructive.
There were no strawberries that year.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
...the door blew open with the force of the wind, and he stood, a movie star smile in the doorway, looking ahead. A cleft in his chin instead of his foot, but no less a devil for that. He knew what belonged to him. He came for his claim to the sea's throat.
"...see that man all dressed in black? aiko aiko wan ay- betcha five dollar give you heart attack- jaqua mo fina nay..."
What else could I have done? I waited for things to happen. I could not see blue. All the watercolor drained away when I watched my son watch the stars. He believed with a child's belief. Who needs the sky when the ground's so open wide? He could never know. All the he's of my life fel victim to the same venomous fate. My son could only cry witchery, accuse and condemn. The last of the hanging judges. He was three years old and I knew he would one day suck a scream to stab me with. What a lemon-sweet twist of fate is survival.
There are ghosts on my front porch, pale, wraith-like children with broken necks and metal eyes. Sick-sweet rot of cemetray roses on the summer breeze, where on the Vineyard still I wait.
Young was younger then. We never asked. Everything went fast as money and horses. Everything went like 1939. Al the events of my life became a black-gloved fist that crushed the green paper Poland on the map, crushed like a throat, like the soaking green heart of a strawberry plant. That's how desperate things were. And now-
"I'm old, Peter. Ever so much more than twenty. I grew up a long time ago."
I never saw so far. I survived. These were the rules of the game.
This is my atonement. This is Birkenau.
No one can ever know how a love born of pain and sacrifice will endure. I loved my daughter so much I abondoned her to fire. I felt her slide form me and I pushed her towards the light, and I was only doing what I had done before. I hoped. I whispered 'Fly.' You cannot hand me the blame.
I never see my son. I see my daughter everyday. While he is just this once and then no more, she will return, and she will be millions. She has a thousand faces, spreads like cancer, like apathy, like fever-wetness in the world's lungs. I see her on every street. I pass her and attempt to catch a piece of her before she shatters into someone else's daughter. She never speaks, the dead cannot move their sewn lips, they hand to us not their hearts, but their heads, the part that stares. She is a living bee against the glass. She still has a soaking heart.
"...see that girl all dressed in green? aiko aiko wan ay- betcha five dollar she's a beauty queen, jaqua mo fina nay..."
One morning in Washington, when I stole my son's last fairytale, I sw her again, walking steadily up Georgia Street. Her throat was tight and proud. She was a soldier, sweeping towards the gas chambers, to the fire, to the block, to the guillotine. Lie every witch, I wrapped her in a sinful scarlet silk.
"...see that girl all dressed in red? aiko aiko wan ay- betch five dollar that she'll kill you dead, jaqua mo fina nay..."
I watch her walk away from me, her eyes not seeing. She disappears from vision, snake-dancing past outraged brick buildings, a tiny flame against the city's concrete heart. She is in control. I will not see her again this year. She is a study in cruelty and violence.
She is perfect.
"From the time of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away."
Hope you liked it.