Monday, August 6, 2007

Alarm Clocks of a Human Kind (Then)

Excerpt no 1: Africa Will Always Break Your Heart.

We never had any use for an alarm clock. Every morning we were woken up by my mom’s farts as she made her way to the kitchen to make coffee for the whole family. The poor woman suffered terribly from a spastic colon and with every step she would fart twice. One could measure the distance to the kitchen by counting the farts and dividing them by two. I felt good about this. It was home after all. One never dared to share the concept of our alarm clock with friends and other parts of the family as one had to keep up appearances. Mom was also very good about this and the alarm clock never went off when we had friends sleeping over...

Mom and I had a secret. I was her favourite child and was not allowed to share this with anyone else. We made a vow. I now realise that all my siblings had the same secret with her, but it made me feel very special at the time.
Mother was not an old hag without manners and grace. She was a beautiful woman who had an endless stream of admirers. Both my parents were exceptionally attractive people and both had their share of extra-marital affairs and flings, right under our noses, blissfully unaware of that we knew. Or maybe they just did not care. It did not sit well with us. I still catch myself blaming my father for allowing this to go on. It took me years to understand that he must have loved my mother immensely and therefore forgave her over and over again. But inside it must have torn him apart...

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