It’s hard for me to remember my parents being married. My mom left when I was 9. You’d think 9 years would be enough to have lots of memories, but I guess it’s not.
I only have one memory of my parents having fun together. They were getting dressed up for a night out dancing. It was a 50s themed dance…Mom had on a poodle skirt and dad had a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve of his white T-shirt. She looked so pretty and he looked so cool. They came home with a trophy. Sometimes, that memory makes me smile.
Oddly enough, even though I only have one fun memory, I also only have one fight memory. My parents were pretty damn good at hiding their arguments from me. So good that I was completely blindsided when they told me of the divorce. I thought parents got divorced when they didn’t get along anymore? My parents never fought. It was so confusing to me. The one time I remember them fighting was after they announced the divorce. Mom stood up and angrily swore at dad during dinner, and he got mad at her for fighting in front of me. I just sat there quietly staring at my spaghetti, trying to be invisible. She left not too long after that.
Aside from those two polar opposite memories, there is one constant that returns whenever my mind trails back to those first 9 years… my mom’s sewing machine. She had her own upholstery business she ran out of our basement. Each day after school, I’d hop off the bus, run up the walkway and fling open the front door… listening for the hum of her sewing machine. When I heard it, I relaxed. Mom’s home. There was a sense of security in that hum. I’d drop my books and run downstairs to give her a hug and tell her all about my day. It was so normal…I took it for granted.
When she left, so did that sense of security. No longer could I fling open the front door. Dad made me a key. I was coming home alone now. I’d quietly insert the key, slowly opening the door without making a sound. The house was quiet. Mom’s not home anymore.
This post was written in response to the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday by Linda G. Hill