Maternal Venus Rides The Soul Cycle
Maternal Venus Rides The Soul Cycle
John is an old soul who makes eighteen Sol circles only to become a vegan just like his Mom. He drinks her carrot juice by the gallon. He asks her, “Mom if I drink too much carrot juice will I turn orange? And if I mix it with beet juice will I get purple and orange stripes?”
She tells him, “No sweetie. But your eyes will work better, so you can see to wipe the last smudge of carob cookies off your mouth so you can tell Mom the cat ate them.”
“But Mom, if we are what we eat then that makes me a vegetable.”
“No sweetie, plant-based diets are ancient and healthy. Spinach has iron which makes you the boy of steel. You see the irony?”
“I don’t know that word yet.”
“Leafy greens make you strong. It seems counterintuitive. But it is true.”
“Mom, please quit using those big words. I’m only in high school.”
“Just saying it may not make sense but it is true. My, you’re very inquisitive today.”
“Just fucking with your head Mom.”
“Please don’t use that word around me. Messing with my head will get your point across nicely.”
“But the F word is so much more piquant.”
She replies, “Son, clearly your vocabulary is much broader than you’ve been letting on. You do indeed have me in a state of piquant. There now, doesn’t that sound much better? Why are you wearing your jockstrap on the outside of your sweatpants?” She lunges stridently, “This isn’t a pep rally with me a pompom girl. Your Mom won’t be driven into the tar pits of dignity’s extinction. Your athletic supporter is just another element of your mind game. Wear it to your heart’s content but I will consider it a codpiece properly worn and thus of no consequence.” While sautéing tofu in a wok, she is momentarily diverted.
She hears him pop open a can of the beer she promised he could have at eighteen. She says, “Please, don’t do that. I know I promised it but do you have to do it while I’m preparing all this healthy food for you?”
He replies, “How come, beer isn’t vegan?”
“Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit.”
He scratches his head and says, “Mom, where on earth do they talk like that?”
“I’m not from earth. I’m from the heavenly body called Venus where all women come from. One day you’ll have a wife and you’ll cook for her. That is the new wave. Watch me my boy and learn. Now dig into your tofu and broccoli florets, guaranteed to keep you trotting like a prize stallion in the horse show of life.”
John’s Mom has that a mother-son talk with him since his Dad left. It gets kind of personal but she is there for him when his changes happen.
She feels like guilt on the vine of the maternal vintage for not having had this talk when his changes began. One night she tells John, “I’m concerned about your sleep patterns. I hear your bed creaking like a trampoline in need of grease at three in the morning. This isn’t a normal mother and son discussion but your father left us in the lurch. Hence it is in incumbent upon me to tell you to stop muh muhing your mosher at midnight.”
“What are you talking about Mom?”
“Do I have to spell it out for you? You know exactly what I’m talking about. You don’t have to educate me about boys your age but do it before midnight. I’m sure your sea cucumber will understand.”
“There you go again with that weird terminology, Mom.”
“How do I explain to Ms. Eva, the truancy officer, why my son’s sleep flew away like a witch on her broom making him late for class? The Mom biz ain’t always a class act. I’m trying my best to keep as much dignity as possible. And if you ask me, not that you would, I’m doing a darn good job.”
“Tell her I burned the midnight oil studying. It will sound better that my insomnia had an educational purpose. You wouldn’t be fibbing. You’d be surprised at the vocabulary I build with those books.”
“Yeah right, the seven words you can’t say on TV.”
His mother collects herself into her signature hennish poise. “Please for my sake don’t use your underwear. That gets messy and icky for me the
maid of the house.”
John replies, “It all comes out in the wash, pardon the pun.”
She says, “Your nocturnal athleticism is a good aerobic workout but getting all sweaty under the sheets just makes you need a shower when sleep flies away like a witch on her broom.”
“My tardy slips aren’t that frequent. If you are concerned just consult my homeroom teacher. But please don’t tell them why you are snooping.”
“I hope you’re using a lubricant. For me to accompany you to the doctor for chafing would be mortifying. I’ve noticed the Vaseline jar getting depleted each week. But petroleum jelly is gooey.”
“Mom, I’m not an expert on lotions.”
“You can use the aloe and grape seed mixture I use for my facials. They will moisturize your skin which is so sensitive down there. But don’t douse yourself with it. The stuff is expensive and a little goes a long way.”
“The correct proportion of aloe to oil sounds tricky.”
“I’ll demonstrate the proper blend for you. But don’t expect me to buy your reading material, not even for your birthday. I hardly know what you’re into and it is none of my business.”
“Mom you must have taken lessons from your father in the event of becoming a solo parent. Any woman can be a mother but it takes a Bad-Ass Mom to be a Dad too.”
She says, “I’m just winging the Pop part of my multiple personalities. But God I hope I didn’t shame you by putting on my hat as a sex educator.”
John replies, “Mom you and I go way back to the beginning. You were denied your calling but if they ever ordain women as Catholic priests I’ll get baptized just to have you as my confessor.”
“I’m already your priestess minus penance. Your teacher may make you write ‘I will not tease Fae’ fifty times on the board, but if you tease me all you get is a short lecture followed by supper.”
The street welcomes them with mariachi under the ghost moon. When John gazes at the senoritas sashaying in their tight jeans she pushes her son along with her bony fingers gripping his shoulders. Under the dusk light, the atmosphere is scented with tequila fumes, mixed with a blast of pungent garlic, and onion so strong tears form in her eyes. People weave like the yarn in a loom. There the grocery smells like a kitchen where tamales are steamed in a banana leaf with the sweetness of a mother’s love on a summer’s night.
Her son is a young man with more cockiness than guts and a lot to learn. His swagger carries him down the aisle past racks of chili peppers. His hands touch the avocados which are the familiar shape of the womb he emerged from. The flesh beneath its skin is like the placenta, which nourished him when he was the size of the avocado seed. The moment is pregnant with God.
In her arms is the grocery bag and he strays into the crowd never losing her but checking out the scene like a hunter in the African savanna from before spoken language. The home greets them, with sundown leaving the alleyway haunted by shadows. They both gaze out the window at the lights coming on in their neighbor’s apartments across the alley.
“Why did you choose this desert climate for our home instead of staying in the Deep South where it is green?”
In the quiet of the universe, the Mom answers, “Your dad chose New Mexico and you should be grateful. The ragweed in the subtropics played hell with your allergies. But if you want green look at the ivy growing in the pot.”
He says. “Mom, out there it is all yellow.”
Night steals into her soul. “Son, you just have to look for the green. It is out there just beyond the city in quiet canyons where deer come to drink.”
The next day his mother drives him to his job at the bakery. She doesn’t let him drive alone because to her reckoning a driving permit doesn’t suffice. Until he gets his license she will take the wheel. Suddenly a low-rider get up straight out of a Chicano comedy becomes a head-on collision.
As their windshield shatters the scenery shifts to pink cotton candy clouds with their car carrying them sailing through the sky on wings such as the Wright brothers never could have imagined.
Soon their funky car sets down in the barrio where a dude with hair greased like a car that just got a lube job greets them. The guy says, “Welcome to the other side of paradise. Now give each other a kiss and make it on the lips. She ain’t yo Mama no more. You done crossed into the wild side of
John smooches with her like a real-looking movie kiss. And their bodies shine like dimes straight out of the heavenly mint with both no more than twenty-one so that their ages are even less a barrier than their unrelated bodies.
She asks John, “What’s your name?”
He replies, “Who are you?”
She asks, “Does hand lotion ring a bell?”
He answers, “Sort of, but can’t say how.”
She replies, “The matchmaker in the sky must have brought us together.”
“He must have dipped us in the river Lethe.”
She replies, “Maybe to give us a fresh start.”
“Even our wardrobe gets reborn as we are naked as jaybirds.”
She says, “You are like my blind date but with history.”
“How do you know with our amnesia?”
“A jog of my neurons tells me just enough to be certain of our shared past.”
“Brain cells? Are we anatomically correct up here?”
“I present your exhibit a as sufficient evidence.”