Sunday, 28 December 2008

GUNS N' ROSES: "Sweet Child O'Mine"

Dear Thoth:

My son is addicted to heroin. I really don’t know how long he has been taking it, but the last few years have been a hell for me. And even more for him, of course. He used to be a very enthusiastic kid when he was young. He was always laughing and he had plenty of friends. When he was still very young, I used to read stories in his bed at night, and after a while he knew the precise words that would follow, even before I read them. He was just a very clever kid. And even when he grew up as a teenager, he and I always kept that very special bond. He used to tell me a lot, even about things that boys normally don't easily talk about.

Now all that seems so far away, so long ago. I don’t know when exactly, but gradually things started to change. He became silent, moody. I felt he was slipping away from me. He got angry with me without reason, at times. He gave up his study, moved out of the house. And things went from bad to worse.

If only I knew what is wrong, if only I knew what made him change. I am just so worried about him, I fear that day when someone will ring my bell and bring me bad news about him. Can you please write him a letter for me? The last time I saw him was about a year ago. I am desperate. I miss him so much. He is 21 years old. His name is C.

Thanks.

C.

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Dear C.,

I still remember very clearly the moment I held you in my arms for the very first time. You were exactly how I had imagined you while I had been impatiently waiting for you to come into my life. Your rosy soft-toned skin, your cheeky little black eyes. I pressed your tiny chubby hand and knew this was not a dream. You were real, a little human being, giving me the biggest responsibility of being human. No bond is stronger than the one between a mum and her children. For never will love be more beautiful and pure than when you give unselfishly, without expecting to receive anything in return.

The house where people grew up is a library of memories, forgotten stories and emotions. I am writing this letter while seated at the living room table. I don’t even need to close my eyes to see you sitting here too. You bite your lip and totally forget about your surroundings while drawing a master piece in your colouring book. You are angry when I peek over your shoulder and you only allow me to see the result when you finish completely. I hear the agitated voices of you and your friends playing hide-and-seek upstairs. I remember you sobbing unconsolably, when you come and tell me about the one-eyed snowman in the garden who lost his remaining eye. This house keeps stories about you and me in all of its cabinet drawers, memorable memories are framed in its windows; this house breathes both history and future from basement to attic.

I am sure you remember that every night, I used to read you a bedtime story in your room, tucked away together under the warm bed cover. The colourful cars on the wall cover were kicked away by soccer players first; then later, they in turn had to flee for the noisy rock stars that came to replace them. Without noticing, you silently turned from toddler into child into teenager. No matter how much you hurried to act big, in the evening you treasured those five minutes when you could just be small. You knew the stories from end to beginning. When I missed out on one or two words, you corrected me immediately and laughed at me when you made me start reading the sentence all over again. You knew how the story would end before I had even pronounced the first word, but that didn't’ seem to matter. We found peace in each other’s presence and tapped courage from this daily evening ritual.

All of that seems so far away, yet it’s not even nearly as far as the distance which prevented me from seeing you in the past year. Being your mother, it tears me apart that I don't even know where you are now. I can flee from the past, but I can not flee from reality. I have imagined the worst, but forced myself to believe only the best. I can think of hundreds of questions that have haunted me and keep haunting me every single time of the day, until this very moment. Yet when I would see you again, I would ask you only one of them: “How are you, C.?”

From your mum

C.

2 comments:

E said...

very elegant words

Chasing-Thoth said...

thank you for those 3 words