Not many people in this world would ever see their mothers as she did. She used to wake up every morning around six and put in the microwave a jar of that green jelly smoothie that they used to call “mommy’s pudding”.
Beep. Beep. The food was ready, but before this matutinal banquet, she would change her mother’s diaper. Involuntarily, the smell of the urine would always bring her back to those late nights in Rue de la Verrerie, which was the street where all the bars were at in Aix-en-Provence. “It smells like a street full of bars”, she would tell her mother and she would laugh with her eyes still closed.
Mmmmhhhh. Ahhhhhh. Mmmmmh. Ahhhhhhhh. The pain of stretching every morning. Her mother looked like a little caterpillar moving up and down, but not going anywhere. All her movements had been slowly effaced until she became confined to her own body. She was indeed a caterpillar, but without the promise of metamorphosing into a butterfly. There was a feeding tube in her stomach that allowed her daughter to pour and pump some mommy’s pudding. She would then close the feeding tube and go back to bed.
One day, she couldn’t fall asleep, so she decided to read a book with the hope of eventually going back to the arms of Morpheus. Searching among her high school books, she stumbled upon a collection of Kafka’s stories. Die Verwandlung caught her attention. She remembered reading that novel when she was a fifteen-year-old. It was the bizarre story of Gregor Samsa, a man who wakes up one morning converted into a massive and monstrous bug.
Back in the days, Gregor’s transformation seemed so absurd and grotesque that she struggled to see any meaning at all in his story. Now, as a young adult and with a mother suffering from a gradual and deadly motor disease, she felt like Kafka had written a novel describing every aspect of her daily routine at home. Just like Gregor Samsa, her mother would open her eyes every dawn transformed into a giant bug. She would utter sounds that did not translate into words. Her psyche was disconnected from her body and her condition seemed monstrous to everyone. She did not even have the right to have fresh food anymore. Like an insect, she was condemned to be fed with a revolting green pudding that no other human would ever want to taste. In the past, she used to be the provider for her family, but had now become a financial burden. With tears in her eyes, she wondered whether she would also feel an immense relief once her mother died just like Gregor’s family did in the story.
The agony of such an intense realization took her back to bed.
Maybe I am the real hideous bug for my horrendous psyche does not match my physic either.
Not many people in this world would ever see themselves and their mothers as she did. They used to wake up every morning transformed into massive monstrous bugs.