I hate you.
I deeply gravely profoundly severely hate you.
I hate the the way the machines hum and die into a sudden halt when you stop your engine, the vibrations filling in like a grand marching band to announce your coming home. I hate the sound of my own heartbeat as I wait impatiently by the front door for the staccato sound of your stilettos clicking the cemented floors. I hate the shuddering feeling of your warm face and your sweet familiar voice drawing in on me: “I brought you donuts.”
I hate the way the utensils clang in the kitchen as I stood behind you waiting, watching. The way your soft snow-white fingers move in a skillful motion over chicken stuffing and spices, the way your lips part, gently then all at once, to give out the instructions. I hate the fact that I never learned anything because I was busy watching the flames turn blue or counting days when I wouldn’t have to stand beside you. I hate the fact that I never learned how to cook because I missed my chance too long ago. I hate how I miss you.
I hate the way you tell me lies, and how as a child I believed them one by one, until I was old enough to make my own lies and throw them straight at you. At 12, I have made you my enemy. At 16, I was too cold for any reconciliation. I hate how I never took time to understand you. I hate how I knew nothing true about you, only that you were young and you had me but you chose to carry on.
I hate the way you paint my life with the colors of your own. I hate the way you doll me up like I was something special. At 18 when you first let me use make-up, I would go out with a Kabuki face and grotesque goth-like eyes with lipstick two shades too dark for my tone. I remember hating you every time you tell me I look like a zombie or a Megadeth fan gone wild, every time you say eyeliners don’t look good on my almond eyes. You were a life-saver, Mom. But apparently at 18, I was the dumbest person in the world. I hate how you do your make-up flawlessly and effortlessly. I hate how you would lean close to me, the closest we’ve ever had in years, and carefully do my brows: tweezing, plucking and filling them in like a pro. I could smell the whiff of your perfume, the slight scent of your cigarette, as you calmly whisper in my ear:
This is how you do it right.
I hate the freedom I thought I badly needed. When I moved out at 19, I had your smile as my parting gift. No words, no language, was necessary to send whatever message there was between the two of us. You stood there with Dad, under the pale evening in an unfamiliar place crowded with unfamiliar people and bathed by the orange city lights as you bid goodbye to the daughter you never knew, and I stood at the other end waiting for the footsteps to betray me.
I hate how I never forgot that night, how it burned in my memory like a mad bonfire in the vastness of my brand new world. I hate how happy I was when I left you, how proud I was of my new found freedom, because at 19 I thought that was all I ever knew or ever wanted. But time dragged on, persistently and without pause. And one day I woke up in a different place, in a different bed, and wished so badly to see your face.
I hate how I lived too far away from you Mom. I hate how I walked out of the door and gave up on us just like that. I hate how the distance stretched on and on infinitely until I could no longer draw a line on this space that divided us. I hate how irreversible our lives could be, how irretrievable the memories are, how we are perpetually beyond any kind of salvation or repair.
I hate that today is your day. And as much as I want to forget about it, I hate how I could not stop thinking about you. You as a mother, a woman. You as a person I hate and love profoundly, both at the same time. I hate that I sent you a message, despite my every attempt to hold myself back, but all I got was your silence, your indifference. And in some place I imagine you with my brother and sisters, maybe Dad too if you’re up for the challenge, in a little festive dinner somewhere in the metro on this fucked-up Sunday night while I lay here in bed thinking where in the world is my mother.
Happy Mother’s Day.