One mother was not impressed with his urinal routine. Marcel’s aim was better than that she knew. Years later, when he changed the meaning of “meaning,” she pushed all her potted plants off the sill. There was no point, and that was the point.

One other mother removed her undergarments and posed for her son’s painting. “Is this a still life?” she asked her son. “Please don’t do this to me,” he said. Gustave was ten seconds old when the light slit open his eyes and that wild bush came into view. There are those who say vision itself is pornographic. Those people do not live in France.

Another mother made her soup from scratch and resented many things. “Soup is not a commercial,” she thought. “My son is gay.” In America everyone is American, probably.

This other mother boiled potatoes in the dark. She had man hands and her sons did not. Vincent and Theo never helped with the potatoes, so she never helped with the rent.

And then there was one mother who had a square face with blue and red boxes, though her nose was an off-center rectangle. She liked to arbitrarily place one thing next to another. Her husband felt she was a control freak, but kept quiet his entire life.

And this one – this one menstruated black and white. This was before color television and black and white was good enough. To call her unabashed was not an exaggeration. Her drippings at the center of town confused both Rorschach and the mayor. “Can you please stay in the barn when you do that?” the mayor asked. She said okay.

The last mother refused to rid of her son’s peaches, pears, and placenta. The cleaning lady was less than enthralled and waited for each of them to die.

Jimmy Chen‘s fiction has appeared in Dzanc Best of the Web 2009, elimae, NOÖ Journal, Juked, Diagram, among others. He is a contributing writer at HTMLGIANT, and lives in San Francisco.

A Brief History of Your Mom
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