the mouse that roared's picture

About a month ago, I wrote this character study for my drama class, and I thought it was a good image of my mom:

I am sitting on the hard gray-blue of my computer chair, absorbed in the blue-tinted light emanating from the computer screen and reflecting off my face. I’m off in my own numb, instantaneous slow-moving world: the Internet.

My mother opens the office door that we can never get to close all the way and picks her way through the piles of stuff to her desk. She moves slowly, her shoulders hunched slightly, holding herself with no confidence or pride: she is broken by exhaustion. Her face is lined, closed, but her eyes pierce me with depth.

I jump at her entrance and quickly close out of the Oasis window. Can’t let her see… don’t want her to know… she has enough to think about right now without her knowing I’m queer…

Mom hardly pays attention to her navigation between the maze of papers and junk on the floor. Her feet are surefooted; she’s been doing this for years.

Mom looks at me, her face guarded against any attack I might make against her. Her clothes are mismatched and wrinkled. Behind the mask, I can see vulnerability, pain, desperation. Her eyebrows are raised slightly, giving her a tiredly pleading look. I look back at the computer screen, but now there is only my desktop picture of me at Star Island.

My mother turns away, hunching over her desk to type at her laptop. Night shines softly through the window, gray mixed with streetlight. It blends well with her graying blond hair. She sits up, rummages through some papers on her desk, finds a company pen, and returns to her laptop. She takes that painful, hunched position again—how does she do it when she’s so tired?—and then collapses into the computer chair, her body curving the opposite way it had before, the chair turning a bit towards me, her still staring at the laptop screen.

“He really needs a new liver,


kari's picture

It's very well written. Your

It's very well written. Your mom would be proud.