My Mother is number three in a line of four extremely bodacious girls born to a boisterous publican dame and an ornery Native American stud, who slicked an unconscionable amount of pomade through his quiff, before disappearing into the wilds for days at a time.
Childhood was grim and dysfunctional, but laughably so, the sisters say, who nowadays nip out to the local Indian reservation for a spot of conservative gambling and a prime rib dinner at the buffet.
My Mother liked the Big Bopper best and her spastic dances with her sister Sally to Chantilly Lace are remembered wincingly.
After a year on the wharf as a young adult, my Mother came to love the Oregon Coast and the harmonies of the ocean and the betwixing schlorne of neighbouring mermaids migrating from the Yucatan Peninsula. “Ecchi Wa-Quiche-Arumba.” She would answer in response to one of their obtuse queries.
Together with my father, a carpenter, obscure airplane enthusiast and later, club golfer, they produced three, fine upstanding citizens. I came last in the litter. My sister was eleven when I was born. My brother was eight. Basically I was a complete afterthought.
An addiction to clam chowder left my Mother strung out and feverish, hospitalised in a rehabilitation centre forcing my sister to raise me through my stark infancy (I later learned my mother simply worked nights).
Happy Birthday to the woman in my life that has been, next to my sister, deeply fond of me the longest. Mom.
Sometimes I would accompany my Mother to the neighbours for ceramics night. Me, a 7 year-old boy, in a room full of suburban housewives. I was in seventh heaven. We made Christmas decorations. Two charming pieces, a glittering snowman and a raccoon, have become a bone of contention between my Mother and I as to who the true artist is, to me the craftsmanship is obvious, eventually forcing me to move to Australia when she refused to admit that I was the responsible party.
The neat thing about my mother is that she is considerably older than me but she actually looks a few years younger (I am sure Paul Auster would have a field day with this one).
So yeah, Happy Birthday Mommy (from eight days ago). I am a piece of shit. Mom, I love you. . I can’t sing it strong enough. The Pavement Wowee Zowee re-release should be arriving in your mailbox shortly. Fight this Generation… Fight this Generation… Sing it Mom: Fight this Generation! Who loves ya baby