Thursday, January 17, 2008
When Mothers Collide
It's funny, but I didn't realize how much I'd enjoyed having Telly around until we fell out of contact. I can't blame him for shutting me out, and it's hardly something that was entirely his doing. I tended to avoid him for the same reasons he avoided me - the revelation that Mikhail Korpin wasn't Michelle in his body but was the real thing had the effect of shattering any familial relations that might have grown between us then. I know it made me uneasy about trying to bond with them; the memory of someone preying on that desire and trust was still too fresh.
The woman who raised me had different ideas, though. I couldn't live this life without having some relationship with my genetic relatives, and she wasn't willing to. As she puts it, she knows most of me, but there's a part which comes from them: Anything I've got a genetic tendency toward, or maybe there were experiences that made a deep enough impression on Michelle's brain that even emptying it out and pouring me in didn't get rid of them entirely. There was an involved metaphor about and demonstration of a pencil making an impression that's still there even after erasing it and writing something new, but never mind.
I resisted. I tried to point out that I didn't much like Michelle's mother, and that Telly and I weren't talking much, but she didn't care. I don't think I'll ever be able to refuse her anything again, honestly, since even if she doesn't say as much, I owe her. I can't ever repay her fully for allowing her to think that someone else was her Martin, then laying the burden of that knowledge on her (I know! Totally unfair!). So I called Telly, and though he was reluctant, he agreed to set something up for the weekend of the 22nd & 23rd (gads, almost a whole month ago!).
He met us at the bus stop again and was very gentlemanly in escorting my mother into the car. He was a little surprised at her age, but Mom pointed out that Martin was five years older than Michelle and that she and my father had unexpectedly become parents in their late thirties. Ah, he said, that makes sense. Then he chuckled and said he'd missed that sort of thing. Nothing in his life requires explanation or defied belief.
The visit itself wasn't really something I got a lot out of. I'd met Mrs. Garber before, and I can't say the past couple of years have really improved her any. My mother has twenty years on her and it shows in her silver hair and skinny limbs, but she still has a vitality to her that Mrs. G doesn't. Now, though Mrs. G has the added pleasantness of feeling like she's owed something out of the whole situation with me and Michelle and everybody. It was kind of awesome to see Mom call her on it toward the end of the visit, pointing out that Mrs. G didn't talk about how worried she was about Michelle or asking if we'd heard anything about her from the FBI - it was all "how can they do something to/for me".
I was basically glad to get out of there, and figured that would be the end of it, but Telly called a few days into the new year, asking what Kate and I were up to. I said Kete wasn't around, but we could hang out.
We've been doing that a lot more lately. He wonders if this is what it's like to find out you've got a long-lost brother or sister and meet them later in life (say you were adopted, or your father got around) - they look kind of familiar, but they don't share certain things with you. It's weird, but kind of fun to discover.
I have to say I agree, and I am enjoying getting to know him again.