The FICTITIOUS Mom vs. The REAL Mom
In my forthcoming (mid June, 012) novel, HACK, our hero's mom, Louise, is mostly the antithesis of Mingus MacLingus. But, as always when creating a fictional character, there are elements of truth that spill over. You can imagine what a child of The Great Depression, four major wars and a culture that was ultimately turned upside down in her lifetime must have had to do to cope with such massive change. Not that any previous or subsequent generation had it any better or worse.
In this excerpt our hero, Hack, is camping in a thicket off of Highway One near the Bolinas Lagoon in Northern California, thinking about people who may lay claim to his painting portfolio if he died. (see synopsis here: www.facebook.com/hacknovel.)
His thoughts then turned to his mother, Louise -- a chain-smoking, sharp-tongued drunk who incessantly criticized and nagged his father and the boys with shrill righteousness. Louise Griffin believed she was not living the life she deserved, nor did she hesitate to inform anyone within earshot of her mistaken, accidental fate.
“Oh, it’s a fine life for middle class matron,” she would say of her home to her daughter, “but it’s not the life I thought I was going to have when I married your father. I never intended to stay here in California, you know. It was fine just after college when were first married, but never in my life did I intend to raise a family here. Honestly, I always thought your father would want to move back to the family down south. It’s just such a shame - so disrespectful - to walk away from your roots like he has.”
Barbara Griffin had of course heard this litany a thousand times since before she was old enough to understand. She remembered stories from her mother about how they would someday live in a grand southern colonial plantation with servants and horses, golf with the ladies, afternoon tea, party in taffeta gowns at grand country club balls, but as time went on, her mother’s dream faded and became nothing more than one of a million complaints that fit into the general category of what was wrong with the world.
Besides leading what she termed an ‘uncivilized’ life among the nouveau-riche in Northern California, she believed that WASP heterosexual society, what she simply termed as ‘culture’, was clearly doomed to extinction and that San Francisco in particular was a harbinger of society to come.
Some Mom our hero Hack has! Well they come in all sort of colorful shapes and sizes! Hope you got a good one. I know I did! I love you little MacLingus. Hope you are having fun wherever you are!
Jeb Harrion, Sunday May 13, 2012.