She's what they call an independent film editor, the kind that knocks back all-nighters with energy to spare. But you're not so young now, so take it easy.
The sort of person that young directors send flowers to on theirr birthday. Weren't you once called out to Thailand for some cameraman's wedding?
Film, liquor and cigarettes are her constant companions. One of those people who leaves on a whim to board the first available train at the station, destination unknown. Even today I'm still shocked by a note you once left me, “Mother's gone to Spain, back soon”.
Forever more. Half way through her forties she took classes and learned how to swim. Now visions of pottery fill her head. The square plate you gave me, frankly it's a little heavy. Please make me another when you've found your way.
“We found you abandoned under a bridge” was her father's joke. The version she served me from early childhood was “They were selling you at the super in the canned goods section. They had a bargain sale going, so I picked you up. I guess if there hadn't been a sale that day, you might have gone home with a wealthier mother.” How twisted can you get, I mean really, where did you cook that up?
She raised two daughters between work and home, but it never made them uncomfortable. We had more nights without you than with. A stream of notes opening with “Hello girls, how was school...," rice omelets decorated with tulips drawn in ketchup, these things kept any notion of loneliness far from our heads.
Then there was adolescence. Fights and lies, a time when I couldn't deal with your life style. “Maybe I'll be a juvenile delinquent.” You were laughing and said, “That'll be fine, just don't get caught.” It must have been a hard time for you then, full of bitter things. Looking back I can see it all for what it was, but back then I was in the middle of it. I think I must have hurt you deeply so many, many times. And I am truly sorry for this.
We went through so much together. So much. Little by little, I am closing in on the age you had back then. And I too have a family now. I too am a working mother. I think of you often now, as you were back then.
My mother. She's gone all soft on her first grandchild, my son, now a year and nine months. I never thought I would see you buying toys and kid's books, but there you are, a regular grandma. When I went into labor, you held my hand through it all. You were the one who stayed by my side (watching re-runs of Abarenbō Shōgun all the while, however...).