Thursday, November 17, 2011

From the Inside Out: Mother & Son

So They Say, by Jack A. Urquhart, follows Southern-born Rex Fordham on a five-decades-long search for self-acceptance.  The product of 1950s conformism and self-repression, Rex sheds a burdensome past to become a successful architect, husband, and father; but when a same-sex affair and shattering family loss end his marriage, Rex changes course to pursue life as a gay man—a choice that doesn't sit well with his mother, Baptist-to-the-bone, Inez, as a bit of eavesdropping on a weekly telephone chat between mother and son reveals:

Inez (self-righteously indignant): Well, I don’t care what you say.  It’s a cryin’ shame Alec cain’t visit his own Daddy out there in California.  Bad enough he don’t pay his agin’ Grandmama a visit now an’ then.

Rex (seeking an opening): But, Mom, Alec’s …

Inez (riding high on the sound of her own voice): He’s goin’ on twenty-one.  Old ‘nuff to break free a’his Mama’s apron strings.  No reason for your ex-wife to hold that boy on a tight leash.  I tell you, it’s just …(searching for words suitably harsh) it’s plain…

Rex (taking advantage of the pause): He’s in school, Mom.  That’s all.  (Quickly, husky-voiced) So, how are things in Florida?  What’s new in the neighborhood?  Missus Tuttle still on her high horse?

Inez (harrumphing, ready to charge): Ramona Tuttle!  That woman, with her prancin’, oddball son’s got no business lookin’ down her nose on me!  Just ‘cause she don’t ‘prove of how somebody lives they … (a sudden pause; a light going on).  Say!  You reckon Marcia don’t let Alec visit you ‘cause of … (hesitating, cautious) ‘cause you livin’ with (distastefully) your friend?  He ain’t…(fearful, vaguely put out) he ain’t come down with nuthin’?  Y’all both bein’ careful?

Rex (offended; resigned): His name is Rand, Mom.  He’s perfectly healthy.  Rand Osmond.  And he’s much more than a …”

Inez (oblivious, shifting directions again): Beats me how come you married Marcia in the first place.  She wasn’t never no housekeeper, and …

Rex (determined, explicit): Because I loved her, Mom.  Same reason I’m with Ran—

Inez (interrupting, voice dripping sarcasm): Love!  Like that’s ever been ‘nuff to hold two peoples together.  Just look at how …

Rex (peremptory, breaking in decidedly): Well, then!  We’re finally agreed on something!  Love isn’t always enough, is it?  Not nearly enough.

Inez (aggrieved): I declare, son.  Sometimes I think we livin’ in ‘end times’.  Just like the Bible says.

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1 comment:

  1. Maybe the beginning of a one-act play here? (Which is how I have seen "How I Come to Know" for some time now.)