My mother used to tell me the year I was born was the coldest she could remember. Inches from my womb, at the foot of the bed, her hot water bottle froze in the night, she said.
I miss her. And I miss those stories.
Sometimes, it feels like she’s watching over me. At first, I thought - why not? I’m her son, after all. But I’m a scientist, now. I should know how I know - should feel - all of this.
I’m half an hour late getting back to Roland, but I can’t let it go.
So: an experiment.
I shut my eyes and I see my unfinished email hovering in the darkness; medication 50mg etc etc; Vista, photo of kids. And now - yes - now I can see my Mother. Easy.
Mother. Vista. Photo. Mother. Yes: that’s what the brain does. 11th birthday, degree ceremony - I can even balance a Christmas tree bauble on the top of her head if I want.
A tap at the door. "Professor?" The bauble becomes a hat. A tea cozy. Got to keep the head warm. Medication, 100mg.
Of course. Roland's waiting. I am a scientist; it's not an act. I return to the operating theatre. Bone saw. Stem cells.
Don't worry, Mr. Roland. It's a breakthrough. We'll have your brain fixed in no time -- just like mine.
We went bowling sometimes, mother and I. The ball thumps on the lane and rolls toward the tenpins. Everyone gasps! A strike?
"Professor! Oh Jesus! Oh my God! Professor!"
Oh dear. A slip of the saw. How unfortunate.
Opening: Whirlochre.....Continuation:: ril