Close encounters with my mother


It was the scene where Richard Dreyfuss sees the aliens for the first time as they half-float out of the spaceship that’s landed behind Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Everyone in the cinema was in a hushed awe-filled silence. Everyone, that is, except my mother, who was snoring. I nudged her gently in the ribs with my elbow, to my immediate regret, because it caused her to wake up with a loud truncated honk. Then, looking blearily up at the dwarfish light-filled spacelings filling the screen, exclaimed, “Good god!” I was 14 years old. I was mortified.

As she spun us out of the multi-storey car park, making dangerously close calls with the concrete divider (my mother was a famously bad driver), she complained that the film wasn’t “realistic” because “people wouldn’t really act that way.” Clutching the door handle as she took us up onto a curb…

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About subincontinentia

writer and eternal optimist
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