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E-Books (english-e-reader), My Oedipus Complex (2)

My Oedipus Complex (2)

I broke free from Mother's hold and ran to the furthest corner, screaming wildly. Father sat up in bed.

'Shut your mouth, you young dog!' he said violently.

I was so surprised that I stopped making a noise. Never, never had anyone spoken to me like that before.

'Shut your mouth yourself!' I shouted, mad with anger.

'What's that you said?' shouted Father, jumping out of bed.

'Mick!' cried Mother. 'Don't you see he isn't used to you?'

'I see he's better fed than taught! I'll smack his bottom!'

'Smack your own!' I screamed furiously. 'Smack your own!' At this he lost his patience and started smacking me. I was so shocked at being hit by someone I considered a complete stranger that I nearly went crazy. I screamed and screamed, and danced in my bare feet. Father, looking clumsy and hairy in nothing but a short army shirt, stared down at me like a mountain ready for murder. It was then that I realized he was jealous, too. And there stood Mother, crying - we seemed to be breaking her heart.

From that morning on, my life was a hell. Father and I were openly enemies. There were many battles between us, he trying to steal my time with Mother, and I trying to steal his. When she was sitting on my bed telling me a story, he pretended he needed her to find a pair of his boots. While he was talking to Mother, I played loudly with my toys. One evening when he came in from work, he found me playing with his souvenirs, and became terribly angry. Mother took the box away from me.

'You mustn't play with Daddy's toys, Larry,' she said firmly. 'Daddy doesn't play with yours.'

Father looked at her, quite shocked. 'Those are not toys,' he said crossly. 'Some of them are very valuable.'

I just couldn't understand why Mother was interested in him. In every possible way, he was less likeable than me. He had a workman's accent and made noises while drinking his tea. I thought it might be the newspapers that she liked, so I invented some news of my own to read to her. I tried walking round with his pipe in my mouth, until he caught me. I even made noises while drinking tea, but Mother said I sounded horrible. It seemed to be connected with that unhealthy habit of sleeping together, so I spent a lot of time in their room, but I never saw anything unusual going on. In the end, I stopped trying. Perhaps it depended on being grown up and giving people rings. I would just have to wait to find out.

But I didn't want him to think he had won. One day I said, 'Mummy, do you know what I'm going to do when I grow up?'

'No, dear,' she replied. 'What?'

'I'm going to marry you,' I said quietly.

Father gave a great noisy laugh, but I knew he must be worried. And Mother was pleased. She was probably glad to know that, one day, Father's hold over her would be broken.

'Won't that be nice?' she said with a smile.

'It'll be very nice,' I said confidently. 'Because we're going to have lots and lots of babies.'

'That's right, dear,' she said calmly. 'I think we'll have one soon, and then you'll have someone to play with.'

I was really pleased about that. It showed that in spite of being in Father's power, she still considered my wishes. And anyway, it would show the Geneys that we could have a new baby too.

But the reality was very different. What a disaster it was! Sonny's arrival destroyed the peace of the whole house, and from the first moment, I disliked him. He was a difficult child, and demanded far too much attention. Mother was simply silly about him, and thought he was wonderful. As 'someone to play with' he was worse than useless. He slept all day, and I had to be quiet all the time to avoid waking him. It wasn't any longer a question of not waking Father - now it was 'Don't-wake-Sonny!' I couldn't understand why the child wouldn't sleep at the proper time, so whenever Mother's back was turned, I woke him.

One evening, when Father came in from work, I was playing trains in the front garden. I pretended I hadn't noticed him, and said loudly, 'If another damn baby comes into this house, I'm going to leave.'

Father stopped at once and looked at me.

'What's that you said?' he asked sternly.

'I was only talking to myself,' I replied quickly, a little afraid. 'It's private.'

He turned and went inside without a word. I intended it to be a serious warning, but its effect was quite different. Father started being nice to me. I could understand that, of course. Mother was quite sickening about Sonny. Even at mealtimes, she'd get up and look lovingly at him in his little bed, with a foolish smile, and tell Father to look too. He was polite about it, but he looked puzzled - you could see he didn't know what she was talking about. It was painful to see how silly Mother was. Father wasn't good-looking, but he had a fine intelligence. He knew that Sonny was nothing but trouble, and now he realized I knew that, too.

One night I woke with a start. There was someone beside me in my bed. For one wild moment I felt sure it must be Mother - she had understood what was best for her and left Father forever. But then I heard Sonny screaming in the next room, and Mother saying, 'It's all right, dear, it's all right, Mummy's here.' So I knew it wasn't her. It was Father. He was lying beside me, completely awake, breathing hard and angry as hell.

After a while, I realized what he was angry about. What had happened to me had just happened to him. He had pushed me out of the big bed, and now he himself had been pushed out. Mother had no consideration for anyone except that unpleasant child, Sonny I couldn't help feeling sorry for Father. I had been through it all myself, and even at that age, I was prepared to forgive and forget. I began to stroke his back and say, 'It's all right, dear, it's all right.' He didn't seem to like it much.

'Aren't you asleep either?' he said in an angry whisper.

'Ah, come on, put your arm around me, can't you?' I said, and he did, in a sort of way. Cautiously, I suppose, is how you'd describe it. He was very bony, but better than nothing.

At Christmas he made a big effort and bought me a really nice model railway.

- THE END -



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My Oedipus Complex (2)

I broke free from Mother's hold and ran to the furthest corner, screaming wildly. Father sat up in bed.

'Shut your mouth, you young dog!' he said violently.

I was so surprised that I stopped making a noise. Never, never had anyone spoken to me like that before.

'Shut your mouth yourself!' I shouted, mad with anger.

'What's that you said?' shouted Father, jumping out of bed.

'Mick!' cried Mother. 'Don't you see he isn't used to you?'

'I see he's better fed than taught! I'll smack his bottom!'

'Smack your own!' I screamed furiously. 'Smack your own!' At this he lost his patience and started smacking me. I was so shocked at being hit by someone I considered a complete stranger that I nearly went crazy. I screamed and screamed, and danced in my bare feet. Father, looking clumsy and hairy in nothing but a short army shirt, stared down at me like a mountain ready for murder. It was then that I realized he was jealous, too. And there stood Mother, crying - we seemed to be breaking her heart.

From that morning on, my life was a hell. Father and I were openly enemies. There were many battles between us, he trying to steal my time with Mother, and I trying to steal his. When she was sitting on my bed telling me a story, he pretended he needed her to find a pair of his boots. While he was talking to Mother, I played loudly with my toys. One evening when he came in from work, he found me playing with his souvenirs, and became terribly angry. Mother took the box away from me.

'You mustn't play with Daddy's toys, Larry,' she said firmly. 'Daddy doesn't play with yours.'

Father looked at her, quite shocked. 'Those are not toys,' he said crossly. 'Some of them are very valuable.'

I just couldn't understand why Mother was interested in him. In every possible way, he was less likeable than me. He had a workman's accent and made noises while drinking his tea. I thought it might be the newspapers that she liked, so I invented some news of my own to read to her. I tried walking round with his pipe in my mouth, until he caught me. I even made noises while drinking tea, but Mother said I sounded horrible. It seemed to be connected with that unhealthy habit of sleeping together, so I spent a lot of time in their room, but I never saw anything unusual going on. In the end, I stopped trying. Perhaps it depended on being grown up and giving people rings. I would just have to wait to find out.

But I didn't want him to think he had won. One day I said, 'Mummy, do you know what I'm going to do when I grow up?'

'No, dear,' she replied. 'What?'

'I'm going to marry you,' I said quietly.

Father gave a great noisy laugh, but I knew he must be worried. And Mother was pleased. She was probably glad to know that, one day, Father's hold over her would be broken.

'Won't that be nice?' she said with a smile.

'It'll be very nice,' I said confidently. 'Because we're going to have lots and lots of babies.'

'That's right, dear,' she said calmly. 'I think we'll have one soon, and then you'll have someone to play with.'

I was really pleased about that. It showed that in spite of being in Father's power, she still considered my wishes. And anyway, it would show the Geneys that we could have a new baby too.

But the reality was very different. What a disaster it was! Sonny's arrival destroyed the peace of the whole house, and from the first moment, I disliked him. He was a difficult child, and demanded far too much attention. Mother was simply silly about him, and thought he was wonderful. As 'someone to play with' he was worse than useless. He slept all day, and I had to be quiet all the time to avoid waking him. It wasn't any longer a question of not waking Father - now it was 'Don't-wake-Sonny!' I couldn't understand why the child wouldn't sleep at the proper time, so whenever Mother's back was turned, I woke him.

One evening, when Father came in from work, I was playing trains in the front garden. I pretended I hadn't noticed him, and said loudly, 'If another damn baby comes into this house, I'm going to leave.'

Father stopped at once and looked at me.

'What's that you said?' he asked sternly.

'I was only talking to myself,' I replied quickly, a little afraid. 'It's private.'

He turned and went inside without a word. I intended it to be a serious warning, but its effect was quite different. Father started being nice to me. I could understand that, of course. Mother was quite sickening about Sonny. Even at mealtimes, she'd get up and look lovingly at him in his little bed, with a foolish smile, and tell Father to look too. He was polite about it, but he looked puzzled - you could see he didn't know what she was talking about. It was painful to see how silly Mother was. Father wasn't good-looking, but he had a fine intelligence. He knew that Sonny was nothing but trouble, and now he realized I knew that, too.

One night I woke with a start. There was someone beside me in my bed. For one wild moment I felt sure it must be Mother - she had understood what was best for her and left Father forever. But then I heard Sonny screaming in the next room, and Mother saying, 'It's all right, dear, it's all right, Mummy's here.' So I knew it wasn't her. It was Father. He was lying beside me, completely awake, breathing hard and angry as hell.

After a while, I realized what he was angry about. What had happened to me had just happened to him. He had pushed me out of the big bed, and now he himself had been pushed out. Mother had no consideration for anyone except that unpleasant child, Sonny I couldn't help feeling sorry for Father. I had been through it all myself, and even at that age, I was prepared to forgive and forget. I began to stroke his back and say, 'It's all right, dear, it's all right.' He didn't seem to like it much.

'Aren't you asleep either?' he said in an angry whisper.

'Ah, come on, put your arm around me, can't you?' I said, and he did, in a sort of way. Cautiously, I suppose, is how you'd describe it. He was very bony, but better than nothing.

At Christmas he made a big effort and bought me a really nice model railway.

- THE END -

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