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[personal profile] morrobay1990
Title: Happy Mother’s Day
Author: [livejournal.com profile] morrobay1990
Genre: post canon/1991
Word count: 850
Disclaimer: Jack & Ennis are AP's.
♥ Jack

Inspiration: cwboy30...I forgot.









Mother's Day 5-12-13





“Alma. They’re beautiful. Thank you, sweetie.”

Why did we ever name her Alma? Who knows who’s talking to who? I don’t really even like that name...”

Alma-the-mother looked at the large bouquet of wild flowers and was reminded at once of the little handful of flowers that Ennis had given her on the first Mother’s Day they were together...

It was 1964.

What a sight she must have been! Pregnant with Alma-the-child, tired and upset, she would alternately cry and laugh, depending on which way the wind was blowing, it seemed...

Part of the problem, though she didn’t really understand it all until much, much later, was that she’d never been attractive to men...at least, not the men she had grown up with and knew in Riverton...since she had grown up with them, they saw her as a friend, and not in a romantic way.

She tried. With the money she made babysitting and cleaning neighbor’s houses, she bought Mademoiselle and Glamor magazines, reading them front to back, envious of the girls in the pictures, surely no older than she, but beautiful, confident, wearing pretty outfits...colorful kilts fastened in the front with huge gold pins, paired with modest knee socks and long-sleeved blouses...shirtwaist dresses that displayed their small waists, skirts that skimmed the knee to show off shapely legs, medium heels – nothing drastic...everything tasteful, classic...everything she wasn’t but wanted to be.

She stared at the pictures of these girls wearing what the magazine assured her was necessary to her wardrobe: weekend attire...when invited to a country estate, one must wear the right clothes...well-fitting blue jeans (not the shapeless, farm-type that she wore), and soft-looking tweed blazers, buttery leather boots needed to ride the pretty horses the girls stood next to...Alma never went anywhere on the weekend. The girls in the pictures smiled endlessly in their pretty clothes as they sat on split-rail fences, or a large rock by a river, or a big wicker chair on a porch as big as Alma’s whole house.

When she married Ennis, her magazine dreams had come true, and she was determined to make her husband happy, and have the kind of home she was sure the Glamour girls had, if a little less glamorous.

It did start out that way. Both of them worked hard, harder than Alma Junior would ever have to, she hoped. They had a common goal of raising a family, making a home, taking care of one another.

They talked about it a little...well, she talked about it, and she tried to draw her husband out, find out what he wanted, what he thought about...but she knew Ennis agreed with her on the important things…home, family…that’s what it was.

She remembered, as women do, all their “firsts”...first date, first kiss, first Christmas as a married couple, first New Year’s...first Mother’s Day...even though she was only pregnant, not a mother yet.

She had been upset...pregnant and upset...when Ennis got up before dawn on that first Mother’s Day, said he had to go help with calving.

Alma sat up in bed in the dark, watching as her husband quickly dressed in his work jeans like he couldn’t wait to get out of there to go take care of some bovine mother and child, all too willing to leave the mother of his child alone and sobbing.

After he left, she thought he was so selfish! To leave her at a time like this, a day like this, to go to work!

Her mind wandered...she thought of the times they’d made love...most were very satisfactory to her...but what about that thing he did...that thing, when he’d turn her over on her stomach...come at her from the back…that thing she’d never been able to tell anyone because she knew without being told that it was unnatural.

What did it mean? Why did he do it? None of her girlfriends had ever mentioned something like that...of course, they didn’t.

And most of all – why didn’t he care that she hated it? Why didn’t he care?

She lay back down and tried not to think about those things...




“Alma?”

She opened her eyes to see Ennis sitting on the edge of the bed, a handful of drooping wildflowers in his hand, a lopsided smile on his face.

“Ennis.” She looked up at him, ready to forgive all.

“I thought you forgot all about Mother’s Day...”

Suddenly she laughed, “I thought you just wanted to take care of mother cows!”

“Sorry, darlin, this was the first time I had time to go out and get somethin.”

“They’re beautiful.”

He laid the flowers on the nightstand, kissing her softly, reaching for her nightgown, moving it up above her waist and letting his hand move over her thighs, over her belly, before pushing at her softly to turn.

They moved against each other, not in unison, but in opposition...she resisting, he insisting...

As she felt the burning pain and the oppressive weight of her husband on her, she opened her eyes and saw the wildflowers, now not beautiful, not colorful or happy...but sad...wilting...

Happy Mother's Day....


















web statistics

sad

Date: 2013-05-12 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joetheone.livejournal.com
Oh Alma you are a mother and never a fashion statement but that is okay mothers are the best part of growing up and I'm sure you did your best. Your man however wants a different thing than you would ever know a man named Jack with a smile to light up the world. Joe

Date: 2013-05-12 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mazaher.livejournal.com
Giving up on being oneself, whether in the name of religious imperatives, or those of fashion, or those of social conventions, makes one not only sick, but contagious. Distress is catching like an illness. The OS shows how the ruin of two men brings about the ruin of those who live with them, just as the former generation was devastated in its turn and left behind the seeds which laid waste the following. There is more than one tragedy in Proulx's plotline.

what we have here

Date: 2013-05-12 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gibbous-moon.livejournal.com
is a complete failure to communicate. on both sides. so sad.

kj

Mothers

Date: 2013-05-13 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cwby30.livejournal.com
Evenin'.

Well, I'm glad you were inspired to write this. Alma held tight to her dream of a family unit, and Ennis as the one inside that unit, but watched the dream wither and fade over ten years. I can see her finally giving up, and leaving Ennis for someone who must have said the right things and provided the right things. Still, the bitterness had to remain, along with the image of the two of them on the landing on June 24, 1967, long after that Thanksgiving dinner.

You captured the beginnings of that slow slide. Sad that the gift of flowers from her namesake brought it all back to her.

Thanks again.

Bud

Date: 2013-05-13 07:08 am (UTC)
ext_325262: Pip Pumphandle (Default)
From: [identity profile] sid401k.livejournal.com
Poor Alma; poor Ennis. Both trying; both failing. And neither really at fault, because they are both reaching toward the goal that they have been assured is attainable. But it's not. If only Ennis had had the moral courage or the self-honesty to call off the marriage after he came down off the mountain. But he was as blind in his own way as Alma to the reality of the situation.

Date: 2013-05-31 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwylliondream.livejournal.com
You and I write about the same Alma. It kills me when everyone just wants her to disappear. Thanks for painting her exactly as she needs to be!
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