by Claire Danko about a month ago in parents

An integrated look at my mother


My mother has the most beautiful neck and décolletage I've ever seen. I liked how she craned her neck when she something trying to get her attention, but how she rarely fully contorted her body to face anything. My freshman year in college, I went into the Le Labo store on Newbury Street in hopes of finding a new perfume for autumn. I found one I liked, "Labdanum." I didn’t know why at the time; I couldn't place why I loved Labdanum so much I could bathe in it. I realize now that as I inserted my chip, it was my primal self pulling me closer to Her. The smell made me feel full of Her. Haughty of her, proud to embody her.

If you like astrology, she is a Leo sun.

Labdanum is specific. Naturally given, yet customized and very clean. Something like swimming in a chlorinated pool in the concave of mountains, so high above sea level, you don't understand how it could be there. Illusive to you. It was involuntary of me to pick that one up off the shelf. As a part of Her, Labdanum belonged to me. It was mine.

I like to watch myself as it relates to my mother because I spend a lot of the time in my subconscious seeking points in my external world that remind me of her. It’s my way of studying the inner workings of what makes her who she is. Men just dropped in awe at the smoothness of the skin around her neck and the pheromones she let off. I observed this from a very young age. Doctors. Random men in the grocery store. As a descendant of her precious temple, they are so pungent to me that I can’t imagine how much a foreigner, biologically wired to be magnetized to it, would have to collect themselves around her. She's so polished and perfectly ripened. The strength of her feminine edge was a gift.

When my mother speaks of something deeper than the physical realm, her voice goes up a couple of octaves. Men are biologically wired to be attracted to higher-pitched voices in women, so when she speaks of something verbally intriguing in and of itself, it sounds like a secret. Usually, that octave only exists for a beat. To a man, it must just be so hard to sort. When she relays her feelings, you can tell how it almost goes against her nature. I saw the way every man fell at your feet Mom, and I love how much of it is due to internal plight and trauma. Those little puzzle parts of her distinguish her from other women. They are her's and no one else's. It makes her beautiful. An enigma.

There's a word for the experience of knowing that someone else's mind is as complex as your own. I forget what it is, but I don't need to know because I know what it feels like. In regards to my mother, I spent my childhood smelling it, tasting it, hearing it, and feeling it. It makes her a mesmerizing mystery to a man and I think that's fucking awesome. It transcends her ageless eyes, it exits fully in our bond to each other. It rejoices me to be composed half of her.

And this is how I've come to understand my mother's love for me. Her firstborn, our complexities transcend us and will cycle through time and space.

I love the way that as individuals we cannot perceive ourselves objectively. When someone tells me I look like my mom, I feel haughtily full the same way Labdanum smells. Synaesthesia. It sounds to me like a compliment because it's an observation outside of myself. It exists in the universe the same way it exists within me. I hear that, and my internal and external worlds collide.

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