My dear Thomas,
It was so good to meet you last week, even if it was in the sterile and unsatisfactory, but understandable, confines of a councillor's office. I found it difficult opening up to you as the councillor and my lawyer listened and watched and hence, I am taking their advice and emailing you. Hopefully, both of us will feel more able to express our innermost thoughts using this media. That is of course, if you are prepared to enter into correspondence with your mother.
I have to stress right away, Tom, that I am by no means looking for your forgiveness at what I did, but hopefully I may go some way to gaining your understanding.
I feel, quite desperately actually, the need to try to convey to you the situation when you were born those twenty-three years ago in nineteen ninety. I was just twenty-two. No age really. Society was far less forgiving back then, out of wedlock births and single mothers bringing up a child were both rare and frowned upon. These are not excuses for what I did, merely explanations.
I was engaged at the time. In those days, young people did that as precursor to marriage. I was marrying a man who was the son of my parents close friends. Both families knew each other well and looked on Richard and me marrying as a 'match made in heaven.' I was not totally convinced of that. We had been 'courting' for several years before the engagement and the wedding was planned for just over a year hence.
I had just started work after three years at university gaining a solid 2:1 in English and History. Richard, who is ten years my senior, already had a degree in law and waited for me as I obtained mine. Despite many opportunities and invitations, I remained completely faithful during that time. Regrettably Tom, and I am ashamed of this, that faithfulness did not last.
At work, in the liberal atmosphere and culture of publishing my perspective changed. I felt locked in and manipulated by my family and the impending marriage. In short, I rebelled and I had a brief affair with a writer, he was fifteen years older than me. I was over three months gone when I found out I was pregnant. Again, in those days it was not that easy to find out.
Without the most almighty scandal in the middle class ghetto of the idyllic Hertfordshire village where both families lived, there were only two other options; abortion or adoption.
Again in those times, abortions were not that easy, although my father had the contacts to arrange one, but being Roman Catholic he was totally opposed to it. He and my mother were equally opposed both to Richard's and our families and the rest of the village finding out.
So, as part of my management training I was brought into the family's boutique publishing house from the global one I had started with after uni. I was dispatched off to the Australian subsidiary as soon as was reasonably possible. At the time I was six months pregnant. The decision had been made to have the baby adopted.
I am sorry, so terribly sorry about all of this Tom and if there is any way that I can make it up to you please let me know.
I hope that you are settling into MIT and please do let me know if there is anything I can do to make your studying there more satisfying.
Of course, I will completely understand if I do not hear back from you, but I would be so pleased if I did.
Hoping that you will find it in your heart to mail back,
With much love and even greater regrets
Mother or, if you prefer Cat
If you don't mind I will call you Cat, I cannot think of you as my mother, well not yet at least!
I have taken time to think about our meeting in London and the mail you sent a few days ago. I have been tempted to let sleeping dogs lie and do nothing, not even respond, but the content of your mail persuaded me otherwise, so here goes with my response. You may need to forgive some rambling, errors or misuse of words for I am a little pissed and that is as in drunk rather than annoyed. But that's what students do isn't it.
Firstly, thank you for arranging my entry into MIT and yes I accept gratefully your suggestion of me staying here to gain my Masters and Phd. It is very generous of you to fund me.
At the moment, I cannot forgive you Cat, although I guess what you did is in most ways preferable to the hot bath, bottle of gin and knife up your pussy alternative. Crude aren't I, but maybe that is the drink, cider actually. On balance, though I can understand why you did what you did. Was it hard having me taken away from you almost at birth; incidentally how long did you keep me?
Also what was it after all these long years that persuaded you to seek me out. I know you said in the meeting that it was simply maternal instinct, but was there also the need to overcome the guilt you must have felt over this long time. You can be honest now Cat, it is in the open, although I do appreciate that Richard and my half siblings do not know.
I know that my dad cannot come back from the grave, but maybe you could tell me more about him.
Your long lost, but newly found and now slightly drunk son.
I can't sleep. That happens quite often nowadays and being frank has become more extreme since I found you.
You were mine for just six hours, isn't that awful? They have to do that to stop the mother bonding. When they took you away it was terrible. How I remember one of the nurses saying that you would be in Australia soon, I have no idea, but I did.
Your dad, was a lovely man. Hugely intelligent, intellectual really, he was modest, interested in everything that went on and a mine of information on so many subjects. He was a gentle person, I never heard him raise his voice and his calm manner helped him avoid arguments. He was hugely personable with a magic way with words. To be utterly truthful to you Tom, which is something I owe you very badly, I think in other circumstances David and I may well have become the loves of my lives.
How are things at MIT, it's a lovely area and a great uni isn't it?
Hoping this finds you well and that the cider does not give you too much of a hangover
Cat mum, mum or Cat, who knows?
Thanks for getting back so quickly and for your kind thoughts about my hangover that I am probably going to make worse by having a few shots, do you drink much Cat or vodka. Er I mean not do yoyu drink Cat, but Cat do you drink much and if so vodka. Actually not if you drink much do you dring vodk, oh fuck it this is stupid, I'lll start again.
Thanks for getting back. I am sorry you cannot sleep, but then neither can I so we are both in the same boat, hope you can sit still so it don't turn over. Unlike most Aussies I am not a good swimmer.
Dad sounds nice, I wish I had met him.
It must have been terrible for yoyu to have your baby taken away and I feel sorry for you for that. I wonder if one day I will be able to meet my half siblings, Peter and Emma, I think I would like to, but that has to be up to you Cat.
Is Richard waiting up with you, or is he snoring in bed, lucky man.
Just because I did not see you for twenty odd years son, do not think you can take liberties and drink too much. Despite your wonderful physique do not think you are too big to go across your mother's knee for a spanking. lol
No Richard is where he so often is, in America, he will be home Saturday morning to get ready to go to Frankfurt Sunday afternoon; he does travel a lot. So there is no one waiting in my bed or in the house even, I am completely alone.
What about you, do you share? A house a flat, a room. And please do not tell your mother that there are women there, heaven forbid. On that topic do you have a girl friend?
Inquisitive in Herts
Same with all you Brits Cat, a fucking anal complex and a desire to apnk. Bloody public schools.
I share a house with six others, foor blokes and two Sheilas as, of course, we Aussies call 'em. I have my own room and we have a hard and fast rule no playing around with the Sheilas. I have a couple of girls I see, if you forgive the eupheism, er eufermism, oh you know. One is a barmaid of all things in a pub, but is training to be a dancer, she's really supple and the other is studying English here. Nothiong serious just excuses for, woops I forget I am talking to my mum. Strewthe that sounds stwrange and is something I have never said nefore. Wonder whether I will when sober.
Pissed in Boston
My dear pissed or should I call you Boston,
I really do hope that you think of me as your mum Tom, although calling me that does not matter, Cat would be nice, but you choose and use whatever you like.
Also, I hope that you will wish as much as I do to keep this correspondence going, although maybe at a more civilised hour than after 2.30 in the morning. I am a married working mum, not a leery student and it is well past my bed time. Woops if that is the case then why am I sitting here in my dressing gown exchanging emails with my getting drunker by the minute newly found son?
Your tired mother
You don't get away from me that easily, mother or not, in fact you may not get away at all. What sort of woman are you I ask myself? I have to do that because I am the only stupid fucker swake thi s tiem of night or should it be moorning. Sitting in your dressing gown exchanging emails with a leery, half pissed student young enough to be your son. You make a habit of that do you.?"
Somoen in America, somewhere pissed and tired, but can't go to bed.
Yes young man, what sort of woman does such things? Well I can tell you, one like me as I am doing it and enjoying it. I have jpoined you on the vodka. I take mine with a dash of water and a squeeze of lemon, I guess you take yours straight do you Tom.
Although I have to be up in just over four hours and I am tired, I am so enjoying chatting with you. You make me feel young Tom. It is such a change, thank you so much.
I make you feel young do I? Isthat good? I hope so. Do I you feel anything else Cat.
I have noticed the kisses. I like them, they make me feel good.
I am now so pissed I think mummy should at least terll me off and spank me if she wants
you should go off to sleep, I have to as well. I am pleased you like the kisses for they do express my feelings for you.
My god Cat, I am so sorry about last night. I have just woken up sitting looking at my PC clad in just my boxers. I have read my ridiculous and so very rude mails to you. Bet you're not so pleased at finding me now. How could I have got so drunk, written those things to you and then pass out? I hope that you will forgive, but will understand if you do not feel able to.
On another level, Cat what I recall about the exchanges I enjoyed. I just chose some of the wrong things to say. Certainly for a son to his mother, but at present I am not able fully to see you as that. Having met just the once and then spent the time together last evening I am hesitant to tell you that I am only able to look at you as an older woman and not yet as my mother.
Is that bad?
Your humbled son
PS It was the Aussie in me I reckon, well that's my story and Ia m sticking to it.
I am typing this on my phone from the office of a charity for which I work a few days here and there, so please forgive typing errors.
You are totally forgiven and really hardly put a foot wrong. Ok some of the spelling and missed words made some phrases hard to discern, but then I used to be in publishing and have been a wordsmith most of my life.
Will write more fully this pm
PS How's the head?
It was nice and a relief to hear back from the woman who calls herself my mother. Hello mum and thanks for the forgiveness. Head's a little woolly and I tdon't think I have any insides left!
Despite rumours to the contrary students do work and I have two lectures this morning so hearing from you this afternoon would be great. I am free through to whenever, but please don't let me drink too much and get me into bed at a reasonable time.
Your, sort of, son
PS Missed the kisses
Hope you are feeling better and that the hangover is going away, tried the hair of a dog? I may join you and have a glass or two of white wine soon.
Trust you made and enjoyed the lectures, does one 'enjoy' them nowadays? I never did, but then that was centuries ago.
I am glad you enjoyed yesterday evening, I did too. As you are unable to get to the UK and I have no plans to come over there in the near future, this could well be our main way of getting to know each other, that is of course if you want to get to know an older women who calls herself your mother. Do you Tom?
I have to stop for a while as I have a couple of calls to make, but then I can be all yours to a not too late time this evening.
Mum or Cat what do you prefer.
All mine ay? Steady mum I might get the wrong idea.
Yes I do enjoy lectures, but then I seem to enjoy most things and especially exchanging these mails with you. You express yourself very well indeed. My writing palls, is that correct, into mere scribblings compared to yours, but then us geeky physicists can get away with it, can't we?
The idea of you being all mine all afternoon and evening is attractive. It makes me feel as if it is date that I am going on with you. Would you date me Cat?
Intrigued in Boston
How are you, well I hope.
Yes, I suppose it is a date, Tom. I too find that exciting, but also a little bewildering. Can a mother date her son? Surely not, but then that depends on the interpretation of date I guess. I mean I go out to dinner with Richard, my husband, but that is not a date, but when I went to dinner with your father that was, most definitely a date. Hmmmm dodgy area here Tom so I had better move on.
I hope your studies are going well and you are pleased that you decided to come to the US to study rather than staying in Oz.
Have any plans for vacations this year?
No who, just kisses, interesting!
Cheers, how's the white wine, cold and dry I hope and slipping down easily. I am more of a red man myself, but to be truthful, if it whirls around in a glass and is alcoholic then I say, you pour, I'll drink. Mmmmm that cider tastes good. Never had it until I got here, but now can't get enough. I am a bit obsessive, Cat, when I find something I like I just can't get enough of it and then go for it hook, line and sinker. So watch out babe, you may be hooked or lined or sinkered by now!
Odd for an older woman to be asking about dates. But then, on reading back you didn't ask it did you, I did? You as a mother and an older woman should, simply refined it. By doing so though, mum, if I may be so bold to venture you put a spin on it. A nice one by the way and one that sort of makes me tingle a bit, even though I know I should not.
No plans for anything yet excepting working my bollocks off to get my degree.
do not work that hard you may need them badly one day and it would never do if they have been worked off!
I should not have gone down the route I did about a date. It was wrong of me and thoughtless. I will steer a straighter route in future.
It is wet, cold, chilled and Pinot. Lovely
PS I saw your kiss, that was the first wasn't it luv? Not that hard is it?
note no mum this time, do not worry that pretty little head, yes we are all chauvinists in Oz, of yours about it. I think our 'conversations' yesterday evening and into the night and now have strayed into an area of, how can a son put it to his mother, intimacy I suppose is the word. Or is that just me?
And please do not mention hard!
Wondering in the North East, US that is not Newcastle
PS Yes that was the first these are the 2nd and 3rd xx
I do not know what to say Thomas. I am not sure that we should even be discussing it. Whatever it is? Let me put your mind at rest, though, it is not just you who feels something. And that makes me feel bad.
Sorry I have taken so long to reply. I have had to have a long think.
Oh Cat, please do not feel bad. Feel good, for that's exactly how you make me feel. It's a lovely feeling, a tingle and a warmth. But I am scared of it, well with you I am. It's ok with the barmaid and the other student, but fuck mum, not with you.
I've just had an idea that I want to put to you. Please feel free to say no, if you wish. Have you heard of or ever used yahoo messenger? It's an instant messengering service where two people can talk in real time; like a phone, but with written words not spoken. Would you like to try it with me?
That's ok luv, but you did worry me. I thought that I may have said something to upset you, after all we are discussing a delicate subject, aren't we? Or am I imagining that we are?
I have never heard of or used yahoo messenger and would not know how to do so. But the idea sounds interesting and I am willing to try.
Great, let me teach you mum.
Go into yahoo or type yahoo.com into a search engine or ISP. A menu will come up and on it somewhere you will see messenger. Click on it and follow the instructions, It will be easy. You will need to have username and a password, may I suggest for the latter mummycat?
Let me know how you get on, mummycat.
Ok give me fifteen mins or so.
Take your time.
Hi again 14 mins 25 secs
Well that was easy, I have registered, signed in and am iwaiting. What happens now?
Tom: Hello Cat, this is what happens now.
Tom: Oh, what's that mean?
Cat: Is that really you?
Tom: Yes of course
Cat: have you used this before?
Tom: Yes of course, it can be fun, we all use it, so how are you?
Cat: a little scared actually
Cat: I don't know, it's just a little spooky isn't it?
Tom: I guess so, but you'll get used to it..................mum
Cat: don't that makes me feel old
Tom: and we can't have that can we?
Cat: can't be avoided really can it?
Tom: I guess not. Btw you did well sorting out messenger
Cat: Btw, what's that?
Tom: By the way, it's text speak.
Cat: I see.
Tom: Yes brains as well as beauty
Tom: Brains to sort out messenger and beauty well that's for all to see.
Tom: Just the truth Cat. You are a beautiful woman
Cat: Am I? Do you really think so?
Tom: Yes and yes I do
Cat: Then thank you
Cat: I can guess what that means
Tom: And you are Cat, very welcome
Tom: Are you ok with chatting like this Cat?
Cat: Yes, it's good
Tom: This feels more like a date than the mails doesn't it?
Cat: Yes I suppose it does really
Tom: I feel a little nervous
Tom: Not sure, but being with you I guess
Cat: But you are not with me, not really are you
Tom: No, but I would like to be Cat, wouldn't you?
Cat: I don't know Tom
Tom: What don't you know Cat?
Cat: Anything, everything, oh bugger, I am so mixed up
Tom: And so am I
Cat: We have gone down the wrong path Tom
Tom: Have we Cat, have we really?
Cat: We are not two lov um I mean we are not people who have just met on here
Tom: But we have Cat, we have really just met, not here, but certainly in mail haven't we?
Cat: Yes I suppose we have
Tom: and we got on well didn't we
Cat: Yes Tom, maybe too well
Tom: can there be too well with getting on?
Cat: Yes I think so when you are mother and son Tom