Like Mother

by Harrison Geosits

My mother is Filipino, fresh off the plane, and I am her half-breed son, the firstborn son, but I did not inherit her Pacific Islander DNA; I am not thin and tan and woman-hungry like her father and brother and nephews and other son, I do not have the same un-grown-up-ness; I am not tough, stone-cold, unfazed, like she and her siblings, I was not made to kneel on rice, spanked with a switch from the mango tree, neglected by a mother who favored the son, but I do know the lightning-smack of my mother’s hand against my cheek, so we share that, at least, and the feeling of too much meat on our bones, the feeling that we pick the wrong men, the feeling that we do it on purpose—frequently, I wonder if this is in the genes, my genes, and why, why this and not her knack for home renovation or data engineering or steeling herself against loneliness, these are all things that come as naturally as breathing to her, things that I cannot imagine doing, like calling your son a fairy or skipping out on a graduation or losing and finding and losing and finding and losing and finding a job; I could never do these things, because I look just like my father, this is what she tells me, and you are your father’s son, so she must erase herself from me—suddenly, I have his charming/deceitful nature, my body hanging with excess the way his does, my dick wandering aimlessly (a trait she doesn’t know he and I share)—and her strength washes out of me, her cunning, her glamour, they become elusive, just out of reach, and I am left to wonder, whose son am I?

Harrison Geosits is a peddler of creative nonfiction, and an almost-native Texan. His work has appeared in Split Lip Magazine, Wildness, and more; his work is forthcoming in Jellyfish Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and more. He like his wine from a box and his margaritas with cucumber; he Twitters at @HGeosits.