Byline: By JO MAZELIS
She stopped by the counter to order another coffee and let the staff know she had changed tables. The waiter gave her that dull open-mouthed look that told her she was an old insignificant pain in the ass sort of customer who had taken up too much time, space and energy already. She knew he'd buck up when her daughter appeared, they usually did.
As always she considered the psychological truth of this; her own invisibility, her light rapidly diminishing as her daughter's flame gathered strength. She opened her notebook, uncapped her pen and wrote: Bad mothers as a site for abjection in horror.
1. Carrie/Psycho (mother too strong).
2. The Shining (mother too weak).
Male castration fears v desire/Hitchcock's bad women/fairy tales etc.
Then she stared into space, feeling tragic, and yet aware that she was too fat to be really tragic.
* * *
Michelle's two friends were in a hurry, so she told them to go without her; she'd see them later maybe, or in the week, or next Saturday. She finished dressing slowly as if the light in the changing room was thickening and becoming glutinous, and she had to strain her muscles to make them obey her.
She was the last student to leave.
'Is everything all right?' the dance mistress asked when she saw her.
'Where are Sarah and Karen?'
The teacher waved her off, concealing her concern. …