May 4, 2015

In Which Prior Knows Who He'd Rather Be Like

October 18, 1191

"Mother?" Prior didn't get an answer, but he didn't get a protest either--and Prior's mother was not the type to keep her objections to herself. "Mother, are you all right?"

"Oh you poor, silly child!" She grimaced--and giggled. Neither were actions typical of her. "I'm fine. Why would you think otherwise?"

"I saw Auntie Xeta leave. She didn't look happy. Did you two fight?"

"No, we didn't fight. We're just... I don't know. On different pages in regards to our friendship, perhaps."

Their friendship. Maybe, maybe not. But his mother needn't have pretended for his sake. He'd been privy to enough little hints about his parents as a much younger child, too young to make sense of them--but not so young that he wouldn't remember years later. "Are you a sapphist?"

She cocked her head to the side. "Where did you learn that word?"

"I'm thirteen. I know lots of words." He joined her on the bed, as he had when he'd been little. He hoped he hadn't been too blunt with her. "I, uh... I used to see Auntie Aydelle leave your room on occasion. And I used to see Uncle Searle leaving Papa's. I didn't think much of it at the time, since I spent time in friends' bedrooms too. But grown-ups don't play in bedrooms the way children do."

"Perhaps. But if your father and I had been involved in such lifestyles, would you think any of less of us for it? Would you think us ungodly?"

"Have you read the Old Testament, Mother? God Himself doesn't have much going for him in terms of godliness--all that smiting and jealousy and constant need for worship. I think wanting to be with someone to your liking is nothing compared to killing a bunch of children for making fun of a bald man."

"I suppose you have a point there." His mother sighed. She only sighed when she was about to be honest--more honest than she wanted to be. "Don't think poorly of Xeta for my sake. She's been very lonely since Jadin died, and I don't think she knows what she wants from me. The truth is, I'm too old to enter a romance with someone who's not sincere, even if she thinks she might be. It may frustrate Xeta, but I can't give her anything until she knows whether or not she wants me to."

"I think you're right to make that call." Not that Prior knew much of love, or much of pursuing or being pursued since he'd been betrothed to Neva for as long as he remembered and found her more than tolerable enough to feel the need for anyone else. But sometimes, people didn't need advice so much as they needed reassurance. "You'll just get hurt if she just wants to use you to get over Jadin's death. And I think she'd hurt herself doing that too, in the end."

"Such a wise boy you are." His mother smiled--for real this time. "Just like your father. He too could always make me feel better without spewing patronizing false optimism."

In spite of the circumstances, Prior found himself grinning back.

Whoever his father had preferred taking to bed, there was no other man he'd rather be like. "I'm glad."



Van said...

Ugh. I need something good to happen. Something damn good. And not something I planned, not something someone I know planned... I need whatever dice the universe rolls to stop turning up snake eyes. I need absolute proof that whatever it is calling the shots, be it a deity or the consciousness of the universe or plain and simple entropy, is not a force of pure malevolence. I'm sick of feeling like I'm trapped in life's personal toilet. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Something good has to happen. Something good has to happen. I think I might just lose my mind if it doesn't happen soon.

Ekho said...

Keep your chin up, something always comes along!

Well I must say it's weird that Prior is all grown up, makes me uneasy haha curious as to whether he is still in contact with his other ... family...
I expected him to react this way, I mean, people go on about how kids being raised in environments where there simply is no 'black and white' will be emotionally scarred because why? Because it's not the traditional way? Seems to me Prior has been raised right, he thinks for himself and generally seems well-rounded.
And Camaline is doing the right thing being supportive and encouraging him to make up his own mind about these things.

Van said...

People keep saying that, but usually all that's coming along is more of the same, if not worse.

Prior still sees Lettie and her kids, though he still doesn't know that Lettie is his biological mother and that Alina is his twin. I haven't decided yet whether or not he'll ever find out.

Humanity has this pesky tendency to get over-attached to anything "traditional", even at the point where the world has changed so much and those things no longer make sense. But Prior is a thinker. He's not satisfied just being told that X is right and Y is wrong, and being expected to believe unquestioningly. From where he's standing, a consensual same-sex relationship is pretty harmless.

As for Camaline, I don't think she'd have Prior any other way.

Orilon said...

People a lot of time don't know how to respond to reports of crappy life events, so they come out with the typical cliches.

I know what its like to need something good to happen because I'm pretty much homeless right now (I'm staying at my father's house right now, but after today I will end up in my car.) My brother kicked me out and I don't have anywhere else to live and couldn't find a job (my dad's house works when he's gone, but its way too small for two people when he's here.)

Back to the post: It's always nice to see someone that is not hung up on "tradition" and is willing to look at the pros and cons instead of blindly believing something is good or bad based on "tradition".

Van said...

Yeah, I know people's hearts are in the right place, but... yeah, it's just not productive discourse.

Ugh, what an awful situation! Doesn't your brother care that you don't have anywhere else to go? I don't know the situation, so feel free to call me out if I'm being too hard on him, but the decent thing to do would be to at least let you stay until you found a job or another place to live. :(

Yes, Prior is a breath of fresh air as far as Camaline's concerned. Prior doesn't know whether or not there's much overlap between any actual God(s) and the man-made Bible--but he does know that his parents are good people and he loves them, and he'll go with what he knows.

Orilon said...

My brother doesn't care that I don't have a place to live. He's purposely being an asshole because he thinks I'm not trying hard enough to get a job, and wanted to show me "there are consequences for not getting a job." No fucking duh.

I have not been able to get a job the last five years, and he and his wife have gotten pissed at me because I can't find a job (my Aunt, dad, brother and sister-in-law have actually gotten angry and pissed because I can't find a job.) I already am stressed out because I can't find a job, I don't need their shit on top of it. The job market in this town is in the toilet, and at least 50 people apply when a job does open up.

Van said...

Ugh, people who managed to get decent jobs when the job market was good and are still in those jobs just don't grasp the reality of the current situation. You can search day and night, and get maybe one response for every hundred applications--and nope, all those people see is that you still don't have a job, and they chalk it up to laziness because they just can't comprehend that someone else could possible have a different experience than they had. People like that just make the whole thing that much worse.

Here's hoping he gets the lesson that yes, while there are consequences for not having a job (despite the fact people who are unemployed for sheer lack of trying are a huge statistical minority...), there are also consequences for being an asshole. Sadly... the world seems to like assholes. And that's the problem.