The Fear Project: My Mother was Joe Pesci

March 17, 2009

I interviewed a good friend of mine several weeks ago, and her story is one of my favorites so far.  Thought I’d share it with you:

I don’t really remember how old I was, when I had a completely irrational fear, uh, that went on, for months, I think, before I got the courage to bring it up.  It’s really embarrassing, because I think I may have been pretty old, like 9 or 10.  Anyways, I remember having this, unfounded fear that, my mom was not actually my mom, that there was, um, [giggling] that there was, uh, somebody living inside of her body.  And that, what I was seeing was just a zip-up costume.  And I kept trying figure out who she would be, and I remember thinking, “Oh, she’s a man, she’s actually a man.” And she can unzip it at the top of her head, and pull it down her back.  And I’d been thinking this for a while, but acting totally normal towards my mom, I remember like, she’d take me to school and everything would be fine.  But then, I would just, in the back of my head, I’d be thinking, “I wonder if she’s not who she says she is…”

So, she tucked me into bed one night, and I remember thinking that I had figured it out, I remember thinking that [giggling] my Mom was actually Joe Pesci, all dressed up in my Mom’s skin, like a costume.  And I don’t know if I was influenced too much by Home Alone, or what… But anyway, she was tucking me in, and I remember, she was kind of going through a rough time in her life, and I looked at her, and I go, “Mom, take your mask off.”  And it took like, all the courage in me to say it, because I was sure that she was going to, like, unzip her head off. And she just, hugged me good night, and then she went and she called her friend and was just like “Oh my gosh, I just had a really profound moment with my daughter, I felt like she just saw straight through me, and knew that I wasn’t being true to myself!”  So, she didn’t tell me that until years later.  But, um, I do remember feeling rather confused, and frightened.

But I remember being really nervous to talk to her about it, because I sincerely believed that she was not who she said she was.  So I think I brought it up several times afterwards, being like, “Do you think that what you look like, is really who you are?”  But again, she kept thinking that these were just like really profound statements for a little kid to make.

I just remember certain times, like, eating breakfast, I have my little bowl of oatmeal in my kitchen, just thinking so strongly, like, “Who is she really, who is that really?”  It didn’t occur to me how weird it would be that that would be Joe Pesci, but for some reason that just stuck in my mind.  Maybe Joe was jealous of my Mom, so he dressed in her suit?  And I was really in to Home Alone for a while, and maybe because he was the bad guy in that, that his face just suck in my mind?  And he’s pretty small… I remember thinking, he easily could have put on stilts, or like, added parts to himself… I don’t know what was wrong with me, I really don’t.

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4 Responses to “The Fear Project: My Mother was Joe Pesci”

  1. jhistorian said

    This is definitely one of the best ones.

  2. Lynne said

    Did I ever hear you tell that one? Because it sounds really familiar.

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