Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Story: The Mediator

When Harold was born he did not like what he saw of life on the outside. It was cold, filled with unpleasant sounds, and looked like just about everything could be painful. So he asked his mother if he return back inside her.

Harold’s mother was a highly qualified mediator. She wanted to deny him but that would be rejecting her own child at birth; furthermore, she could not deny ownership of aspects of the situation. So she let him back in, deciding to draw on her extensive professional experience to help them both adjust.

However, Harold was not interested in adjusting. Once inside, he had every reason to stay and none to leave: it was safe, warm and nurturing. His mother was reluctant to pressure him to go out in the world, given the boundaries which she had helped establish.

Space problems were common during his early childhood, given he had all the usual toys. As there was only so much room, there was no place for siblings, but his mother did not mind that too much as she felt she already had enough on her hands. Family friends spoke quietly about strains on the marriage, but Harold’s father was a remarkably patient man.

Time went by. Soon Harold was about to turn twenty-one. His mother, ever the professional, had planned for the moment: "I love you very much," she told him after he blew out the candles on the birthday cake, “but isn’t it time you went out on your own and started seeing other people?"

Harold continued to be reluctant, but she insisted. They talked through their situation in regular sessions mediated by one of her colleagues. Eventually Harold built up the confidence to go outside and, after a whirlwind courtship, found the girl of his dreams.

After the marriage ceremony there were some difficulties when Harold and his new bride Sylvia first moved in. There was nowhere for her furniture. But eventually they all did settle down to live normal lives, except perhaps for Harold’s mother, who did not get around much anymore.

Victor Schwartzman

No comments: