The role of the writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
For the next two interviews Bast Overture, crime reporter-turned PI talks to the mother and daughter in an unsettling family situation in the short story “Unfinished Business” (from Beyond the Tripping Point, Blue Denim Press, 2012). The daughter, Trish Clark (no relation to the crazy Clarkes from the last four interviews), is 12 and curious about her mother’s background forcing her mother to face her past. Today, Bast speaks with Trish.
Trish enters the room carrying a pile of newspapers, which she places on the table. She nods at Bast, and with a comment “Have to get these ready for delivery” she hauls out a small knife and cuts the binding holding the papers together. She pulls out a small notepad from her other pocket and starts ticking off items on it.
Bast, clearing his throat: I heard you were very industrious with your paper delivery. Which newspaper is that?
Trish (looking up): The Barrie Advocate. I deliver papers throughout the north end of Barrie.
Bast: How long have you lived in Barrie?
Trish: About three years.
Bast: Where did you live before?
Trish: All over North America, sort of.
Bast: Can you be more specific?
Trish: Fine. I was born in Seattle, but Mom and I lived in Montreal, Miami, LA, Calgary, and now Barrie, Ontario.
Bast: Travelled around a lot, I see. Why is that?
Trish: At first I thought Mom was just restless and needed a change of scenery. But as I got older – I’m 12 now – (She smiles as if she’s hit a milestone) and looking back it was more than that. You see in every place we lived there was a man involved with Mom. Sometimes we lived with him and sometimes not.
Bast: I see. Did any of the men mistreat you or your Mom?
Trish: I think some took advantage of Mom. Mom is fragile. And I suppose I got mistreated by Harry in Miami. (Trish lowers her voice). He pushed snow – and I don’t mean the white wet fluffy winter stuff – up my nose. Well, that got to Mother and she moved us out of there fast. You won’t tell her I told you this? Please.
Bast: Of course not. I’m just curious why Barrie?
Trish: To be honest with you I think Mom got homesick but she didn’t really want to go back to her exact home until I pushed her to do so.
Bast: Why was this?
Trish: I wanted to know more about my background. She had already told me about the dirt-bag who was my biological father but Mom came from somewhere and I wanted to know if I had aunts and uncles and grandparents on her side.
Bast: So you goaded her back to Toronto?
Bast: Do you think she would have gone back on her own?
Trish: I don’t know. She told me afterwards that she had tried once. She went down with a girlfriend but hid down on the car floor. She couldn’t look up at the place.
Bast: I understand you had something of a wild ride into your Mom’s old neighbourhood.
Trish: Not really. Mom was driving a bit fast but I stopped her in time before she hit anything.
Bast: So, what did you think of your mother’s family home?
Trish: It’s an old bungalow. Now prime real estate…
Bast: And you know this how?
Trish: Hey I deliver the newspapers and I read the ads, including the real estate ones – well for Toronto I checked with one of the Toronto dailies online.
Bast: So, without giving away what happens at your mother’s old place, did you find it surprising or?
Trish: Not so surprising as somewhat unexpected. I knew there was something terrible in Mom’s background but I didn’t know it was that.
Bast: And when “that” showed up and came after…
Trish: I thought you said you weren’t going to give away anything that happens?
Bast: Correct. Okay, I guess readers will just have to read “Unfinished Business” in Beyond the Tripping Point. And stay tuned next post when I talk to your mother, Lilly Clark.
Trish: If she’ll come. She’s shying away from the interview but I’ll have a talk with her and tell her she has to do it. It’s part of her healing process.
Bast: Thanks, Trish. And thanks for coming today.
Trish: No problem.
You can read more about Trish Clark and her mother Lilly Clark in Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book go to http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/search/?keywords=Beyond%20the%20Tripping%20Point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.
Sharon A. Crawford will be taking Beyond the Tripping Point to several readings and even using it in a workshop she will be teaching with Brian Henry – all September events. For Sharon A.’s September 2013 gigs, go to http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html
Sharon A. Crawford