A Mixed Blessing

It was a steamy first date, kiss and night; its fifty shades of juicy detail would make a novel series.

“Seems we’re a couple. It’s time to start revealing some of my dark secrets,” I tell her a month later.

“I enthusiastically agree, on both. Any cherished perversions?” she says.

“I’m turned on beyond sanity when I kiss you.”

“I remember just purple-hazily… Thanks for telling me. Anything more on your perv shortlist?”

“One more thing. I write. Sometimes, or oftentimes.”

“Like presentations slides? Or, romantic-explicit text massages to me, having various sliding meanings?”

“On the top of non-fiction texting, I also write fiction.”

“Like fictitious text messages?” she asks, in a broken voice.

“Not at all;” I give her a deep kiss of deep consolation, “rather, short stories and novels.”

“What’s special about that?”

“Some parts of it; a sex scene or ten.”

“Like, body parts kissed all over and all under?” she asks, back in her over-the-moon voice.

“Partly. Please don’t start telling your mom, grannies, and everybody we know.”

“Deal! I prefer practice to writings,” she says, and gives me a French kiss.

* * *

Nights, weeks, and years slide by, some in writing, some in practice. One day she says,

“I think I’ll hit upon a new mental challenge for Mom, to give some exciting exercise to her brain, and to prevent it from ageing. You know, atop of all the usual retirement stuff…”

“Like crosswords, Sudoku, and genealogy?”

“Something more, to keep her going and make her feel smart and indispensable.”

“Wait, didn’t you mention the other day that she loved languages?”

“Yes.”

“I keep receiving spam about translator work: Keep your slippers and PJ on, while working over the Internet. Etc. Ad lib. Ad naus.”

“Fun idea. I’ve three search engines in my purse.”

“It’s googleworthy, even on slow purse gadgets.”

“Now listen!” She reads aloud, “Earn big bucks while sipping coffee on your veranda. Choose a specialty, language, and work volume that suites you, on a text-by-text basis. Register NOW!”

“Email her the link.”

“Done. Welcome to the blessings of the realtime economy, Ma.”

“The mixed blessings of,” I add, for some reason.

Nights, weeks, and years slide by, in writing, language practice, and other practice.

* * *

Two years later, she brings a printed tantric scene full of kisses, weird metaphors, and questionmarks scribbled in red. On top of that, the scene reads eerily familiar to me…

“I remember you loved languages; any French-translation hints on this, for Mom? She gets most of the Sanskrit, but not the sexual anatomy…”

Frankly, I’ve never penetrated French deeper than the vital basics of amour, embrasser, baiser, and danger des avalanches.

“What’s the deal,” I say, “they’ll just send a translation draft to the author via his agent, and ask for comments.”

“Or, address the author directly?”

“No need to; in fact, you’re doing it right now.”

“Didn’t I tell you translations were a fun idea,” she says, laughing, and demonstrating what embrasser et baiser mean.

“Didn’t I tell you realtime business was a mixed blessing? Now, don’t tell your mom who’s the author.”

“I won’t. But, in private ways, I’ll make you stand for what you’ve written,” she says, giving me a more hands-on demonstration, “and by the way, guess why she chose this particular text?”

“To brush up her Sanskrit and red-questionmark scribbling?”

“Plus, the flame of her first university years was a young tantric yogi.”

She tells me a long, ananda-ending, yoga name; eerily familiar, too.

“Lucky then-young woman. And by the way, lucky my first yoga teacher…” I say.

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