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Taboo: A Memoir
By Tom Hathaway
A true story of mother / son incest that lasted 35 years;
A unique drama that includes a justifiable homicide of the father.
Foreword & first three chapters
I’ve had an unusual life, and now that the unusual part of it is sadly over, I feel the need to communicate it to others, although doing so will expose me to risk. My mother’s and my memoir is sure to offend, even enrage, some people because it challenges a deep-seated phobia in our culture. The forces of repression and shame are strong, both within us and in the self-appointed watchdogs of our society who want to prevent change.
The love affair we enjoyed contradicts the establishment dogma that all incest is sick, dangerous, perverted, sinful. Although it had its stresses, this relationship was the right path for us, a powerful bond of mutual devotion and commitment and a radical opposition to patriarchy. We discovered that other people too are daring this forbidden love.
The reactionaries view this as a great threat. They know the next and most fundamental stage of the sexual revolution is beginning, and they are trying to stop it with scare stories and punishment, just as they tried in years past against masturbation, oral sex, premarital sex, and homosexuality.
These guardians of the status quo use the very real danger of child molesting to generate hysteria and blanketly condemn all incest. I agree with them that child molesting is inexcusable. Adults can do great harm to children by sexually aggressing them. Children aren’t autonomous yet, they’re not fully formed, so having sex with a grown up, especially a parent, can make too deep an imprint on them.
Incest between consenting adults, however, is a different issue, one of personal freedom, really no one else’s business, especially now that birth control has removed the genetic risk. Once we get over the superstitious dread, it becomes another private preference, an activity that will appeal to some people and not to others. As with many matters, we can live and let live, love and let love.
An ancient myth is about to be exposed. As this boogie man fades away, we humans may learn to accept our basic but currently banned urge.
What you are about to read is the story of two people, both of legal age, discovering an irresistible attraction for each other. In short, a love story.
I have tried to reconstruct the past as vividly as I can, to preserve it in my memory now that I no longer have her.
“Do you want to go to the Rolling Stones concert tonight?” my mother asked with a smile. She stood in our living room, just home from work, holding two tickets in her hand. Long auburn hair cascaded over her boldly colored blouse. Tight jeans tapered down above a pair of leather sandals.
“Well…uh…who with?” I replied cautiously.
“With me, you toad. Isn’t that good enough?” She slapped me with the tickets.
“Hmm…I guess…yeah, OK,” I said in my teenage mumble. I loved the Stones and had never seen them live, but the idea of going with mom wasn’t a thrill.
Diana’s pert, lively face fell into a disappointed frown. “You don’t seem excited.” Her small white teeth sank into her crimson-colored lower lip.
She snapped the tickets into her purse. “I can go with someone else.”
“No, it’ll be fun.” I backpedaled, not wanting to miss out on the concert. “It’s just that….”
“Yeah, I know. Mom’s a drag.” She understood me so well that I couldn’t hide anything from her. I was eighteen and she was thirty-six, but in some ways she was as much of a teenager as I was. Most of my friends’ parents seemed to have forgotten what it was like to be young, but she remembered.
“Well…uh….” I groped for words. There was no point in lying. She could always tell.
“You want to go or not?” Diana put her hands on her hips and raised an eyebrow in a way that said, Don’t jerk me around.
“Sure. It should be cool,” I said, getting more enthused. “Where’d you get the tickets?”
I could tell by her quick smile she was glad I wanted to go. “Allen at work gave them to me. We were going to go together, but one of his cases fell apart. Witness disappeared. So he has to stay late and track him down.”
My mother had been dating one of the other lawyers in the Public Defender’s office. I thought he was square, with his crew cut, tab collar, and Hubert Humphrey for President button. Mom—with her long hair, peasant blouses, and Angela Davis for President button—thought so too but said he was an “OK guy” and they were “just friends.”
“The Stones will be groovy,” I said. “Let’s do it.”
This was 1968; change was everywhere in the air; even our hometown of Denver wasn’t dull anymore. It seemed that music, protest, and free expression would soon create a very different world. Each day brought new possibilities.
Diana let me drive her VW Beetle to the concert. She sat beside me and tried not to be a front-seat gaziantep escort bayan driver.
The concert was one of those Happenings that haven’t been duplicated since that era. The crowd was half the show, all these new freaks with their long-suppressed weirdnesses coming out, finally able to show their hidden sides, still tender and fresh. Everyone greeted one another with open, accepting eyes. The mood was peace and love, but spiced with the high-energy mania that the Stones do so well. Mick pranced around in tight pants showing off his buns and singing, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”
I could identify with that. I was still a virgin, which is now a rarity but back then was a normal teenage affliction. Although curious and eager, I had so far been unsuccessful in convincing any of the fair sex to share theirs with me. The music roused my frustrated lust.
The crowd was awash in marijuana smoke. People were passing around an endless stream of joints and offering tabs of acid. Diana and I declined the LSD but toked on the grass pretty heavy. We had both smoked before but never together. She hadn’t wanted to encourage me, but here it was unavoidable. It was also super strong, a blend called M&Ms, Michoacán mixed with mescaline into a psychedelic cocktail that took us high-higher-highest. We floated through the rhythms and melodies as if they were the protoplasm of our cells. The music, the whole universe even, seemed to be coming from inside us. We found ourselves holding hands, overwhelmed. After the last encore, Mick mooned the crowd and scampered off.
Royally stoned, neither of us could drive, so we rolled home in a cab and headed straight for the fridge, munched out on rocky road ice cream. We were having a great time, giggling like kids, more relaxed and free than we’d been around each other in years. We were really whacked out of our skulls.
We started talking about the great songs they didn’t play, and dragged out their records. Soon the stereo was blasting. The Stones’ music is, of course, solid sex, the lyrics and beat obsessed with Eros. That made us more nervous here alone than it had at the concert. Since it’d been a sit-down event with no dancing, we had a pent-up need to move and burn off tension.
While Mick sang, “Let’s spend the night together,” we kicked off our shoes and boogied around the living room, both of us in jeans and multi-colored shirts. We didn’t have the same dancing style, and we were too bombed to be very coordinated, but that didn’t matter. The important thing was to have fun shaking it to the music.
At first we were each more into ourselves, woozily bopping and grooving. Then our eyes met more often and we started getting into dance as communication between us. We laughed and did little routines together, twirling around, bumping shoulders. She flipped her auburn ponytail in my face. Each time we looked at each other, so many emotions poured between our wide-open pupils: shyness, apologies for old hurts and harsh words, fear, nameless yearnings, defiance, and strongest of all—love.
The slow tempo of “No Expectations” brought us into a ballroom pose, like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. With me a millimeter taller, we glided around trying to be elegant, but she hiccuped from having eaten the ice cream too fast, and we broke up. While Mick crooned, “Never in my sweet short life have I felt like this before,” I held her manfully and bent her down into a low dip, my leg between hers. I could feel her warm midsection pressing against me and see the bulge of her breasts beneath her Mexican blouse. I almost dropped her, but managed to raise her back up. She must’ve felt something in my middle too, because she skittered away.
The next song caught her, though, and we were off on a fast one. To not fixate on her jiggling chest, I focused on her eyes. They were the same shade of brown as mine, but seemed flecked with sparkling gold.
With the psychedelic vision, it was as if I could see into her personality, all the churn of her thoughts and emotions, and then beneath that even to her soul. Before, I’d just seen her as Mom…or a Lawyer. Now I could look through that surface to her feminine essence—the most beautiful and desirable woman I’d ever imagined. Her female core drew me like a magnet.
I could tell from her surprised, embarrassed glances that she was seeing me as a man.
We played eye games, staring into each other’s and dancing closer and closer as if hypnotized, until it got too intense and we darted away. Finally we found ourselves just standing there two inches apart gazing into each other through a great silence. The song was over and we weren’t dancing.
The next cut snapped us out of our reverie, and we were off again. “You’re ten thousand light years from home,” Brian Jones sang. As we danced, we continued watching each other. It was as if we were each the first human being the other had laid eyes on. We were similar but different, familiar yet strange. Our seeking eyes glided over skin, taking the other in.
When the record escort bayan gaziantep ended, I needed to look at something else, so nervously I picked up one of the jackets, Between the Buttons. The title seemed hilarious, and I cracked up, laughing to relieve the strain.
She came over to see and thought it was funny too. We pointed at the musicians’ pictures set into flowers and giggled together.
“Between the buttons,” I said. “What do you have between your buttons?” It seemed witty, and she reached out and tickled my tummy between my shirt buttons. We were blushing and our looks had turned daring. I tickled her in return, along her ribs then under her arms, and she squirmed and shrieked. We were both so tripped out that we did things we normally wouldn’t’ve let ourselves even think about.
“The buttons!” I intoned in a mock basso voice. “What’s between your buttons?” We stood close together panting with laughter. I touched her embroidered blouse and stretched my fingers between its wooden buttons as if measuring. A button came open and my hand kept going, into the soft fullness of her bra.
At that touch, every cell of my skin came alive, my breath hung suspended, and a different music drummed in my mind. I touched more, ran my hands over her luscious mounds. The other buttons came undone. “What do you have—?”
“Whoa, you!” she cut me off and backed away on unsteady legs, rebuttoning her blouse. “Put on something a little quieter.” Mom turned away and looked at the record rack. As she bent over to pull out an LP, her jeans stretched around her curvy bottom.
I forced a laugh to make it seem this was still just a game and pulled the tails of her blouse out from her jeans. She jerked up, turned around with a reprimanding but amused look, and waggled her finger at me. “OK…stop now.”
“Only if you give me a kiss,” I insisted, trying to sound playful.
Diana puckered her full lips into a little moue, then began laughing through her nose, which made her sneeze. I lurched into her, held her in my arms, kissed her cheek, then her lips. She didn’t return the kiss but let me continue. I brushed my lips gently over hers, trying to recall all my limited make-out skills. I slipped one hand under her blouse and up her back.
She broke the kiss. “Enough of that! Let’s—”
I quieted her by covering her crimson lips again with mine. Hers now responded just the tiniest bit, and we kissed each other hesitantly, exploring these lips that we knew so well but not in this way. Inside each of us a voice was screaming, No! But another voice—long buried and now stronger—was screaming, Yes! We were awkward, as if we’d both forgotten how to kiss and were reinventing it. We nibbled at each other curiously, and I rubbed the taut skin of her back.
“You won’t quit, will you,” mom said, but didn’t pull away. I remained silent, knowing talk could only distract us. Instead I drew her again into the swirl of our kisses. Her breath deepened into a sigh.
I brought my hand around to the front and petted a breast, felt her nipple under the bra, marveled as it stiffened under my touch.
“Don’t do that!” She tried to twist away, but not very much, and I held her with my other arm, kissed her again, and continued to pet.
My thoughts were chaos. What was I doing? This was mom I was groping! That’s the Big Don’t. What if somebody found out? What would the kids at school say? I must be crazy…freaking out. Quit it! But I couldn’t. A wild roaring hunger drove me on. I couldn’t bear the nylon covering her breasts. I didn’t know how to undo her bra, so I simply pulled it up. As they swung free, I plunged my hand into her soft treasures. Afraid to meet her eyes, unable to stop, I unbuttoned her blouse. There they hung: large lovely tits with nipples standing out boldly, waiting all these years for me to touch them again.
“Tommy…don’t,” Diana managed to stammer.
The sight of them chased away the last of my inhibitions. I needed them, I needed her. I pressed myself against her so our eyes wouldn’t meet and fondled them, squeezed them, stroked them. Gasping now, I pulled off her blouse and bra. They were round and magnificent, glad to be freed, not the least afraid, unlike us, who were trembling with shock. “Stop…we can’t do this,” mom said through her heavy breathing. She folded her arms over her chest.
I met her eyes long enough to see terror and desire battling within her. I kissed her, and her lips opened. I pressed deeper, and our tongues greeted each other shyly. They had never touched before, and they seemed to like it. When I pulled her arms away from her chest, she encircled my back with them.
Somehow we found the couch, and as we sank onto it, my lips moved toward her breasts. From the black tufts of her armpits came a whiff of rancid fear.
With her mouth freed she began to cry and murmur, “No…no….” She pulled at my shoulders but without strength.
I dived for the nearest nipple, a rosy beauty prickled with readiness, gaziantep escort blogu and enclosed it with my lips. I held it and loved it and sucked it, and it grew, expanding under my attention. The flesh around it became firmer and jutted towards my mouth. The most divine, remembered ambrosia flowed into me. I was filled with a wonderful calm, a knowledge that all’s right with the world. Stored up feelings came flooding back over me, and I was perfectly happy for the first time since I’d nursed there.
I opened my mouth to take in more of mother’s swelling fullness, then covered her other breast with my hand, delighting in its softest smoothness, clutching as much as I could manage. From both breasts, more billowed beyond my touch. Her bounty was greater than my grasp, and I was brought to the contentment of Plenty.
She was lying against the arm of the leather couch, sobbing and sighing, stroking my head, my back, my sides. As I continued to feed, her breathing became deep shudders. “This is wrong,” she mumbled with no conviction at all. “Please stop.”
I knew that meant she wanted me to kiss her lips again. They were feeling neglected and certainly didn’t want to be used for such silly talk.
I rose up and met her eyes just long enough to give her a look that said, Don’t even think about stopping. I plunged back into her lips, and my tongue sought hers. Diana’s responded with its own force, and the two wrestled boldly. Her breath through her nostrils grew rapid.
Being a virgin, I knew where my goal was but I wasn’t sure what it was or how to get there. I touched between her legs, and she writhed. “No!” she cried from our joined mouths and wrenched away from me.
I knew I’d made a mistake. Ignorant but running on instinct, I took my hand away from The Place, embraced her more firmly, and kissed her lips gently. At first she resisted but gradually she grew still and began returning my kisses again.
Holding her tightly with one arm to make her more willing, I rubbed the other arm down her side. When I reached the danger zone, I skipped over it and stroked her knees, then risked a bit higher on her legs. They stayed closed but they stayed there.
I brought my hand back up to her breasts, knowing they were on my side in this struggle. I petted and fondled them and dropped down to kiss them again. Why did you leave us? they seemed to accuse me.
I was worried that with her mouth uncovered she would start protesting again, but now she needed it to breathe through in long, loud pants. Eyes closed, face contorted from the battle within her, mom slipped lower onto the leather cushions. From her breasts I gazed up at her with adoration.
I rubbed slow circles down her tummy to the top of her jeans, then skipped over the narrowing danger zone to her legs and rubbed circles on the denim, which felt like sandpaper compared to the softness of her skin. I gradually edged my hand between her thighs and stroked both sides until they parted just a bit.
My hand hopped over The Place up to her abdomen and pressed the blue cotton. Diana moaned at the touch. Around to the rear, I rubbed her bottom. The tension went out of her legs and they relaxed. I moved my hand through and clasped each side where the legs joined. As I caressed her thighs, they slowly opened. Aha! It was as if I’d finally found the secret lever to swing open the gates of the Great Pyramid.
I brought my hand to the front and placed it delicately right There. She gave a cry, but it wasn’t No; she twisted, but didn’t twist away. I probed gently into her firm but yielding center and kneaded it with pulsing pressure. Heat radiated through the denim.
I opened the top button of my mother’s jeans. Her hand rose in protest, then fell limply to her side.
She’s going to let me! I get to have her!
But suddenly she doubled her knees into her chest and turned away from me in one last paroxysm of resistance. I pushed my hand through her round cheeks and clutched and rubbed her groin. I held myself close against her. Reflexively she lifted her rear to me and cried out in surrender, her voice filled with shame defeated by lust.
Mom began pulling at the top of her jeans, trying to get them off. I helped her, and we slid together onto the thick Rya rug. Her Lady Lees came off, revealing graceful legs in white underpants so sopped I thought she’d wet them. When I touched her there, though, the fluid was thick, clear, and slippery. Little hairs curled timidly out from the sides of the silk.
Years ago I’d caught a glimpse of her getting out of the shower, half covered with a towel. I’d hoarded the image in my mind, but it had faded into vagueness. Now here she was in the flesh. The beautiful expanse of Diana’s bare skin lay before me like a wonderland: the peaks of her breasts, the rippling field of her stomach, the canyon of her legs leading up to the mystery of her center, still tantalizingly covered.
“You,” she said hoarsely and began stripping me. She went right for my Lee Riders while I threw off my tie-dye shirt. On her knees, glassy-eyed, moving as if in a trance, my mother yanked my jeans off. My urgently red and swollen penis stuck out from the side of my jockey shorts pointing right at her. Panting and swallowing, lips drawn back from her teeth, she stared at its length with a mix of yearning and loathing, as if it were forcing her do something she wanted very much.
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