by Sarah Grutas
When I was a kid, my mum who was a professional SCUBA diver would always be away on diving trips. I wouldn’t see her for months on end; when she would finally come home, she’d bring me paperback novels.
The earliest memory I have of her giving me a book was when I was six—maybe seven—years old. She brought home Carol Burnett’s A Little Princess. It was a small book, one that could easily fit in my pocket. But it was a hundred pages long, a bit hard for a little kid to read.
I do not remember my mum ever reading me stories in bed. I only remember her giving me books, which, looking back now, I realize, was a kind of atonement for the days she’d chosen not to be with me.
My relationship with my mum would go through a lot of ups and downs. I would grow up to be a voracious reader and an extremely insecure person. Even now, as an adult, I read because it is in books that I can make sense, and in the end, make peace of my perpetual loneliness. ☁