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I Value My Privacy

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My mother was in the old Communist Party during the red scare era of the 1950s. She lived with paranoia and she made sure that I did, too, even though I knew nothing about her ongoing activities in the Communist Party. In fact, I believed she had dropped out of the CP some years before I was born.

In my old age, I found out how active and involved in the CP she had been by reading some books, finding my father's file under the Freedom of Information Act and connecting a lot of my personal dots. Many things became clear to me, including the kind of conversation I relate here:

When I was in my teens, my mother would say things like this:

"On Saturday morning at 9:47 AM you were seen walking North on Vine Street half a block above Hollywood Blvd. You were wearing a blue dress and you were [i]laughing.[/i] Why were you laughing?"

I would sometimes ask, "Who saw me?"

My mother would answer, "That doesn't matter. Answer the question!"

I'd stammer, " was three days ago...I can't really re--"


"Mom, I'm not sure...I'd have to think about it..."

"[i]THINK HARD."[/i]

Then I would. I felt primal fear. Why was she talking to me as if I'd committed a crime? I'd try to remember exactly what happened and exactly what I did on Saturday morning.

"I went to a bookstore. I bought a mystery novel by Agatha Christy. Then I walked out of the bookstore...Oh, now I remember! The bookstore owner, John, told me a joke. And so I was laughing at the joke as I turned the corner and walked up the hill."

At last my mother was appeased. She would end these little interrogation sessions with these words: "Someone is [i]always[/i] watching."

And you can bet your life I believed her. She held death and primal fear in her eyes.
70-79, F
+ 2 4 replies 37 views Oct 30, 2016 |
Edited: 3 yrs ago
Fernie · F
That is quite interesting. Have you heard of The Moth Radio Hour? Google it. Your story would be perfect
greenmountaingal · 70-79, F
It took years for me to get up the nerve to post about this anonymously online. Anything else would make me sick.
However, I will Google it and check it out. Won't be going on the radio, though!
Fernie · F
@greenmountaingal: I get that. I think many of us have a story that may or may not ever come out. Good for you for having the courage to release it however you could.
That's horrible, you lived a very difficult life. However, you seem to be smart enough to still be alive, :)

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