All Our Monsters Are Human

The streets of Manhattan, constantly in the shadow of the towers in more ways than one. Here is where all Mage scenes and glimpses go.

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All Our Monsters Are Human

Post#1 » November 26th, 2016, 11:01 pm

November 9, 2016

She noticed the older woman in the back of the lecture hall at the beginning of the class but ignored her for the next fifty-five minutes as she went about the motions of actually teaching the class. Some of the Freshmen were depressed, others were angry, and a few were happy but that minority of students kept their smiles to themselves. There were no questions about the election during the class, it was Psychology 101 rather than the Social Psychology class she would be teaching tomorrow afternoon, and that seemed fine with just about everyone. The lecture was about Behaviorism vs a more Cognitive approach in the methodology of Psychology, with a five minute aside on Chomsky's famous review of Skinner's Verbal Behavior. She focused on the hard facts and selected her examples from recent history rather than recent events.

When the class was over the Freshmen filed out rather quickly. She had managed to engage them but once the last powerpoint slide was over the cold reality of life outside of this classroom and the halls surrounding it came back into focus. Few had the energy for an extra question or two from the yawns they were now displaying.

The professor was packing up her laptop when the older woman approached the front of the room. They looked alike, more than either of them would have ever admitted, and both displayed a similar awkwardness as they each waited for the other to fire the first shot.

They had been alone in the lecture hall for a couple of minutes when the younger woman, the professor, had finished packing up her shoulder bag and moved to leave the room.

"So you are just going to ignore me?"

The professor stopped in her tracks with a loud sigh. "What do you want me to do? Pick another fight?"

The shoulders of the older woman slumped and it was her turn to sigh. "We got along at James' wedding."

"I had time to prepare for that, like most family events. This is my life, an average class on an average Wednesday, Well maybe not an average Wednesday but still my life."

The older woman crossed her arms. "Oh which I am a part."

"I believe that is my decision."

"I'm your mother."

"A fact of which you always remind me of just before you inform me that I am doing something wrong."

"Well I just want what's best for you. You're such a brilliant girl, you could be so much more than a mere professor if you had the ambition. The right husband, the right job, the right contacts and you could be someone."

The young woman made silent eye contact with the older woman and after a rather tense ten seconds it was the latter who broke her gaze first. The professor stayed silent, her brown eyes flaring in anger.

"I'm sorry, that was --"

"Utterly uncalled for."

The older woman lowered her eyes to the ground. "I'm sorry."

"I am fast approaching the point where I might reply to that with 'I don't care'." The professor shook her head. "I have tried to play nice, I have tried to hold my tongue, I have tried to forgive but we always end up back at this moment."

"I've made mistakes but they were made because I care about you."

The professor dismissed the words with a casual wave of her hand. "That's what you've always said." She offered a bitter laugh. "You know after two Christmases and Jamie's Wedding I thought we had come to an understanding, a lasting truce, on our long term issues. You'd finally accepted that I was living my life on my terms and I had finally fully rejoined the family. So what is this then? A new declaration of war?"

"I don't want to fight."

"You could have fooled me."

"I -- I just sat there watching you lecture and you seemed so confident and all of their eyes were on you and I wanted you to be more." Firinn attempted to respond but her mother stopped her with a gesture to allow her to finish. "I always knew that you could be anything and in that moment watching you I became angry at you because you were you instead of who i selfishly wanted you to be."

The younger woman suppressed a laugh and rubbed her face. "You're mad because I'm never going to run for President?" She didn't suppress the next laugh. "Duel-Citizenship but not natural born, couldn't run if I wanted to."

"Well not President, maybe Prime Minister. Some place where you could change the world for the better."

"I am doing that right here." She caught herself before she said more. "It might not be seen yet but my research will help a lot of people around the world." The Professor sighed. "I'll never end up on legal tender but I can live with that." That got a smile from the older woman. "So what is wrong?"

"I am in town with your grand parents for the victory celebration. I've always dreamed of seeing a woman elected President."

"Well don't blame me, I voted for her. I would have preferred to vote for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren but beggars and choosers."

"I'm not blaming you, I'm blaming Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania."

"How are they holding up?"

"Better than I am, of course they are of that damned generation that has weathered everything from the Nixon years to walking to school uphill both ways in snow all year round." Finally they both smiled at the same time. "If you are free for dinner, they would love to see you. They didn't want to bother you, figured that you would be busy teaching."

Firinn nodded. "I will make time tonight."

"I am sure that they will understand if you are busy."

"Just some marking, it will still be there tomorrow morning." The younger woman took a few steps towards her mother and put a hand on her shoulder.

"Just like America?"

"Oh hell no, Trump's regressive supporters need to be fought tooth and nail every day after he's swore into office lest they roll back Women's and LGBT rights or attempt to register Muslims or built the Bloody Rio Grande Wall. Or worse." That got a grin from the older woman. "We'll get a woman in the White House someday and someday sooner rather than later."

The older woman hugged the younger one. The younger woman looked slightly uncomfortable but still managed a pat or two on the older woman's back.
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