My Oedipus Complex by Frank Connor

My Oedipus Complex by Frank Connor

Childhood is a period when any person thinks he is the most important man in the world. Of course, everyone must fulfill his wishes, especially his parents. But Larry cannot make the parents behave as he wants. His father is a military man. He is hardly ever at home. Sometimes the child wakes up in the middle of the night and sees his father in military clothes standing near the bed. A man always comes into the house and leaves silently, early in the morning or late in the evening. He often smokes a pipe that smells unusual. When father comes home – he leaves interesting things there: cartridges or knives. Mom allows the child to play with these things. The war is a quiet time for this child. When he wakes up in the morning, the windows of the room look east and he sees the sunrise.

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My Oedipus Complex by Frank Connor

When you are aged about five or six; you are the most important person in your world and, naturally, you expect your parents to understand this and to follow your wishes in everything.

But young Larry has a lot of trouble getting his parents to behave in the right way…

My Oedipus Complex by Frank Connor

Father was in the army all through the war – the First World War, I mean – so up to the age of five, I never saw much of him, and what I saw did not worry me. Sometimes I woke and there was a big figure in uniform staring down at me. Sometimes in the early morning, I heard the front door bang and heavy footsteps marching away down the street. These were Father’s entrances and exits. Like Santa Claus, he came and went mysteriously.

In fact, I rather liked his visits, although there wasn’t much room between Mother and him when I got into the big bed in the early morning. He smoked a pipe, which gave him a pleasant smell, and shaved, an interesting activity I had never seen before. Each time he left a few more souvenirs behind – buttons and knives and used bullets – packed carefully away in a box. When he was away, Mother used to let me play with these things. She didn’t seem to think as highly of them as he did.

The war was the most peaceful time of my life. The window of my room faced southeast. I always woke at first light, and felt I was rather like the sun, ready to light up the world and be happy. Life never seemed so simple and clear and full of possibilities as then. I put my feet out from under the blankets – I called them Mrs Left and Mrs Right – and invented situations for them. They discussed what Mother and I should do during the day, what Santa Claus should give me for Christmas, and what steps should be taken to brighten the home. There was that little matter of the baby, for example. Mother and I could never agree about that. Ours was the only house in the road without a new baby, and Mother said we couldn’t afford one until Father came back from the war, because they were expensive. That showed how silly she was being. The Geneys up the road had a new baby, and everyone knew they didn’t have much money. It was probably a cheap baby, and Mother wanted something really good, but I felt she was being too choosy. The Geneys’ baby would have been fine for us….

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