Family

She was so deeply embedded in my consciousness that for the first year of school I  seem to have believed that each of my teachers was my mother in disguise. As soon as the last bell had sounded, I would rush off for home, wondering as I ran if I could possibly make it to our apartment before she had succeeded in transforming herself. Invariably she was already in the kitchen by the time I arrived, and setting out my milk and cookies. Instead of causing me to give up my delusions, however, the feat merely intensified my respect for her powers. And then it was always a relief not to have caught her between incarnations anyway – even if I never stopped thinking; I knew that my father and sister were innocent of my mother’s real nature, and the burden of betrayal that I imagined would fall to me if I ever came upon the unawares was more than I wanted to bear at the age of five. I think I even feared that I might have to be done away with were I to catch sight of her flying in from school through the bedroom window, or making herself emerge, limb y limb, out of an invisible state and into her apron.

Philip Roth

Portnoy’s Complaint, 1969

Random House, 1969