My mother was seldom funny. Sure, she had a sense of humor. She laughed at jokes and funny incidents. But she never shared jokes or light stories. When we were kids, Mother painted her bedroom black, hung heavy curtains over the windows, and closed the door.
I recall stepping into the bedroom one day. I scanned the dark walls, finding only a knife-blade of light where the curtains remained slightly parted at the middle. Rather than feeling drawn to the light, I felt the darkness sucking at me.
Not long after that, we ended up living with my grandparents.
I didn’t understand the darkness then.
I don’t understand it now.