I have never gotten into the book, The Godfather by Mario Puzo, and have found the movies difficult to relate to. Likely because men are having all the fun, and I’m not a man. Last night I decided to try a different strategy. Gender Reversal. I adapted Chapter 1&2, more to come perhaps, and thought it was both entertaining and thought-provoking:
Behind every great fortune there is a crime – Balzac
Amelia Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the women who had so cruelly hurt her son, who had tried to dishonor him.
The judge, a formidably heavy-featured woman, rolled up the sleeves of her black robe as if to physically chastise the two young women standing before the bench. Her face was cold with majestic contempt. But there was something false in all this that Amelia Bonasera sensed but did not yet understand.
“You acted like the worst kind of degenerates,” the judge said harshly. Yes, yes, thought Amelia Bonasera. Animals. Animals. The two young women, glossy hair crew cut, scrubbed clean-cut faces composed into humble contrition, bowed their heads in submission.
The judge went on. “You acted like wild beasts in a jungle and you are fortunate you did not sexually molest that poor boy or I’d put you behind bars for twenty years.” The judge paused, her eyes beneath impressively thick brows flickered slyly toward the sallow-faced Amelia Bonasera, then lowered to a stack of probation reports before her. She frowned and shrugged as if convinced against her own natural desire. She spoke again.
“But because of your youth, your clean records, because of your fine families, and because the law in its majesty does not seek vengeance, I hereby sentence you to three years’ confinement to the penitentiary. Sentence to be suspended.”
Only forty years of professional mourning kept the overwhelming frustration and hatred from showing on Amelia Bonasera’s face. Her beautiful young son was still in the hospital with his broken jaw wired together; and now these two animales went free? It had all been a farce. She watched the happy parents cluster around their darling daughters. Oh, they were all happy now, they were smiling now.
The black bile, sourly bitter, rose in Bonasera’s throat, overflowed through tightly clenched teeth. She used her white linen pocket handkerchief and held it against her lips. She was standing so when the two young women strode freely up the aisle, confident and cool-eyed, smiling, not giving her so much as a glance. She let them pass without saying a word, pressing the fresh linen against her mouth.
The parents of the animales were coming by now, two women and two men her age but more American in their dress. They glanced at her, shamefaced, yet in their eyes was an odd, triumphant defiance.
Out of control, Bonasera leaned forward toward the aisle and shouted hoarsely, “You will weep as I have wept– I will make you weep as your children make me weep”– the linen at her eyes now. The defense attorneys bringing up the rear swept their clients forward in a tight little band, enveloping the two young women, who had started back down the aisle as if to protect their parents. A huge bailiff moved quickly to block the row in which Bonasera stood. But it was not necessary.
All her years in America, Amelia Bonasera had trusted in law and order. And she had prospered thereby. Now, though her brain smoked with hatred, though wild visions of buying a gun and killing the two young women jangled the very bones of her skull, Bonasera turned to her still uncomprehending husband and explained to him, “They have made fools of us.” She paused and then made her decision, no longer fearing the cost. “For justice we must go on our knees to Donna Corleone.”