trying not to wobble

trying not to wobble - vicki malits addesso

4 notes

Silence

She liked to tell long stories,

none of which were true.

Red was her favorite color,

but she always clung to blue.

Her thoughts were in living color

but she spoke in black & white.

She shunned the day.

She made love to the night.

She wandered, going nowhere,

never lost, never found.

Her mouth gushed awful pleasantries,

flooding silence with a filthy sound.

And then, in the darkness of a night,

longing for red but flailing in the blue,

she closed her lips & spoke one word - 

it floated free and it was true.

One word sailing through the night

to awaken the newborn day,

spoken by a silent lying woman,

was now forever all she’d ever say.

 

-vmaddesso

Filed under poem poetry silence truth lies color rhyme

2 notes

Having All The Answers (conversation)

A forty-six year old mother and her twenty year old daughter have been arguing about…something. They are standing in the kitchen. It’s ten o’clock on a Friday night. It’s summer. The dirty dinner dishes are piled up on the counter above the dishwasher. The husband/father is upstairs, taking a shower. The younger brother is watching a movie with a friend in the basement family room. The daughter is thin and tall, with long, straight dark hair. She is wearing a yellow and red tied-dyed tee-shirt and faded jeans, flat leather sandals with silver and turquoise beads across the toes. The mother is five-four, three inches shorter than her daughter. She is thin, but not as thin as her daughter. She also has long dark hair, but it is wavy. She wears khaki shorts and a brown tee-shirt. She is barefoot. The daughter is at the door, hand on the doorknob, her back to her mother, who is standing by the dishwasher. The mother looks at her daughter’s back. The argument has died down. Before she opens the door to leave, the daughter turns to look at her mother.

Daughter: I know what I’m doing.

Mother: You think you have all the answers, don’t you?

Daughter: I never said that. I never said I had all the answers.

Mother: Ah, but you don’t have to say it. I can tell by your tone of voice, that look on your face. You think your mother is stupid. You think I don’t understand what it’s like, what’s going on.

Daughter: Well, you don’t understand what it’s like to be me! You have no idea what’s going on in my life, in my mind…

Mother: Because you don’t talk to me. You grunt at me, you ignore me. I try to have conversations with you but…

Daughter: No you don’t! You talk at me. You lecture me. You never listen. You don’t hear me.

Mother: Are you crazy? You’re never home long enough for us to talk. You’re always running in and then back out. You don’t live here; you just sleep here.

Daughter: I’m busy. I have a life.

Mother: I have a life too, you know.

Daughter: Oh, yeah? Really? If you have a life, your own life, then why are you so obsessed with mine?

Mother: You’re my daughter. You’re a part of my life.

Daughter: I know. But I feel like you want to own my life, decide my life for me. You haunt me. You drive me crazy.

Mother: You don’t understand.

Daughter: You don’t understand.

Mother: I don’t. I can’t. I can’t understand everything. I just want to be able to talk to you, for you to talk to me.

Daughter: But it always ends up to be fighting.

Mother: Why?

Daughter: You’re asking me? Aren’t you supposed to have all the answers? You’re the mother, you seem to think you have all the answers, that you know what is best for me…

Mother: I don’t. I don’t have all the answers.

Daughter: Well, neither do I.

Mother: But you think you do. You look at me like I’m an idiot, like you feel sorry for me, like I’m stupid, ignorant…

Daughter: No I don’t. That’s just what you believe.

Mother: You think you know so much. You think you have all the answers.

Daughter: I do not! I don’t have all the answers! I told you that already!

Mother: No. No. You don’t have all the answers…but right now, you think you do. You don’t even realize it, but you think you do. But that’s not it. It’s not. You do think you have all the answers, but that’s because you’re so young…

Daughter: Just because I’m young doesn’t mean I don’t know things, that I can’t understand things. I’ve lived. I think. I’m not stupid.

Mother: No, no, no. That’s not what I mean! I mean, you’re young. You think you have all the answers, or…I mean, you have all the answers you want, the ones you need. Or think you need.

Daughter: I don’t, Mom. I don’t…

Mother: It’s just that you’re not old enough to have discovered the questions. You haven’t figured out which questions are the ones that need to be asked.

Daughter: I gotta go. I’m late.

Mother: You don’t know which questions are worth asking…

Daughter: *silent* 

Mother: I remember.

Daughter: *silent, looking up at the clock over the kitchen sink*

Mother: I know. I know you think you have it figured out, and I know you need to think that. I know you’re scared. I remember…

Daughter: Mom. I’m leaving. I’ll be home late. I’ll be fine.

Mother: Okay. 

Daughter: See ya.

Mother: I love you.

Daughter: I know.

Mother: Yeah. Of course you know. You know everything.

Daughter: Very funny.

Mother: Bye.

Daughter: Bye.

-vmaddesso

Filed under conversation a scene short story fiction one-act mothers and daughters parents and children questions and answers

0 notes

Notes to Herself

While working at the old house, cleaning out closets and cabinets and drawers, I found a cardboard box full of stuff that had belonged to my great-aunt, Sis. Her name was Margaret, but everyone called her Sis. There were letters from relatives and friends; birthday cards and postcards; memorial cards and prayer cards; rosary beads and several pieces of costume jewelry; photographs of nieces and nephews through the years; and so very many handwritten notes. She wrote on scraps of paper, long sheets of stationary, on the back of used envelopes, even on paper towels and napkins. She wrote lists and reminders; the names of relatives with the dates of their birth and death; short poems and stories; thank you notes to others that she either never gave to them or rewrote on another piece of paper. As I looked at these old papers, read the words she had written, I was overcome by a sense of loneliness. It was as if Aunt Sis had been longing for someone to talk to, to hear her, to listen to her. Not often having someone who would or could listen and understand, she wrote (talked) to herself. 

I kept most of the notes, taking them home to add to my own cardboard box labelled “FAMILY.” They would be valuable when I finally got around to my plan of compiling a family history. Aunt Sis was a meticulous keeper of information. But some of the notes were oddly beautiful, touching, or puzzling. A few of these I pasted into my scrapbook, and wrote on those two pages these words: “I write notes to myself. I try to remember things. And I am lonely.”

Below is an excerpt from Still Here Thinking of You~A Second Chance With Our Mothers, a collaborative memoir written by myself, Susan Hodara, Joan Potter, Lori Toppel (Big Table Publishing, 2013). I am posting it here because it tells a little bit about my Aunt Sis.

Gentle Woman

I walk through the front door of the house where I grew up, and into the familiar kitchen. Aunt Sis is sitting on an old wooden stool in the middle of the big bright room. Her hands are folded in her lap, her head is tilted back, eyes closed, her face lit by the fluorescent ceiling light. She is my mother’s aunt, eighty years old, and still her skin is silken.

“Hold still,” my mother says.

She is bending forward, leaning in close to Sis’s face, one hand on her forehead and the other guiding the razor across her aunt’s chin. There is a mint-green bath towel wrapped around Aunt Sis’s shoulders, to catch the drips from her wet and slicked-back hair. My mother must have just given her a shampoo in the sink. Her hair is glossy black with white streaks like stripes, and cut short like a man’s. The shaving cream on her chin looks like a small beard.

It’s almost six and I’ve decided to stop by on my way home from work. The apartment I live in is just ten minutes from here, and my boyfriend, Bill, whom I live with, won’t be getting home until later. I’m thinking that maybe my mother has made a dinner I can share. She looks up and smiles. 

“Hey! Nice surprise,” she says. “I have a meatloaf in the oven. Stay. Eat. It’ll be ready in about a half-hour.”

“Dad home?”

“Lying down, upstairs.”

I walk to the table, pull a chair close to where my mother is, and sit. “Hi, Sis,” I say.

“Don’t talk,” my mother tells Sis. “I don’t want to cut you.”

“Sorry,” I say.

My mother’s hand shakes. Her hands always shake, and still she is good with her hands, capable, sure of herself. She is concentrating now; she is being careful, gentle.

“How’s work?” she asks.

I tell her about the new exhibits opening at the museum and about the artists’ lecture series I’m working on for spring. When she finishes shaving Sis’s chin, she takes the towel to wipe first her own hands and then Sis’s face.

“Okay, now let’s get you upstairs and into the shower before I have to get dinner on the table,” she tells Sis.

She looks up at me. “So, are you staying? Come upstairs, we can talk more.”

My mother misses her children. She is only forty-nine and we are all out of the house. Eddie moved out first, at nineteen, into an apartment over a garage in a town nearby, where my mother goes to take care of his three cats when he’s away. Debi got married a year ago, to the boyfriend she had been living with for five years. And Terri is an hour away, living with another girl, working as a paramedic. It is a time when my mother should be free to come and go as she pleases, yet it has turned out that not only is she caring for her senile aunt who has moved in, but her mother-in-law, my widowed grandmother, is still living in the house. She has a bad heart and a frail body, and spends much of her time lying down, but her mind is quick and her will formidable.

Sis stands and walks toward the staircase in the foyer. She is tall, with the straight and strong back of a much younger woman. My mother likes to say that if you took Sis’s healthy body and my grandmother’s sharp mind, you’d end up with one whole person.

“How are you doing, Sis?” I ask, following her, and she smiles and keeps walking, repeating in a singsong voice, “Fine and dandy, fine and dandy.”

The three of us climb the steps and go into Sis’s bedroom. As my mother helps Sis out of her clothes and into her robe, I sit on the bed and look away. There are rosary beads of clear-cut crystal with a silver chain and cross on the nightstand, and a small black and-white photograph in an old brass frame–a middle-aged Sis with my mother and her sister as children.

She walks Sis down the hall to the bathroom. “Now remember to wash good,” she says. “Get under your arms and between your legs. I’m going to come in and check and I want to see you soapy. Don’t just stand in there daydreaming.”

While Sis showers, my mother and I sit on the bed to talk. I can smell the meatloaf baking in the oven and I feel hungry. She is asking me if Bill and I have had any more conversations about getting married.

“You know, I told him to please make me a mother-in-law before making me a grandmother.”

“Don’t worry,” I tell her, knowing, but not saying, that becoming a mother is the farthest thing from my mind.

“I’ll be right back,” she says, as she pats my knee and gets up to check on Aunt Sis.

My stomach growls. I am looking forward to the meatloaf.

www.stillherethinkingofyou.com

-vmaddesso

Filed under prose memoir short story loneliness writing memories family

1 note

CLEANING THE OLD HOUSE

I wasn’t exaggerating about the duct tape; my father even used it in his gardening. As the lilac bushes bloomed in the spring and became top-heavy, he’d wrap the tall stems together with the tape. This way they didn’t bend over and snap. I wonder if the house will sell before they bloom again.

After meeting with the realtor and going through the house with her, we realized we had a lot of work ahead of us. So I went by yesterday morning before work, intending to drop off a few empty cardboard boxes for packing and large trash bags for the stuff we would be throwing away.

I put the boxes and bags in the dining room and then I pulled a chair into the kitchen, climbed up on it, and started taking down all the pot holders Mom had tacked up on the walls. I should have counted them. My guess is she had twenty up there. She used them as decorations. They had flowers and vegetables embroidered on them. They’d been up there, along the top of the wall, above the cabinets, for so long. They were grimy and dusty and greasy. As I was piling them on the dining room table Debi walked in. She’d also decided come over to start on the cleanup. She grabbed a trash bag, shook it open, and slid the potholders off the table into the bag.

“You don’t want these, do you?” she asked.
“Nope,” I said.

The two of us continued to work on the kitchen walls. My mother was a clutterer. Knick-knacks everywhere. Not one wall in that house has more than a few inches of naked space. And shelves, windowsills, end tables, any flat surface - covered. She loved to go to garage sales and flea markets and craft fairs and bring home more stuff. Most of it was junk. She didn’t care. To her it was cute or pretty or funny, and that’s all that mattered. The only problem was all that junk collected dust, and Mom did not like to spend much time cleaning. The house always looked neat, and it was always welcoming and homey, but if you looked closely, you could see the layers of dust building up, growing denser as time passed. 

After Mom died, my father became a very good housekeeper. He developed a routine and schedule for his dusting and vacuuming. Just like when Mom was alive, the house appeared neat and clean. But by this point, the crust of dust on all the knick-knacks had become a thick shroud. My father’s surface cleaning wasn’t enough to wipe it away. So everything stayed where she had put it, and he’d run a dust cloth around it all, and be satisfied.

Debi and I laughed as we took things off the walls and tabletops and shelves and windowsills. We laughed at the ghostly imprints left behind. A donut where a wreath of dried flowers had been. When we removed a narrow display shelf from the dining room wall, there appeared the silhouette of an erect penis. Flowers pots stuck to the windowsills and had to be pried off. We’d hold up each object, like a game of show and tell, and ask “Do you want this?” Nine times out of ten the answer would be “no.”

I did want the crystals that Mom had hung with lace ribbon in the dining room window. Debi said, “Fine, they’re yours.” I had bought them for my mother. Going through the dining room and living room I came across other knick-knacks that I’d given to her. A birdcage, made of wood, just for decoration. Victorian-looking, painted a pale blue, with pink rose decals along the wider bars. I remember loving it when I bought it for her. I must have been a teenager. I don’t think she liked it very much, though she wouldn’t have told me that. I just sensed it.

Many of the gifts I gave my mother were, in her eyes, strange. Like the crystals. Things I liked. I had moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, when I was nineteen - to live in an urban commune (and that is another story in itself) - and stayed there a year. When I came home at Christmas time, I gave her a huge box wrapped in newspaper. She looked so excited when she saw it and I was so happy to be giving it to her. She looked like a little kid opening it. But then I knew. I saw her face: her disappointment. Well, maybe it was more confusion, puzzlement. I had bought her a model of a colonial tall sailing ship. I had thought she would go crazy for it, but when I saw her looking at it, I realized I had no idea why I thought she’d want something like that. It became the perfect dust collector. Mom put it on the corner shelf in the dining room, a very prominent position, and it sat there for years. I do remember when she finally got rid of it. My nephew Billy was a toddler and he’d cry to play with it, and so she would take it down for him. Soon the strings holding the sails together were broken, the sails themselves in tatters, and now she had a good excuse. “I’m so sorry, but I think I have to throw this out. I’m afraid Billy will get a splinter or poke his eye on one of the sticks from the sails.”

So Debi and I were working and laughing and packing things in boxes and putting things in the trash bags when my cell phone rang. It was my boss. “What happened?” she asked. I told her I’d stopped by the house and got caught up in some reminiscing and she was fine with that and understood. I have a very nice boss. 

“I’m going to stay for awhile. Try to get more work done,” Debi said. “If I think there’s anything you might want to keep I’ll put it aside.”

“No. Don’t bother. I don’t want anything. But maybe Eddie or Terri will want some stuff.”

“I’m not putting any of the trash bags or boxes outside yet anyway. I’ll wait until they have time to look through everything.”


“Good idea,” I said. And as I was driving to work I thought about some of the junk we’d packed up and put in bags. I started thinking that maybe I could find a spot for the giant duck - or maybe it’s a goose - cookie jar. Or the paint-by-number “tapestry” of a red barn that my mother had done. She wrote the year on the back, 1966. The frame is broken, but I could fix that. When I have time to get over there again I’ll take a second look.
-vmaddesso

CLEANING THE OLD HOUSE

I wasn’t exaggerating about the duct tape; my father even used it in his gardening. As the lilac bushes bloomed in the spring and became top-heavy, he’d wrap the tall stems together with the tape. This way they didn’t bend over and snap. I wonder if the house will sell before they bloom again.

After meeting with the realtor and going through the house with her, we realized we had a lot of work ahead of us. So I went by yesterday morning before work, intending to drop off a few empty cardboard boxes for packing and large trash bags for the stuff we would be throwing away.

I put the boxes and bags in the dining room and then I pulled a chair into the kitchen, climbed up on it, and started taking down all the pot holders Mom had tacked up on the walls. I should have counted them. My guess is she had twenty up there. She used them as decorations. They had flowers and vegetables embroidered on them. They’d been up there, along the top of the wall, above the cabinets, for so long. They were grimy and dusty and greasy. As I was piling them on the dining room table Debi walked in. She’d also decided come over to start on the cleanup. She grabbed a trash bag, shook it open, and slid the potholders off the table into the bag.

“You don’t want these, do you?” she asked.

“Nope,” I said.

The two of us continued to work on the kitchen walls. My mother was a clutterer. Knick-knacks everywhere. Not one wall in that house has more than a few inches of naked space. And shelves, windowsills, end tables, any flat surface - covered. She loved to go to garage sales and flea markets and craft fairs and bring home more stuff. Most of it was junk. She didn’t care. To her it was cute or pretty or funny, and that’s all that mattered. The only problem was all that junk collected dust, and Mom did not like to spend much time cleaning. The house always looked neat, and it was always welcoming and homey, but if you looked closely, you could see the layers of dust building up, growing denser as time passed. 

After Mom died, my father became a very good housekeeper. He developed a routine and schedule for his dusting and vacuuming. Just like when Mom was alive, the house appeared neat and clean. But by this point, the crust of dust on all the knick-knacks had become a thick shroud. My father’s surface cleaning wasn’t enough to wipe it away. So everything stayed where she had put it, and he’d run a dust cloth around it all, and be satisfied.

Debi and I laughed as we took things off the walls and tabletops and shelves and windowsills. We laughed at the ghostly imprints left behind. A donut where a wreath of dried flowers had been. When we removed a narrow display shelf from the dining room wall, there appeared the silhouette of an erect penis. Flowers pots stuck to the windowsills and had to be pried off. We’d hold up each object, like a game of show and tell, and ask “Do you want this?” Nine times out of ten the answer would be “no.”

I did want the crystals that Mom had hung with lace ribbon in the dining room window. Debi said, “Fine, they’re yours.” I had bought them for my mother. Going through the dining room and living room I came across other knick-knacks that I’d given to her. A birdcage, made of wood, just for decoration. Victorian-looking, painted a pale blue, with pink rose decals along the wider bars. I remember loving it when I bought it for her. I must have been a teenager. I don’t think she liked it very much, though she wouldn’t have told me that. I just sensed it.

Many of the gifts I gave my mother were, in her eyes, strange. Like the crystals. Things I liked. I had moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, when I was nineteen - to live in an urban commune (and that is another story in itself) - and stayed there a year. When I came home at Christmas time, I gave her a huge box wrapped in newspaper. She looked so excited when she saw it and I was so happy to be giving it to her. She looked like a little kid opening it. But then I knew. I saw her face: her disappointment. Well, maybe it was more confusion, puzzlement. I had bought her a model of a colonial tall sailing ship. I had thought she would go crazy for it, but when I saw her looking at it, I realized I had no idea why I thought she’d want something like that. It became the perfect dust collector. Mom put it on the corner shelf in the dining room, a very prominent position, and it sat there for years. I do remember when she finally got rid of it. My nephew Billy was a toddler and he’d cry to play with it, and so she would take it down for him. Soon the strings holding the sails together were broken, the sails themselves in tatters, and now she had a good excuse. “I’m so sorry, but I think I have to throw this out. I’m afraid Billy will get a splinter or poke his eye on one of the sticks from the sails.”

So Debi and I were working and laughing and packing things in boxes and putting things in the trash bags when my cell phone rang. It was my boss. “What happened?” she asked. I told her I’d stopped by the house and got caught up in some reminiscing and she was fine with that and understood. I have a very nice boss. 

“I’m going to stay for awhile. Try to get more work done,” Debi said. “If I think there’s anything you might want to keep I’ll put it aside.”

“No. Don’t bother. I don’t want anything. But maybe Eddie or Terri will want some stuff.”

“I’m not putting any of the trash bags or boxes outside yet anyway. I’ll wait until they have time to look through everything.”

“Good idea,” I said. And as I was driving to work I thought about some of the junk we’d packed up and put in bags. I started thinking that maybe I could find a spot for the giant duck - or maybe it’s a goose - cookie jar. Or the paint-by-number “tapestry” of a red barn that my mother had done. She wrote the year on the back, 1966. The frame is broken, but I could fix that. When I have time to get over there again I’ll take a second look.

-vmaddesso

Filed under prose short story memories old house family loss memoir

0 notes

The Old House and the Ashes

It’s a funny house. We make jokes about it all the time. My sisters, brother, and I laugh about the duct tape that holds it together, about the tiny rusty rotted sink in the powder room, the carpeting that is worn so thin that the splintered old floors show through in spots. “Dad scotch-taped the peeling paint back onto the walls in his bedroom,” Debi tells me. I’d missed that detail when I’d stopped by the house to see my father. I didn’t spend much time there; I didn’t look around. I felt guilty if I didn’t visit now and then, but not guilty enough to stay very long.

The house was built in 1928, the same year my father was born. My parents bought it in 1963, and now we will sell it. They are both dead. Mom died in 1997. Dad just died, in January.

I was at the house this afternoon. I had stopped by the funeral home first, to pick up my father’s ashes. Cremains, as they are called. I thought my brother was going to pick them up and he thought I was. So they ended up hanging out at the funeral home for a couple of weeks. Ed and I laughed about it yesterday when we talked. I told him my mind hasn’t been working very well lately. Maybe it’s all this gray weather, the snow and ice and cold. My brain seems to be sluggish. I have been forgetful. I feel confused much of the time. Maybe I’m still tired from the two months that my father was sick, two months of trying to take care of him at home, and failing. We tried, and I failed. Then visiting him at the hospital that last week. We took turns sleeping there so he wouldn’t be alone when he died. I was with him when it happened. It was 4:30 in the morning on a Monday. I sat on the cot next to his bed and listened as his breathing changed. I knew at 3:15 that it was beginning. Gradually, alternating between labored inhalations and quick shallow puffs. Then, just the puffing, and expanding minutes between the puffs. Then, no more.

I was able to park right in front of the funeral home. Despite all the mounds of snow everywhere, the curb and sidewalks there were clear. Nothing stops the business of death. The young man at the funeral home had me sign some papers, and he explained to me that we need to keep the certificate of cremation with the cremains if we decide to have them buried or scatter them. He offered to help me to the car, to carry the white shopping bag holding the box that covered the can that holds the ashes, but I said I’d be fine on my own. I held the bag from underneath, not by the handles, because it was heavy. Heavier than I’d imagined. I was actually cradling the bag in my arms. “I’m cradling this bag in my arms, this bag that holds my father’s ashes, like I would cradle a baby, like he carried me when I was a baby.” And as that thought occupied my mind I also was thinking, “Don’t be so cliché and boringly sentimental.” I am often of two minds.

I opened the passenger side door and almost dropped him. That’s what I thought as the bag slipped and I had to stop it from falling to the ground with my thigh, “Wow, I almost dropped Dad.”

I sat him on the seat. I put my backpack in front of him, of it, of the bag holding the box holding the can holding the ashes, so if I stopped short it wouldn’t slide to the floor and open. I was very nervous about it bursting open and my father’s ashes floating around inside the car.

As I mentioned, parking anywhere has been a bitch the past couple of months. This has been such a snowy winter. And cold. The snow hasn’t had a chance to melt, so new snow is piled up on top of old snow, and it’s narrowed the roads and been plowed up into rock hard bumpy mounds that make navigating a car very difficult. I pulled into my father’s driveway, scraping the left side of my car on one of those rock hard bumpy mounds, and pulled in as far as I thought safe. His driveway is a downward incline, leading to the garage under the family room. It was icy. I didn’t want to get stuck so I Ieft the rear end of my car jutting up onto the sidewalk a bit.

I was very careful carrying the ashes and my backpack to the house. I looked up before walking under the front porch roof, to make sure there were no deadly icicles hanging, waiting to drop and stab me through my skull. Safe. Unlocked the door and went inside.

Quiet. Just the soft rumble of the furnace. An old pipe clanking now and then. But I walked in slowly, ears alert, listening. Maybe someone else is here, I thought. One of my sisters, or my brother. I didn’t see any cars parked outside. Still, we all seem to show up at the house at the same time now, without planning to, as if being drawn there by the same simultaneous impulse. But the house was empty. And it felt empty. It felt hollow and lonely and abandoned. I walked to the dining room and put the bag that holds the box that holds the can that holds the ashes on the table. I took the box out of the bag. There were some photographs on the table. A bunch of my father. I picked one up, one of my father at the firehouse where he used to work, and propped it against the box. The box is white. It has a fat strip of brown tape along one side. There is a label on the box with the name and address of the funeral home, and to the left of that is my father’s name. “You’re home,” I said to the box. Then I hurried upstairs, to my father’s bedroom. I wanted to look at the wall with the scotch-taped peeling paint. 

And yes, there it was, yellowing tape holding the ragged edges of midnight blue paint together. My mother had painted those walls that dark color years ago, after I moved out. She had to use a dark color, to cover all the writing and drawing my sisters, friends, and I had left behind. We used to hang out in there - it was my room back then - drinking and getting high, and then take magic markers or pens and go to town on those walls. After she’d found a paint color that worked, she realized she liked that room better than the one she and my father were in, so it became their bedroom. Now it’s no one’s bedroom. The house will eventually be sold, and new people will live there. They’ll renovate. They’ll change everything. I sat down on the leather recliner that my father used to sit in while watching television. I tried to remember the room when it was mine, and the walls were yellow, and covered in graffiti. It was hard. The memories were blocked. What had happened in that room over the past two months were in the way. My father growing weaker. Becoming bedridden. Writhing in pain as I tried to give him the drops of morphine under his tongue, not sure if he was aware, if he knew who I was any longer.

I do have photographs. Pictures of me and my friends in my old bedroom, smiling, laughing. I promised myself that when I got home I’d look for them. But I didn’t. Not yet. I will. 

-vmaddesso

Filed under old house ashes prose memoir family death