I’ve not been to Mom’s place for about a week..finally I find her standing in a room (not hers). I find her because of the noises she makes.
What’s the matter with me?
What’s the matter with me?
Mom, look at the birds (tiny birds-thrush?- in a cage we have walked to. Look at the pumpkins (gourds, arranged around the fireplace near the thrush cage).
What’s the matter with me? Are you taking me home?
Mom, you broke your leg, I lie.
You broke your leg, you’re in the hospital, I lie some more.
When are we going home? Tomorrow, I am lying now like I am 12 years old and she smells cigarettes in my hair on my clothes on my breath, No not me, must have been that bum we were talking to down by the creek. I’m coming here tomorrow to take you home.
Everything is a lie now..when?where?who?why?how? And not a single goddam one of the answers matter, it’s only the questions which bubble up through the cloud of her consciousness and she waits for an answer but only for a moment and that moan and groan or whatever that damned sound is that she has been moaning/groaning for ..3 years? Yes, that long, even though three years ago she could still respond to more than one thought for more than a few seconds and think about about some things besides the vague memory of her mom, her husband, her dad, her sons (as little boys, where are they?), her sisters.
HolyMaryMotherofGodprayforussinnersnowandinthehourofourdeathAmen, I pray, though I am not Catholic and know damn well Mary is not listening, but we are dying, right? This IS the hour of our death, yes? Amen.
The woman who hit her last week is the woman who is holding her hand this afternoon as they walk to the where the music playing. Lois is her name, but that matters even less to her in this moment than it does to me. I am grateful mom has contact for awhile with skin, not my own. We need the warmth of skin, and Lois and my mom are holding hands and warming each other’s skin and there- perhaps..searching for spiritual meaning somewhere within this quagmire, this ignoble end to a life- there, perhaps, is the Christ- in the warmth of skin, that is. There, perhaps, is the “I will be with you always” and there, perhaps is the “I am the alpha and omega.”
Or, let’s be realistic, maybe that’s not it at all and I am reading what I want to read into the little drama,
And one way or the other it doesn’t really matter, does it? I reject the cliches that too many people are too willing to try to placate each other with before tears run too hard and too uncomfortably. (You should know that I find the book of Job to be an abomination) None of these people are learning a thing about working out their salvation with fear and trembling and not a single one of them for a single second during their noise filled, cloudy consciousness filled days, remembers their baptism, but some of them are hollering, Who are you!, and others yell, Where am I?, and another man makes noises like a car, and another woman is peeing in the hall and another is staring at a shoe and another is sleeping in front of the cage where the thrushes live, near the gourds, down the hall from where the music is playing and where Lois has just let go of mom’s hand because because because because