Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Hit Man Report

Where the Christmas tree used to be.
In the dark, leave a note. Leave your ancient mother behind, asleep in her bed. Go buy milk so you can make a latt√©. Creep out of your sleeping house. Skulk through the dawn. This is what you must do to survive. She could die in your absence. She could die any time. So could you. Whatever. Make the coffee. Leave another note. Put her cup by the coffee pot. Open the brand new carton of half and half so she doesn't have to struggle. Sneak away again. Go to yoga. When you come home, she's in her room with her coffee. The arthritis is killing her knee. Her hip. Heat the hot pack. Re-heat the coffee. Make her breakfast. Make yours. Drag the dead Christmas tree out the patio door. Spend the day cleaning away the Christmas spirit which barely materialized anyway. Relish the vacuuming. Relish the mopping. The polishing. The dusting. Breath in the Windex. Heat the hot pack, this time for you. Read between loads of laundry. Relish the story in the New Yorker that you know would have been murdered in your MFA workshop had it been written by a student. Where is the forward motion of the story. This  is all just interior monologue. Where is the fucking scene? How about some dialogue? Realize the day is nearly over without much forward motion at all. Dialogue only if you shout.  Make dinner. Hold firmly to the new regime of salad for you. Grilled cheese for the ancient mother who needs calories. Ice cream for her dessert. Then when she's asleep, attack  the cheese and crackers. Hypocrite. Make a gin and tonic in your closet and carry it downstairs in a water glass. Just in case she wakes up. Watch a movie that makes you cry. Walk through the neighborhood, mumbling to your dead lover. Why are there so many stars? Why can't you be nicer?

I took the colored Christmas lights down from the top of the armoire and put up white ones. 


lily cedar said...

I was going to tell you to stop worrying so much about being nicer and then I remembered feeling the same way when I was taking care of my mother. A few days before my mum died she asked if she was a burden. I told her she wasn't because she wasn't to me. My burden was the lack of help from my siblings. But it's just hard.

Ms. Moon said...

Might as well ask the stars why they can't be nice. You're going through a different stage in grief. Or in life. Whatever. Here you are. You are acting in kind and loving ways. What else can you do?
I wish I could hold your hand and tell you this. And tell you I love your spirit to the stars and back.

37paddington said...

Love is a verb. You are being love. This stage of care taking is so very hard. All you can do is your best. And you do. You do. Sending love to you.

Elizabeth said...

I love what 37paddington said. It's perfect. I need to remember it myself when I'm not nice to my own innocent daughter. Sometimes caretaking is so difficult that it's impossible -- impossible to keep on keeping on.