Three old men sat on a park bench, setting aside their canes for a little while. In the distance, children shrieked ignorance of their own mortality. But the men rested together, each hoping the others would return on the next sunny day, all well aware that one day soon they would not.
This post is for my grandfather, my Poppa, who will have been gone five years this September. For that long, my mother has held onto his house. But it’s time for her to let go, and she is getting ready to put it on the market. This week, I’ll be with her, helping to uproot memories we’ve both held for lifetimes (it’s the house she grew up in, after all, the one I visited as a child), dislodge furniture that hasn’t moved in decades, and dismember a bit of history, because we must.… Read the rest
“It would appear that you are correct.” Shana’s lawyer studied the sheaf of papers again. “But why give it to you?”
“I’m sure he thought it was something else. He’s been handing over my home office piecemeal.”
“And you videotaped the exchange?” The lawyer scratched his head.
“I film everything I have to do with him.”
The lawyer leafed through the pages and pulled out the deeds again. Five of them, rental properties, and Shana’s ex-husband had purchased all of them during their marriage. “You think this is what happened to the savings you inherited from your mother?”
“I know it.”
“And you recorded…”
“Look.” Shana pulled out her phone and played a short clip.… Read the rest
“What time did the ghost appear?” The spectrologist adjusted his laptop.
“Midnight.” Dana, the large woman sitting beside him on the couch, edged closer, looking over her shoulder.
“But…” The smaller woman, Beth, fidgeted in her chair. “That means it wasn’t… wasn’t midnight. If it’s twelve o’clock in here, it’s already twelve oh five in the bedroom and nearly …”
“But midnight exactly in this room.” Again, Dana edged closer.
The sisters contradicted each other this way throughout the interview. What time did they eat dinner? (Five, five oh five, quarter past five.) Go to bed? (Nine, nine oh five, nine fifteen).… Read the rest
Evelyn partitioned the tomato into round slices. “You know, they make a tool to cut it all at once these days.” Her granddaughter Joan shifted from foot to foot.
“It’s called a tomato slicer.” Evelyn thumped her knife down harder than she had intended. “They had them in my day. I never cared for them.” She set aside the cutting board and picked up tongs for the bacon. A grease bubble popped in the skillet. “Ouch!” She jerked her arm out of the way.
“You could cook it in the microwave.”
Evelyn eyed the girl. “You don’t say.” She got ice for her scalded hand.… Read the rest
I found a high school photo of my sister this morning. Five years dead, and I hadn’t seen her for a year before that. So I shouldn’t be shocked that I barely recognized her. Oh, I know the picture; it hung in my Lexington office. And truly, she looked exactly as I expected. Yet the curve of her jaw, the angle of her nose, the set of her eyes, all of those things were unfamiliar to me, like an artist’s renderings of shapes known only by touch.
I’m a firecracker. Short fuse; loud bang. I never cross a bridge but that I burn it.… Read the rest
This week finds us back in the car with Kelly and her daughters Luna and Amber. (Amber doesn’t have a role tonight. But she’s still there.) Although this should stand alone, you can follow the previous link to get the first part oft the story. Right after the last part ended, they were attacked. We return to the vehicle in the aftermath to address this week’s word from Trifecta: ecstasy.
Beast’s blood splattered Luna’s face. “Pegged him!” she cheered as Kelly braked the car.
“Good girl.” Kelly took a crystal ball from her daughter and smeared the dog’s blood on her own face and shirt, then sent her mind questing.… Read the rest
And this, the lost century, we charge against our souls, holding aloft the future like some cosmic credit line. Reckless, we spend to abandon. We do not expect the bill to come due in our lifetimes.
Those crazy cards over at Trifecta gave us three words, asked us to add 33 more, and challenged us to post the results. Mine don’t feel very original (and yes, I’m one of those writers; I refuse to accept that all of the stories have been told; I refuse to merely hope for a unique way to retell an old thing; I hate it when I feel repetitive or wheel-reinventive), but it was a lot of fun to dig up a ton of things we should have shredded ages ago and put them in the picture.… Read the rest
“The mirrors are a distraction. Focus on what you feel.” MJ lay back on her mat.
I did not. “I feel a lot of things. I can’t tell which is right until I see how I look.”
My Yoga teacher tucked her ass up and hoisted her back towards the ceiling. “Try for that.”
“How will I know I look like what you look like if I can’t see what I look like?”
She sat up and pushed me into a reclining pose. “Concentrate on your Mula Bandha. Tilt your pelvis to make that flat back. Then lock it into your Uddiyana Bandha.… Read the rest
This is how the advice sounds when I’m exasperated. It’s not fair at all, because one of the things about Asperger’s for my kids is that it makes the path from idea to vocal cord very cumbersome indeed, and one of those concepts that I have to explain regularly is, “The words in your heart don’t reach my ears if you don’t use your mouth.” But it’s been a “Use your words” kind of weekend around here, and so I give you the advice I all but shouted to my children earlier today. (Parenting fail.)
Thanks for letting me vent, Trifecta.… Read the rest
I have no sense of direction. Give me a map, and I’ll lose you without fail. Ask me how to get somewhere, and I’ll write you a novel. “To reach my neighborhood, turn left off the Boulevard at the Liberty station, then take all the whoop-dees until you see my messy yard. You can’t miss it.”
And yet I know, unerringly, where I am in relationship to my mother’s house. Right now, it’s five hundred miles away over my right shoulder. If I go to the kitchen, it’s sort of off my left side, but angled back to the right. I wouldn’t trust this sense to lead me out of so much as a brushy thicket.… Read the rest