Pierced To The Root & No Liquor In The Veins

So April came in like a bull with its horns in my nuts. I start­ed this post on April 5th, but I just delet­ed every­thing except the first line and am start­ing over. Why ? Because time + tragedy might equal com­e­dy, but time + time, for me, = glad. Joyce need­ed Tri­este to write about Dublin, and I need at least a week to write about any of the shit that means any­thing to me. A right­eous­ly pissed-off let­ter to some half-wit ene­my, a poem memo­ri­al­iz­ing a still-tran­scen­dent roll in the hay, a fresh take on a script or a sto­ry after see­ing a film — I’ve fired them off count­less times, and every time it was a bad idea.

April 4th was my mother’s birth­day. My broth­er and I drove up to join them for din­ner. Join who ? My moth­er shares her home with her full-time care­giver, Maria, who cooks cleans and dri­ves her to her hair dresser every week. She also col­lects stuffed frogs and over­feeds the birds so much the back patio looks like a tiny guano mine, but over the years, Maria has become fam­i­ly to us, and so have her two sons and a daugh­ter, all great and kind peo­ple, who Maria dotes on and wor­ries about much the way she does on my moth­er. She is a Fil­ip­ina, and the agen­cy who found her for us is run by a jovial Fil­ipino cou­ple. So for her 77th birth­day, my moth­er had din­ner at a faux-French bistro in a strip mall sur­round­ed by Maria and her chil­dren, the agen­cy cou­ple, Tere­sa her hair dresser and her hus­band and their kids, and my broth­er and me.IMG_1777

All of the­se peo­ple love my moth­er, despite her some­time short fuse and her weak body. When she was younger, she stood near­ly six feet tall because she nev­er went out with­out heels. She didn’t talk to you, she spoke at you, and God help you if you didn’t lis­ten. My father sold her his half of the com­pa­ny they owned when they divorced, and she grew it ten fold in a decade. She trav­eled the world, ran char­i­ties, and yet now she seems almost like a plush toy of her­self : soft, short, a lit­tle crum­pled. But she is still the sharpest mind in the room, and she seems to have an almost infinite capac­i­ty to treat my broth­er and me like princes. Con­tin­ue read­ing