Monday, July 23, 2012


She looked into the mirror and hated her hair in fifteen distinct ways. She felt the past behind her like a dragon’s tail. She looked into her eyes…green. She tried to see herself. She couldn’t.

So many years ago. It all seemed like a vague memory. It wasn’t a dream. It was déjà vu of a dream. It was looking into a mirror for ever and ever.

The sound of the door shocked her. Then she knew. Time had been moving quickly again. He was home. She should have known that he would come home. Any minute. Goddamn, what time was it?

There are things that no one wants to remember. Then there are the individual things…things the rest of the world ignores…the personal indignities that scorch and burn. Knife cuts. Abandon.

He was making his usual noises. Goddamn, he was so fucking noisy. He made animal grunts as he heaved himself around the house, breaking the calm. He would want to know things. She would hear questions behind the screeching in her ears. Concentrate.

Look into the eyes. Just the eyes. The eyes are everything and they hold the answer. Don’t break the stare. She heard him calling her name. She ignored it…just stare. 

When she was a little girl, she had wanted  to do everything. She often did nothing because everything was too big.  He didn’t know about any of THAT shit.  He didn’t know as much as he thought he knew.

A tear kissed the eyelash. Don’t let the tear drop. Keep the eye contact. Don’t answer. Don’t hear. She had been in love with a guitar player when she was in college. He was not a good musician, but he thought he was, and she had loved him for it. That was long ago, but it was all jumbled really. That was the problem.  She had been shaken.

Eyes. Always the eyes. They were sometimes unkind, but they spoke in truths. There was no avoiding their honesty. They had no stake in the game.

He was in the kitchen. Probably making a drink. She tried to remember how to greet someone. The right way to smile. The words she would be expected to say. She couldn’t. She accepted that it would be awkward. It always was. She always knew it would be and that was that.

He stood when she walked into the room. He was sweating. Tired. He looked tired and broken. Like something that needed taping. She fell into the hug and let go. Closed her eyes.


  1. From the opening sentence, I was hooked. Thanks.

  2. You see? This is the kind of shit that makes me want to write better than I do. I'll never admit that your bar is too damn high for me to reach, but I swear that I will go out swinging. Nicely done bro.

  3. RUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. You've captured the utter confusion and inner turmoil of someone with dementia, and the exhaustion and obligation of a family caregiver, in a such a powerful way.

    This is very moving, JD. Very moving indeed. Thank you for writing it.

  5. Powerful stuff, Mader. *tips hat...


    1. My God! A comment from the elusive EL. ;) Thanks brother. Just a sprint that turned out good.



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