Thursday, October 13

Wandering in a haze, trying to find a place to be.  Every thing I touch has a history of its own.  Each room filled, full of the past.   Me stuck in the middle.  In piles.  My children will be home soon.  I will find comfort in their needing me.

Friday, September 16

Cool this morning.  Still feeling the chill of last night's rain.  The wind whipping the flames of the fire downtown.  I feel turned around. 

Wednesday, June 15

Tuesday is a hard day.  Everywhere we go she runs away from me.  Even when we go to walk the on the beach she  runs away.  Up the hill, fast enough that it is hard to catch her.  When I do she says no and hits my hand away.  Runs again when I get her to the car. 

We drive into the village to pick Sam up.  He is with a friend.  My mother comes with me, out of the car.  When she sees the kids and the other mother she says no again and makes her way over the rocks to a corner of the yard.  She scutters around until she finds a way out.  When I try to get her into the car she swings at me and runs away, down toward the road.  I try to turn her around without touching her.  I back her up to the car.  She starts to run again and I grab her, hug her around her arms.  She swings at me.   Hits my forearms and anything else she can reach.  She yells at me, calls me Fat Face.  The other mother doesn't know what to do.  She gets Sam into the car as I hold my mother. 

We are near the car.  I hold her, move her over, until she is at the front seat.  When I tell her this is the way to get away she concedes and gets into the car.  I buckle her in, close the door.  Before I can get in the driver's seat she is out again.  This continues.  Five times I have to get her in the car.  The other mother holds the door shut until I get in.  I drive away.

I don't talk.  Sam doesn't talk.  My mother doesn't make a sound.  As we leave the village she tries to open the car door.  I say no, she stops.   She keeps trying as we drive home.   As we wait at the last set of lights she tries once more.  I have to lean over to stop her.

Now when I show up she says "No, not you."  She sees me and runs out the door.  If I talk she scrunches up her nose and says "Aren't you sweet?"  She calls me You or Fat Face.  I sit around the corner, trying not to talk, listening to make sure she is safe.  When she goes for the door I stop her.   I try not to let her see me.  Not to look at her.  She stares at me with the hate mothers reserve for their daughters.  I try not to talk.

Tuesday, May 17

It is raining.  She is upset when I get there.  A tooth has broken off.  When we ask if there is any pain she says no but every time her tongue finds the spot she cries out about her tooth.  Like someone has stolen it.  Her tooth.

I change the subject.  Get her coffee.  She finds two paintings and carries them around, yelling that they are hers.  She made them.  When she finds her tooth missing again she runs out of the room screaming about her tooth.  She cries in the mirror.  Runs to my little boy.  Bending down in front of him she yells "I am not a person.  I am not a person."

When she is calm enough I get her into the car.  We have three and a half hours to spend and I won't spend them that way, her yelling at my little boy. I ask if we should drive north or south.  Nobody answers.   I pick north.  Trying to find some old memory I say we are going to Building 19.  We drive far, too far, still not far enough.  It has been so long and I can't find it anymore.  My memory fails me and I drive through Georgetown without remembering which way to go.  I drive through Groveland.  I turn into West Newbury and into Newburyport.  Sam is tired and hungry.  My mother slips in and out of sleep.   Sam sleeps as we cross 95.

I ask my mother if she wants coffee.  She nods.  Two cups at a McDonald's window and I turn to drive back home.  Nearing downtown Newburyport she takes a sip and I don't know what happened.  She couldn't swallow it.  Didn't swallow it.  She explodes, her head hanging down than up again another explosion.  She has no idea what is happening.  I pull over, grab a blanket from the back and calm her as I try to brush the vomit off of her.  She is whimpering.  I tell her it is okay.  I always tell her it is okay.   We are a long way from home.  As I drive she looks straight forward like a blind woman. 

I get back into town.  Find a place for Sam.  I get her home and upstairs.  Try to get her into the tub but she won't.  She won't she won't she won't she won't.  I leave the room and try again.  I can't undress her.  She yells at me, tells me I am jealous.  Calls me her mother. I step out of the room and come back again as her daughter.  She is crying and for a moment understands that she needs to get clean.  Because she was sick.  She is not bad.  She agrees for the moment but before I can get her into the tub she is angry again.  I leave the room twice more before she gets in the tub.

Clean now I find some clothes for her, dress her and get her warm.  She seems to want to go to bed but won't climb in.  Something clicks and she is angry again.  She finds her bag and holds it like riot police hold shields.  Keeping it between her and me, using it to move me back.   We go from room to room.  At the top of the stairs she tells me to get out.  She says she will kill me.  I change the subject.  Get her looking for shoes.  Downstairs a few minutes later she is hissing at  me to get out.  I plead with her like I am sixteen again.  Like she is my mother.  It does no good.

Thursday, May 5

One thing I never expected anyone to say to me:

I will say a rosary.  You go upstairs and get a diaper on you mom.

Tuesday, April 19

Hard arrival early crying running into the car and running away try to get food for her get food into her but she runs away again and my children are crying now crying as I hold her from running away.  Back to her house tv on she sits and sits then cries again runs upstairs holds on holds on to the banister screaming screaming about her four dead babies and my children follow up Abby is crying about the babies and my mother won't move can't move screaming holding on on the top stair and I hold her keep her safe tell my children it's okay it's okay and I ease her up off the stairs into the room at the top onto the chair and my children come to her they hold her hand she can breathe now breath again and the babies she talks about the babies and my children tell her it's okay.  I bring them back downstairs run back up to her standing in the room talking gibberish to the mirror until she says in plain English "We're nuts." 

Thursday, March 17

This week she laughed and she cried and she pulled my hair.  When it was raining she rubbed her legs.  When she found strands of fake pearls she wanted me to turn them into money.  When I fed her she ate happily.

She hums now.  All day, humming.  Yesterday I could hear the song.  Down in the valley.  After she hummed for an hour I sang the words for her.  After I sang for an hour she sang some of the words.  Angels in heaven.  Know I love you.

Sunday, January 9

I am trying to decide why I am so heartbroken.

The house is quiet, save for the dripping of the kitchen sink and the heat going on every so often. I am hungry and I may eat a cheese sandwich. I spent hours in the tub reading a book from my oldest friend. When it was done I washed my face and my arms and my chest.

Now I am here. The house is cold the way sitting feels cold. The way being still freezes over. There is something in this being cold and quiet and hungry in a still house. I am sitting here. I am trying to decide why I am so heartbroken.

Saturday, January 1

Quiet day, first of the new year, kids and James out for a walk. Snow-melt dripping outside. Thankful for a chance at starting anew.