Tuesday, April 03, 2007

another night

A new woman moved in. She is from Austrailia. She is a gardener. These are the things I know about her. What I don't know is so much more. It makes me consider what is known about me. (mememememememememememememe) But really. If I go nuts. Or when. Or more to the point: when they discover I am nuts, where will you find the cookie crumbs that will lead you to who I am? How would you know, for instance, that I hate lotion that smells like fruit or baked goods? Or that ballons scare me and I hate the feel of a butterfly on my arm? Would you see that I had painted a wing and use that information to decorate my room with angels, not knowing I can't stand angels? Would you know never to comb my hair when its wet and that I hate tight clothes and rarely need a sweater? Would you know better than to sneak up behind me or startle me? That I like to sleep in a TB cold room but no matter how hot it is I need a sheet. Could you ever know how much my son means to me or what a miracle my life has been? And if all of this trip is documented, who will read it outloud so the ones who do the work will know.

Today, the Austrailian Gardner cried and cried. She was so lost all day, and I had no way to lead her home. I didn't know, for instance, that at one point in her life she had lost her son -- lost track of him -- and that the young man she was looking for this morning was him. It took most of the day to figure it out. She can't really find her words anymore. She knows what she wants to say, but can neither speak or understand spoken words. She can read, and so I write.... Finally, she said the word Presbyterian, and I knew who to call. I called her church friend and she came and we unravelled the mystery. In the meantime, I went out and bought some geraniums. When in doubt, plant shit.

There is a priest where I work. He lives on the other side, the normal side, the (mostly) undemented side. I watch him for a couple of reasons: holy men interest me, devout people interest me, anyone who can maintain faith in the presence of reason interest me. Not that these are reasonable times. Hardly. I have an innate mistrust of priests because I was raised by a Pentecostal mother who told me the Pope was the Antichrist, and priests his handmaidens, so to speak. So, my interest in them is complex. I give them wide berth, even at deathbeds -- and you know me and deathbeds. I'm never quite sure what they're up to or how they figure they have more of a connection than I do. But this guy, he showed up for Rosetta and she wasn't even Catholic. He sits on his wheeled walker on days when the sun shines, off to one side of the sidewalk in the grass. He faces the sun, eyes closed. His tolerance for time is impressive, for quiet, for solitude. For prayer.

Off to bed. I practiced my harp, so can lay down without guilt. I am learning to accompany myself with my left hand and play melody with my right. Now, if I can sprout two more and applaud myself, or just one to pat myself on the back, all will be well.

3 comments:

L. said...

ell I know about the tight clothes, the angels, your son, and the miracle....

someone said...

maybe they will let us stay in the same place.

L. said...

yes, a room with a view, and lots of furniture and rooms...