Friday, September 28, 2007


I am working on a longer piece of writing for the first time in quite awhile. In the past I have been hamstrung by pre-publishing it here, so will not, but may use this space for something besides my running commentary on the mundane. It is a tenuous connection, a thread at best, and I follow it with trepidation and respect. I know it can disappear under the most unlikely circumstances, say happiness, maybe busy-ness, but I am not particularly happy right now, and thus the fertile ground for being somewhere else. I wish it were not so. And, as always, I don't really care. Whatever mystery unlocks my fingers and moves the pen, I'm for it.

Jane moved into the unit. Her eyes are big, like those bears or monkeys or whatever those little animals are that live in the rainforest and stare out from their vivid green perch. She is bent, and mobile, and pissed. In her chart, the place of all truth, she is characterized as paranoid, but she is also right. She's been caught being who she is. Captured. Snared by the uneven net of bureaucracy and locked away. Does she have Alzheimer's Disease? It doesn't seem so to me, and I think I know a little bit about that. She has lost command of language to some degree, but not of communication. Understanding her is much like playing a combination of the games Taboo and Charades, but she's good at it, and gets her point across. It only took me a few minutes yesterday to get that what she wanted was Famous Amos Lemon Cookies. Most people with Alzheimer's don't even know they like cookies until you put one in their mouth and their eyes get big and they go "mmmmm." Jane's eyes are always big.

Does she need somewhere safe to be? Yes. Should that place be locked? I'm not so sure. I think, from all I can figure, is that she is one of those odd little yard sale ladies who always has a perma-sale going in front of her trailer, with treasures only she understands, and a firm grasp of what things are worth.


asha said...

I can only say break a finger on the writing thing. I'm superstitious as an actor on opening night about the subject.

Poor Jane. "She's been caught being who she is. Captured. Snared by the uneven net of bureaucracy and locked away. "

Mmmmmm.... could metaphorically say the same for me.

someone said...

ain't that the truth. Captives, us.

msb said...

You have such a terrific way of charaterizing the marginalized. Like a good picture, you find those interesting chunks of life that gets missed by most, and when you frame them up with words they become stars. It will be a great novel I'm sure.

asha said...

So, ah, does this mean we don't get to read you in the short form any more?