24 May, 2016

Monday Morning

...feelings like I've never lost you/and feelings like I'll never have you/again in my heart....

She's taking more and more time to get ready for things, spending more and more time "examining the insides of her eyelids" and "holding down the sofa". She's happy, but blurry and out of focus.

We go out to the Honey Bee Diner for brunch after she teaches her yoga class. She's like a toddler, hungry every three hours or so, but not usually able to eat very much at one go.

Over pancakes, we discuss this and that. I try to play Hangman with her on the back of the placemat, but she doesn't remember how to play. I explain. She guesses O. I fill in an O.

What letter do you guess next?

"No, it's your turn to guess a letter. I guessed the last one."

She says it's hard to see the page. I ask why she didn't wear her new bifocals. She says she needs some new readers, as she can't find hers. I know why. Very Athletic Sister has removed most of them. I tell her we can go to the dollar store, but not for that.

"If you can't be bothered to take me to the dollar store for some new reading glasses, I'll ask a neighbor. Or I'll walk!"  As if that's a threat.

Of course I'd be happy to take you to the dollar store for anything you wish. But the dollar store readers don't help you. I say this because I've seen you with three pair of them stacked on your nose, and you asking me for the magnifying glass, which is right there on the table. 

We have this conversation two or three more times as she finishes eggs and bacon.

I distract her from eyewear, focus on her handbag. So we go instead to the Goodwill to shop for a small summer purse. I convinced her to let go of her threadbare denim one in December, I think, and now I tell her tweed isn't for spring and summer. We discuss how persistent February is this year, as today hardly seems springlike. I remind her of her mother, who used to keep many handbags in a doorhanger plastic sleeve, one bag for every three or four pair of shoes. I tell her we're not going to go overboard, but one bag for fall/winter and another for spring/summer is probably a reasonable thing. She agrees. We find also a pair of beige Crocs. I like that they have the heel strap. The sidewalks in her neighborhood conspire with her big dogs to make her stumble and fall. Her shoes do not need to become co-conspirators in her tumbles, the ones she swears she doesn't have.

We return to her home and she seems ready for a nap. I ask if it's okay if I take the dogs out for a walk while she gets started holding down the sofa. She agrees, but doesn't actually settle. When we three return, she's still dithering in the house. I give her kisses, fairly certain that once I leave, she'll lie down awhile. It is almost 2 pm. I arrived at 10 am. I try to imagine someone else doing things for and with my mother, having the morning with her that I have just had. I have several feelings wrap themselves into the folds of my brain, and am too weary to sort them just now. One that I can identify, however, is a sense of being left out. Another is relief. The anxiousness is understandable. There are at least three more, though, snarled in a bunch, that will require patience and maybe a pin to untease.

Morris Albert; Feelings

10 May, 2016

Walking Stubborn

...got my own trick up my sleeve/I can make you disappear....

7:35 AM: Very Athletic Sister

               Mollie task list- vacuum dust dishes wipe microwave               counters change sheets bathroom (clean sink tub                   toilet)start load of sheets and bath towels toss spoiled         food from fridge

       what shall I do about the vacuum? I need to buy a replacement?

              No it's new
         Or only a few months old
            She could use the rainbow but its much harder
              rainbow's in the upstairs closet

7:55 AM: I phone to tell her I'm coming to her house to take her to teach her yoga class at the Senior Center.

But I need a few things at Target first, so I'm stopping there and then I'll come fetch you. Do you need anything?

"Would you buy a box of tissues for me? I seem to be all out of tissues. Or two, two would be nice."

I'll be happy to buy some sneezers for you. That's why I called, to see if you needed anything.

"Oh, sneezers! Or snotrags, whatever. Maybe two boxes would be nice. If you don't mind."

Of course I don't mind. And then I'll be over to fetch you to take you for yoga, probably nine thirty or quarter to ten. 

8:01 AM: Pugsley

       whatall did we need at target
               I need Nivea shaving cream but I'm not sure what else

      mop moisturizer olive boil ??

              Dunno, sounds like that is it

      Maddie want tishoose we need toilet paper?

               More wouldn't hurt

       Kitty litter?

               Wednesday needs to be there for that

8:22 AM: VAS

       Am at Target now, will price a vacuum. Just sopoke to Mother; confused about taxi vouchers.       I told her one of us would go with the first time.

       Please don't buy a vacuum

       And that she didn't need to worry about it today cuz I'm taking her

              I described it to her yesterday
                  to mom- the taxi thing
                      the vacuum at moms is fine

       She can't learn new things except by repetition. Mollie says not. I refuse to be in this pissing          contest.

So of course the phone rings because VAS needs to explain to me that she isn't arguing with me. Except of course she is. Except I'm not really the one she's arguing with, because I have no dog in this race. I just want the vacuuming to be done, by someone other than me. 

I poke things into the cart (buggy, basket; where ya from?) during this, and after I finish not arguing about a vacuum with VAS I discover Target doesn't have the moisturizer I usually buy. I spend more time than I ought researching what Paula deems a good eye cream, facial moisturizer, and I'd've liked to search mascaras, too, but I stop myself. 

9:42 AM: Mollie
               On my way.

I don't text back, because I'm later than I meant to be and she's probably driving.

9:55 AM: I phone to tell her I'm on my way, but there is no answer.

10:00 AM: I phone... no answer.

10:05 AM: I knock, enter and frighten Mollie, who has arrived and begun working. 

Where's my mother?

"What? I though she was with you. I thought youz had already left. The door was unlocked. One dog was outside the house, the light one, and the other one, the jumping one, was inside. I thought youz had gone already."

Yeah, no, I'm running late. Did she take her yoga things? Or her purse?

The answer to both is No.

Mollie presses her hands to her chest, then flaps them. "Go, go! Find your mother! Aren't you worried sick?"

I should be, shouldn't I? I think about Wheres and Whys. She didn't phone and chew me out for being late. She might've phoned her neighborhood friend, who is IN the yoga class she teaches, but her yoga things are still there. Her glasses, the good ones, are on the desk. One dog in the house, one dog in the yard; maybe she thought she'd lost one and has gone looking. I do not phone VAS. My phone is mysteriously nearly battery-dead, despite having been plugged in to charge all night. I grab glasses, purse and yoga bag and back out of the driveway.

Hi, Ms. C. This is Cybele. Is my mother- is Jackie there? Has she come there already?

"I don't think so- hang on, I'll go look."

The pause is probably shorter than it seems.

"No, she's not here. I checked the yoga room and nobody's there yet."

I don't want to panic anyone, but I don't know where she is. She may have taken it into her head to walk to the Center. I'm driving there now. I'll let you know. 

I drive the mile or so to the Center. I spot her as she crosses the road. I pull up and park.

Hey there, Mama. Whatcha doing?

"Well, I didn't get a call, and I needed to get here."

She's clutching a paper in her hand.

I did call. I told you I was going to the Target. You asked me to buy tissues for you.

"I have no memory of that conversation. I needed to get here, so I walked."

I brought your yoga things.

"It's seated shiatsu, I don't need them."

No, Ma'am, today's Monday and you have yoga.

I follow her inside, into Ms. C's office, where I hear her muttering, probably something unpleasant in reference to me.

"But Jackie, your daughter brings you here every Monday. Tuesdays, too."

She looks at me.

"Well, what are we doing? Are we coming or going?"

I thought you might like to teach your yoga class.

"If there's anybody still there, I guess I'll teach them, if they want."

You're not late yet. Only one or two of your students have arrived. Do you feel like teaching?

"Since I'm here, I may as well."

She wanders away and disappears, not into the room where her students are waiting, then emerges from the bathroom, still clutching that paper.

Whatcha got there? May I see it?

"It's the taxi voucher. I need to figure it out so I can use it."

I told you I'd help you with that. May I look at it while you go teach?

She hands it to me, and goes into the room. I look at the paper- it's an order form for taxi voucher books.

I can't manage to sort my feelings. She had a busy day yesterday, Mother's Day. Admitted when I phoned that she was wandering around her house feeling confused. She walked more than a mile and a half to arrive safely, and early, to get to her class. But forgot that I'd called, forgot that I always bring her to the Center. Didn't think to call her friend, the one who lives in her neighborhood and takes her yoga class. Didn't call me wondering why I was late to fetch her.  Didn't... could have... What am I supposed to do?

Channing and Quinn; The Vanishing Act