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Estelle parked her walker, sat on the couch, and died.

That’s the story.

She was born, she lived, and she died.

Still.

 

Yesterday had been a little better to Estelle.  Her head didn’t hurt so much, and her skin didn’t droop so low.  Her voice didn’t shake and could be heard over the air conditioner.

            She never liked the indoors, though inside these four, thin walls is where she spends most of her time now. Sitting, waiting, really, for whatever comes her way.  Not that much comes her way these days and although she can’t complain, sometimes she catches herself drifting toward the past and farther away from the shore that is the present.  Her granddaughter often shakes her head. 

            What a waste. Here, this old woman sits waiting to die.  All she is is a bag of old, crinkled skin and bones.

            Estelle wouldn’t argue with her granddaughter. On this point, they were united.

           

There’s not much to be said on Mondays.  Everyone is grouchy, and everyone is a little less tolerant of Estelle’s ramblings.  Most Mondays, Estelle tries to be quiet but sometimes she can’t help but want to talk about the days back when.  And anyway, she forgets it’s Monday from time to time.  No, no one likes to listen to Estelle talk on Mondays, or any other day for that matter.

            “I remember me and your pa went to church over in Billings,” she says in a barely audible whisper, to her eldest daughter, Julie.  But when she looks closer at Julie, the image fades and she slowly sees her granddaughter staring at her. 

            She sighs deeply. They both do.

 

            Estelle is sitting on the couch now, one finger lifting the curtains out of the way so she can peer out at the street.  There are little kids playing hopscotch and laughing and frolicking and she can remember when she was a girl.  When she was the one the old people envied, playing out there in the street. 

            There had been no sense of time and of loss, then.   Now, everything’s gone.  She doesn’t have her health or her love anymore.  She doesn’t have joy but feels the pain of too many years on this planet. Sometimes, before she looks in the mirror, she feels like the 40-year-old woman who had just begun to live.  But once her reflection is staring back at her, she can’t deny what she has become.  There’s nothing left in her or in this world for her. 

That’s the short and long of it.

 

Estelle thinks about her funeral.  It couldn’t be so very far away and who would be there to vouch for her life?  Her children?  Who had all but forgotten her?  Who locked her in?  Who didn’t look at her but through her?  Who talked about her with Estelle right there, hearing every harsh word?

Children can be cruel and your children are no exception, she tells herself. 

The clouds are closing in like sweet sleep.  She thinks there must be something she has forgotten but the fog is moving at a much quicker pace than her mind.  She settles in and lets the wind and the stars take her away.

 

            She sees the past drift by.  She’s the archive of some long ago time that no one cares to remember.  Some long ago happiness. Some long-suffered heartache.She can hear her own voice laughing back at her. A mockery. She does not smile.

            When her own mother was dying, slowly, surely, she’d tried to be patient.  She’d been a teenager, barely seventeen.  Her mother was dead by June, living only a few months after the diagnosis.

 

            But I am not dying, Estelle says to herself in protest.

            But she did.

            1956.

            And then, nothing.

 

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Discomfort,

not raging pain,

is what brings her here, now, to this place.

She didn’t have to come; she could have waited just a bit longer

to make sure she had enough reason, conviction to satisfy her and him.

As usual, it was a quick decision.

Or was it?

In the aftermath, every decision autopsied and evaluated,

the final report inevitably inconclusive.

Was she right?

What will he say?  Roll his eyes?  Sigh?

This is how it’s destined to go.

 

You’ll be a little stale

but crunchy and sweet

You’ll leave an aftertaste

that demands more of you

I’ll open you up almost immediately

and spill your contents forth

I’ll pull my hair back

lick my lips

take a bite

roll you around in my mouth

savoring your taste

and finally

swallow you down

Here’s how on-the-same-page poeticgrin and I are.

 

 

poeticgrin’s email:

 

Medicated Lady.  This is the same conversation we just had.

 

medicatedlady: What do you like to eat?

poeticgrin: Cheeseburgers.

medicatedlady: I love cheeseburgers.   What are you talking about?

 

 

My version:

 

This was our conversation.
 
Him (yesterday): you paint me as such an evil person
Me: what are you talking about? that post was a tribute to you.
Him: i have no idea what you’re talking about so I cannot tell you what you think I was talking about. I could not be bothered to scroll down and read the message I wrote to you yesterday. Henceforth, clearly you are crazy.
Me: Sigh. (I am forced to cut and paste his email)
Him: Cheezeburgerz are da bomb.
Me: Indeed.

 

Dearest reader, if you have no idea what we’re talking about, we apparently do not, either.

because no one else has ever called me or my writing gentle
because you don’t tire of me
because you recognize insufferable positivity is positively insufferable
because you encourage me to curse
because somehow, some way, you get me
because you pacify my angst with your words and tell me
there, there
it’s not so bad
you’re not so bad

Due warning: this is NOT a creative or funny post. Unless you want to be subjected to paragraphs and paragraphs of endless venting and bitching, go ahead and move on to someone else’s blog and come back here soon. I adore you, dear reader; I just have issues that the medication is not smothering at the moment.

 

So my horoscope says I will be especially aggressive this Thursday and I think, oh poor world, you’re in for it today. Ask anyone. Ask Bryan. I stay aggressive. I stay offended.

 

(Okay, granted, Bryan is not the best person to ask because he truly is constantly offensive to me. He’s so judgmental and abrasive. For example, I invited him to come to my parents’ house this weekend and they are without electricity because of the ice storm and he was saying really appalling things like, “we can go up on Saturday instead of Friday, if that helps. I’ll help your mother in the kitchen.” I don’t think I’ve ever felt so berated in my life. Except for that time when Bryan was like, “medicatedlady, I’ll help you move, no problem.” Why can’t he stick to NICE, pleasant things like accusing me of rapid cycling when I am clearly unipolar?)

 

I have been short with my mother the last two nights because 1) she wouldn’t just tell me how the gas heat in her house worked, and 2) my father starts talking in the background and laughing loudly every time my mother is talking to me on the phone and she’s like, “did you hear what your daddy just said?” I tell her, “no, I’m on the phone with you.” What’s really awful about this is my mother is truly, truly the sweetest lady ever (ask anyone, ask Bryan).

 

And then I have *minor* resentment issues with the potential loves of my life because I want fire and sparks and someone who actually calls me once in a blue moon and who I don’t expect to just call me out of the blue one day to tell me he’s back in Japan and oh, he didn’t have a chance to tell me beforehand but I was a good person to “hang out” with. And then I’ll be angry. I’m already angry, a sort of a pre-emptive rage/resentment combo that brings up my rage/resentment concerning other assholes who have sinned against me. What keeps going through my head is I can’t even say we’re friends because I think I was just someone to kill time with. I’m apparently only worthy of being someone to kill time with and I am angry about it.

 

No. I’m bitter about it.

 

So, world, I am rooting for you. I sincerely hope you can withstand my rampage. I’ve had too much caffeine already, world. That’s probably not a good sign either. I am trying to stifle myself with lots of food and ice cream and creating toilet seat flair on facebook, but I don’t think it’s working. But, fear not, world, my next doctor’s appointment is tomorrow.

Anonymous poetry is better than anonymous sex
While he’ll snore and creep like a coward
You, dearest reader, will see me in the morning and be able to look me in the soul
He’ll bear his ass
But you’ll bear witness and be strong enough to comment on it

Life is meandering and stupid

Let’s get to the fucking punchline already

Let’s laugh at everyone else

and pretend none of the pretention applies to us

Let’s point and stare at all the idiots

Let’s be above them

Let’s ruin our days, years, lives

and never know what for

or why or how come

Let’s do this because we have been patiently waiting for the funny part of the joke like cattle going to the slaughter.

there’s dirt and food under my nails

simply washing my hands doesn’t rid me of it

I have to painstakingly dig under each one

water purifying them

rinsing the grit away

as if.

So

he’ll be leaving soon

when he’s been gone

all along.

 

For a flash of a second, someone turned the blaring overhead lights on when I had painstakingly taken measures to make sure the room was dim.

 

Low lighting hides all flaws or at the very least, softens them. What’s seen in starkness is garish but undeniably true. I only meant for him to take refuge in the illusion. But.

 

One can’t un-see what they have seen.

SOB with me

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