Monday, January 27, 2014
How We Do It, Part XXXIX
I don't really want to write about the messy part of caring for a disabled individual -- the grind of soiled linens, how difficult it is to pull a mattress away from a wall and pull the fitted sheet off, the stains, the smells. I busy myself. I am efficient, my hands deft, my back strong. In my mind, I play with words, how I'll write it. Why will you write it, The Other asks, what's your point? I'll flinch, snap the sheet off the near corner, position Sophie on the floor, away from the wet and the smell. No one likes a confessional, I concede, but I can't help myself. I've cleaned her up, sprinkled powder, pulled up the soft pants, handed her the beads, the jingle bells and walked down the hall with the laundry and the diaper in the bag, my head turned. She probably notices when you grimace, The Other says, and I wince, again. Are you going to write that? As I open the window in the room, I let in air, the words in my mind, then out, sweet motes of tangerine trees. The Other's words scrabble, hoarse, pipe down, go silent, and I busy myself with a match from the box, a tidily decorated matchbox, a whale, a mermaid, la sirena, a house for a stick with a black tip that I strike just so and light to Vetiver and Cardamon, Elysian Garden, Snow Gardenia, Hesperides Grapefruit, Driftwood and Stargazer Lily.