then an ambiguous summons came delivered with artificial intonation from my mother. i was to join a family meeting but i resisted her call to join humanity. it could have been me being contumaciously adolescent, but it was because i knew the headline news that was to come from our living room was going to be the tragic kind that plebians are inexplicably drawn to. come on come on she ushered. but my aunt was also out there and i looked half-way deranged. i didn't want to hear the message. and i didn't want to be seen for what i was.
i was being selfish and i didn't want to worsen or make an already macabre day even stranger. so i pulled up my ratty hair and buttoned myself into an irritating sweater which i believed was a suitable outfit to wear to a dismal proclamation. regrettably i sat myself down on the stiff couch next to my grandmother and i curled up into a feline position. my acute reasoning knew why we had been called into the wood paneled den of exposure and i wanted it to be over.
my grandmother had cancer. i had my weary head nestled on her shoulder like an exhausted five year old who's spent a day hiking diligently through an amusement park. resting my head was a natural response with no thought behind it. but upon verbal solidification of what i already knew i tried to ease my burden on her bones, without actually losing contact. i had to remind myself to blink and courteously glance at those around me. but i wasn't there. i stroked the red polish on my nails to elicit more glamorous memories but i ended up picking at the dead skin around my fingers instead. for once i couldn't talk. i had no suggestions or affirmations of hope or a statistic to be fetched from my data bank. all i could do was remember her in her disposable rain poncho making her way down to the base of niagara falls while i sat on dry land to preserve my hair. i latched on to her finger at the image of her returning triumphant with beads of a landmark in her cotton candy white hair. she made me laugh for the first time that day with her recruitment plans for a harem of young men with her new set of mammary lures.
i waited till i couldn't and then i got up because i didn't want my pessimism to infect her innocent and powerful hope. she followed me though asking if i was alright. i felt such guilt. i loved this woman as much as my bruised soul could so i didn't refute when she told me to pray.
write me a poem she said.
i have and i will again
okay it means a lot. you know everything happens for a reason and all. everything has a purpose
you know i don't believe in that
i will be okay
and with that she left and went about her night gossiping and i read my own words from years ago that i had written about her, my polyester live-in sage.