December 7, 2013
She says she’s my mother, but do you believe her? Look at her: a good foot taller than I am, a large person. Hard to believe she’s my mother. Now here is the woman I always believed is my mother. Don’t we have similar bodies? Isn’t she more likely my mother?
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R. and I are on the boat drifting down the canal. Feels good.I’m sitting in the front of the boat, folded into such a small space my feet are dangling off the boat. R. is right in back of me, his arms around my waist. I feel secure but then I realize I can’t swim. I remind R. that if I fall in, I will need help. Now I don’t feel so comfortable. “Let’s get off!”
R. is driving the car when we come across the passage that dips down between the buildings. Is that water? How deep? No place for us to go but through the red, murky shadows. R. is not going to risk damaging the car; instead, he pulls up on some fallen beams. Then we see it’s not water, just dirt, and we drive back up to the street safely. Being with R. is one adventure after another, I reflect.
R. shows me the stack of gym clothes and other items his elementary school sent him. “They send this every year, along with a check. My education cost $200,000; this is what I get from the investment.”
I want to show R. the photo of me in my ninth grade class picture, but I can’t find it in the yearbook. I keep flipping the pages, to show him. “I must have taken it out to put in the family album, where it would be seen more. It’s the picture of myself I like best.”
* * *
“We take turns walking the dogs. So many of us live here, it’s no problem. We’re always walking the dogs, they always get out.” Oh, so that’s how it’s done, I see.
* * *
When touring the building, I have to pay $5 to go to the bathroom. Okay, it’s worth it, even though the room has two toilets without dividing walls, and I have a tough time finding toilet paper that has not been used. Later I need to go again. I pay the $5 but then I have to rush through corridors and up the elevator and into another part of the building and they say it will be another ten minutes at least. “I can’t wait! I’ll have an accident!” I yell. I’m desperate. I have to go now! Finally they say I can go in.
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