August 26, 2015
No, it couldn’t be Ernie M. He was fine. I saw him just a few hours ago, Ernie with the black hair –wearing shorts, getting into his UPS truck to make deliveries. What? He fell from the rooftop? Splat on the concrete? Oh no! Did Liz see? How traumatic if she did. It could stop her 100-year-old heart in mid-beat. She didn’t see? Oh, good.
The police are there? Put them on the phone. Please. I must speak to them. Thanks.
You are the police? Tell me, does Liz know yet? About Ernie? No, please don’t tell her yet. No, don’t tell her! Give me some time. A few hours, maybe longer until I can get a locksmith there. I must take care of the broken key before she knows about Ernie and is even more distraught. First I must tell her about the key. Don’t worry about it. Just put her on the phone.
Hi, Liz, it’s me. It’s about the key. It broke off in the lock. Yes, I have the key here, the key to the main door. When I left, I saw a piece in the lock but I didn’t know what it was. Now I realize; the tip of the key broke off and is in the lock. About a quarter of the key. Maybe a third. Not a half. Let me look. I would say almost a quarter. It won’t work. I must get a locksmith there. Okay? I will call from where I am. Just give me the name of the locksmith. It could be a few hours, maybe a day … I will get a locksmith there as soon as possible. Just don’t go out of the house.
We leave the two-story home, the house with wide-eyed black-trimmed windows, the gaping-mouth glass and metallic, black-trimmed front door facing the street. Security people are surveying the scene. “Make sure you wire all the windows,” I tell them.
Liz takes my arm and with her cane and white hair we make it up the hill.
“I will be so happy to have the new alarm system. I will probably sleep better at night, knowing the windows are wired. I don’t feel afraid now, but somehow I will feel even safer. And sleep more deeply,” Liz says.
I eye the upcoming corner; no sign of Ernie’s body. Whew. They cleared his splat out in time. She won’t know until we tell her. I’m relieved. Must protect her. Protect. Protect. Protect.
* * *
I go to hug Carole C. – haven’t seen her in years! – but it’s awkward. Her arms are jutting out at her sides so I can’t get close enough to put mine around her.
“Put your arms down, please, so I can give you a hug!”
“My arms ARE down,” Carole says.
“No, like this.” I show her how her arms are coming out at the elbows, and how to position them close to her body so we can hug. She argues; she doesn’t understand. Or want to understand. Finally she gets her elbows by her sides instead of extended and we embrace.
Her green eyes are smeared and all the skin around her big, beautiful eyes are shining with the green.
* * *
Yes, these are my eyeglasses. I need new ones, with lenses that will transition from light to dark. Like I used to have. Where did these old frames come from? Looking in the mirror, I’m astounded I ever wore these regularly. Huge, plastic kaleidoscope frames with dark rose-peppermint stripes covering most of my face, shaped in perfect circles with miniature circular lenses embedded in them. I must look so weird.
August 17, 2015
Four theater tickets. I don’t need them. Would you like them? Know someone who can use them? They are free. You want to pay? Okay. You can pay.
Don? You want them? Sure. They cost …
How dare you charge Don! He’s your friend. You selfish, cheap b….
I’m embarrassed and confused. I meant no harm.
August 5, 2015
The much-anticipated vacation in China turns into a surprise nightmare week: I’m a prisoner. The Russians have occupied the land. Bombs are going off in the distance. Bombs might be close by, too; I must be careful not to set any off accidentally.
We sold our bench so now we are in trouble; we have no hard-soled shoes, either. The Russians don’t want us in this building, but they won’t let us leave it. What to do? The first day they served us Jewish delicatessen food; after that we haven’t been able to identify the food at all. They interrupt me when trying to go to the bathroom. Wish I had instructions on how to use the toilets. Not self-explanatory, and they seem to be pop-out drawers of dressers.
Russians now are asking us who we are. How can I reassure my parents I am okay? Oh, I can see how my sister feels now.
* * *