A is for…

A is for—

This is not actually about alligators except that some had been sighted from the backyard of my mother’s friend, Mrs. Brown, whose grass was green as the taste of mint toothpaste and walled off a river the color of decay.  She bought little fishing rods for my nephews visiting–she was that kind of person–who turned nice thoughts into actual hooks, lines, sinkers.

Perfect, my mother called her, someone who did everything ‘just perfect.’

Even her candles burning under glass so that wax wouldn’t drip off-kilter, her house a polish of brass, pledged wood, the only bits of chrome frame of tv or multiple offspring. The name of her husband long dead bringing tears mirrored in the sheens, fried chicken all around, a peanut butter sandwich for me who was vegetarian, and later

when she had Alzheimers, another a-word also sharp-toothed, and we stopped to see her at the Assisted living, it was not clear she really knew us but she knew we were someones she probably should know, her hair still a perfect pageboy,  silvery as Sir Lancelot, she invited us into the small apartment praising it despite the plaster as wonderfully arranged

by her daughter, the walls stucco, if you know what I mean, sharp points everywhere, so that it felt like a cell of calcified splatter–not burnished or mint tooth-pasty at all, unless you are thinking of some kind of toothpaste left out over night for some weeks—-please, I am not saying that there literally was such toothpaste there–and anxious to entertain us as she had always entertained (cite the little fishing rods), she found the kitchen (adjacent to living room), switched on its tube lighting, blinking for a moment beneath the postured hair, cut up slices of raisin bread from a red plastic raisin bread bag found in a near-empty fridge, took out a small jar of peanut butter from a near-empty cupboard–her hand seeking things to hold on to, the peanut butter, a pleasant surprise.

I helped in that light that was like a fridge light, as if we too were being kept against spoilage– it was a such relief to her, I thought, to be just spreading–the soft smooth peanut butter, the known bread–

 

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A short prose piece for my own prompt on Real Toads to try a writing exercise jumping off from a random word, coming to mind after choosing a random letter of the alphabet.   This still very much an exercise.  (Go check out the post on Toads.)

 

 

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8 Comments on “A is for…”


  1. I never thought of Alzheimer’s as sharp-toothed before, but it makes complete sense to describe it like that–a biter of memories, of relationships, of identity, of tomorrows that can be kept…

  2. Trådløs Says:

    Oh wow! What a wonderful piece of writing! I love how you tell the story, very sensible. Very sad though.
    Green as the taste of mint toothpaste – a wonderful palpable and smellable image here


  3. Really loved it.. your voice and the way you tell it makes me want to know her from that past… turning nice thoughts into actual hooks, lines, sinkers. … a person you would wish to be.


  4. I love you and your mom just like I love my mom going through the the same illness. A is for Alzheimer’s, and also for Always. We love always

  5. Kerry Says:

    I like the movement of your prose, karin – the steady stream of thought and imagery brings an immediacy to the discourse.

  6. sanaarizvi Says:

    This is so incredibly evocative. I like the reference to “the soft smooth peanut butter, the known bread–”

  7. Grapeling Says:

    vivid, sharp, emotive. I’m glad to see you writing, Karin.
    ~ M

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      It’s so nice to hear from you. I have been working very hard at my job and working on little book projects. I do not have much of a heart for blogging right now— but it is so very nice to hear from you. Hope all is okay. K.


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