“There’s a lady at the door, Grandma.” The telephone was screwed to the wall. I pulled its twisty cord, as far as I could, to see who the three-year-old had been talking to. “Grandma?” Hospital hold music played Opus Number One. “The lady said there’s something wrong with Mommy’s baby.” I dropped the phone …
The sound of the piano filled hours. Time she could’ve spent with him. Her mouth, a slash of red, now the waxy pallor of her face. He takes too long. Nods. “That’s her”. He imagines placing a single white lily where it happened. It’s the thought that counts.
“Street brawl.” I say when someone asks about the cast on my mother’s hand. “I’m a silly old lady who fell, again. Don’t lie.” “Perving at a man and tripped.” “Stop it.” She’s blushing. “Closer to the truth?” Laughing with her, I hope this isn’t the beginning of the end.
The selfishness of mundane life became the building blocks for walls between them. Their disappointment, the strongest cement. “You should go on date nights.” The therapist told her. “You could always leave.” She told him. So, rather than do laundry, he put his dirty clothes in a bag and left.
Night-time on tiny Manono Island, Samoa. Sixteen-year-olds lie on the sand. Their outlook already widened by this way of life and they imagine being here in the tsunami. Transfixed by the endless universe above, they want to know the meaning of life.