buried in the folds of her silk and satin
I drove fast, perhaps too fast for her. Perhaps not enough stops, not enough sleep. I listened to news all the way back to Philadelphia. Nearly a month after the demolition of The World Trade Center, tributes to over three hundred firemen suspected dead. George W. Bush proclaiming, "Osama Dead or Alive." The debut of "Operation Enduring Freedom." The promise of "Infinite Justice." "Humanitarian food" dropped along with bombs over Afghanistan. "Bombs Tighten Net of Justice." The first suggestions of a new and better "Anti-cheap on sale tiffany rings rings Bill," known as "The Patriot Act." Plans for "Camp X-Ray" at Guantánamo Bay. Through it all, the fright, the fury, the visions of unending war, my mother kept checking her watch.
This is how we lived in my house in Philadelphia. The television blared upstairs. My mother dropped used Kleenex all over the house. She smiled, and kept repeating: "I don't want to be a burden on you." After a week, she insisted on going to the grocery store on South Street, a couple of blocks away. I drew a map for her, and made sure she cheap tiffany the way back home. The first time she did not return, 1 found her turning a corner on Lombard Street. She must have been making that turn for a long time, since she'd already been gone over an hour. She kept going back to the grocery. Every afternoon, more cans of tuna, sesame crackers, and mangos appeared on the kitchen counter. The pile grew. The kitchen had been gutted before I moved in. Only the wooden counter cheap on sale tiffany pendants. She brought to it what she had always loved. Mangos accumulated. Her beauty, my obsession with her, all so memorable, were now reduced to the question of time and the purchase of food. The watch that did not work gave her something to do. Her repeated question about the time and the subsequent rewinding made me think that there was a connection between her lifelong passion for things, her new tiffany bangles for sale to know how they work, and her unraveling.
My mother stopped eating. I joined her rituals of accumulation and denial. I started buying different kinds of food that I knew she liked. She ate one bite of salad. That was it. I took her to dinner. She had a peculiar relation to the things on the table, as if she no longer remembered what to do with them. I kept staring at the whites of her eyes. They had turned a strange ivory color. She lost her lipstick. I found half of it in the wash. A second week passed. We made two trips to the emergency room late at night when she had difficulty cheap tiffany pendants. During these times, sitting in the bright cubicle for hours, she told me that her flesh had become "food for maggots." Throughout the six weeks in Philadelphia, I watched her closely, trying to know where she had gone, into which details she had put her faith. Her old habits remained, but seemed deliberately exaggerated. The toss of her head, the slow smile, the coy innuendo, but something had happened to her hair, the lipstick was too red, and her jokes no longer made sense. Then her tiffany necklaces for sale changed. "I'll just kill myself. I see it in your eyes. You hate having me here." When I asked my mother "Where do you want to go?" she answered, "To heaven."
My mother is here now with me in order to be with her things. How else can I understand why things disappear or fall off shelves, or why Mehdi, my American Staffordshire Terrier, eyes opened wide, starts peeing at the top of the stairs, on the oriental rug, or at my bedroom door? Maybe she wants me to know that because I have her cheap tiffany she has earned the right to possess me. She wants now to be closeted inside my body just like the things once hoarded in her bedroom drawers.Surrounded by these relics of her existence, still in boxes in my basement and garage, I am losing things. Or have I forgotten where I put them? Every morning when I awaken, I notice that something has disappeared. Like the shell of a snail, all these things, the paintings on the walls, the crystal and silver on the tables, were as much a part of my cheap tiffany bracelets being as anything inside her. I should have known, since as I grew older, I sought out her things magically to transform my childhood irrelevance. My mother and I made an exchange, a devil's tiffany earrings for sale. Our lives required a circuit of possession. She demanded things from my father, and I prodded her for his gifts.
Sitting here alone in the home that is now filled with her spirit, I recall her words years ago. "I'll be dead soon. on sale tiffany bracelets will be yours." Two years before she had to leave with me for Philadelphia, I made up a contract that we both had to sign. I still have it. The list of things I did not want her to sell, the objects that I reckoned would give me a heritage, a meaning to my past and future. Her signature was faint. That covenant turned out to set the stage for her disintegration, mental lapses punctuated by her silent tallying of the things that were misplaced, sold, or taken away. As each thing went away, she lost more of herself. She no longer knew where she was or who she was. When her house was sold, her mind went too. She forgot whatever was current: the daily habits of the narrow-minded community she abhorred, the cars honking on Ocean Parkway, the wails of the next-door neighbor as she threw things at her husband. Before my mother lost her voice, she kept inviting everyone to come visit her home in Atlanta.
I had always feared becoming her. But I had been her long before I knew it. Here in Nashville she is regaining her strength, pulling herself together in my home and through my mind. Although many of her things are not here, there is just enough to importune her, to urge her on as she remembers the dismantling of her home and recovers what she had missed in my own.I did not want to love her as much as I did. She made it clear that she needed to shake off that attachment, hold her ears against it as one tries to avoid the noise of chalk scraping across the blackboard. Much later, when I was in college, away from home, she apologized for hurting me. She'd take me into her bedroom, open her lingerie drawers, and take out the piles of cards and letters I had written her. For years they had been kept, tied together with ribbons and buried in the folds of her silk and satin. Surprised, I held the proofs of my longing for her, the Valentine, Christmas and birthday cards I had made. Painted hearts with ribbons, poems composed about eternal love and apologies for being bad.
My adoration knew no bounds. I had not kept track of its excesses. As I grew older, love turned readily to hate that I controlled and limned for dramatic effect. Docile longing turned into litanies of blame. Abandoned and unloved, I told stories that turned my mother into a mirror that reflected my uniqueness. But sometimes alone in the night I wondered about the possible effects of dishonoring her. Did words have power to harm? She always told me how bad thoughts could kill.