Sunday, January 17, 2010

Child





They take me around everywhere.
**
Sometimes they take me to a nice place, like the benches on the side of the building where I can watch the children from the other apartments play and laugh and run around. Sometimes they knock into me which makes me upset and then I yell at them but usually they’re nice and they say hello and good morning to me.
**
Other times they take me to places I don’t like. I get angry and I tell them I don’t want to go but they take me anyway. She tells me that I have to come but I don’t want to listen. I yell and curse in every language I know, which makes her angry, too. They take me by the arms and help me walk while I spit out my anger. Why are they so mean to me? I did nothing wrong…
**
We are walking across the street. I think there is a house behind me, but I don’t remember where we are coming from. I am sad and a little upset and I am mumbling under my breath because I don’t know what else to do. She is asking me what is wrong, but I don’t know how to answer. So I keep mumbling. Then she smiles and says cheerfully, “We are going to Chani’s house! You love Chani!” I don’t know who Chani is…. All I know is Chana’le and she lives down the dirt path from my house and I have not seen her in a few days. The trees are turning colors.They are pretty, but they are so different than any trees I know. They are short and their leaves are yellow. I have never seen trees with yellow leaves. I feel confused.
**
We go into the house. She puts me into a chair and ties a big napkin around my neck. I feel tired, and the chair is stiff. And I feel hungry, but my hands shake and the food spills off the fork. She feeds me a little. But I am angry at her still, so I eat slowly and I spit some things out and I tell her she is bad and evil. She is patient with me. Why is she so nice?
**
Around the table are many children. They talk fast and I cannot understand anything they are saying. They all come over and say hello to me and wish me a gut yom tov, and they all seem to know me. I do not recognize any of them, but one little boy looks like my brother, Shmuel’ke. I wonder where Chana’le is. They are all talking fast and loud. I am tired of listening and eating. I fall asleep in my chair.
**
Sometimes my dreams wake me. I’m a little girl, standing in the dirt-floored kitchen, watching my Mama mixing challah dough. And then I’m a few years older and I’m standing in the forest and it’s cold and everyone is lying on the ground except me. I cry out and get tangled in my blanket. I hear her coming down the hall in her heavy slippers. She comes over to my bed and strokes my face. “It’s ok, Mommy, it’s ok…you’re just having a nightmare.”
But she doesn’t understand….. My nightmares are not when I sleep. In the dreams, I know who everybody is. In the dreams, I know the houses and the roads and the forests. When I’m sleeping, I understand. When I wake up, the nightmares begin…


To my Tante Adele...
May you soon find comfort and peace even within your nightmares.

11 comments:

Staying Afloat said...

Wow- what a real journey into the mind of someone who must have lived a very full life. Thank you.

Would you consider publishing this in print? I believe more people should see it.

Freeda said...

I second SA's comment- this is an eye opening piece of writing that I think many can benefit from. Would you publishit?

grinfish said...

wow. wow. wow.
ouch.
excellent.

Mystery Woman said...

I have to admit...I didn't get where this was going until close to the end, but..wow....beautiful...

halfshared said...

Wow, I had to read this twice to fully appreciate this but it provides a totally different view of what they're feeling and thinking... I once visited a woman with Alzheimer's and she met me at the door with a knife which obviously was quite scary. However, seeing it through her eyes, everyone coming to her must be so scary and suspicious.

corner point said...

SA, Freeda--
Thank you. I would love to publish--this, anything--but I don't know where. Any ideas?

Grin--
....I know....ouch...... but thank you...

Mystery Woman--
That was the point. You don't know who she is. She doesn't know who she is...she doesn't know who her daughter is...where she is... I meant it to be ambiguous and unclear because that is her world... And thank you...

Half--
I kinda wanted it to be that way.... that you get to the end and then realize it's something different...then have to go back to the beginning...then go, "..oohhhh....."
Thank you for appreciating it...

David_on_the_Lake said...

powerfullllll

Oh the brain is so fragile.. it's so well written.

As I'm reading it..I'm thinking wow...this is what a blog would look like if toddlers would be able to have blogs...and then at the end..I kinda got the chills..

harry-er than them all said...

i had to read it a few times to. very powerful story. My grandfather A"H had Alzheimer, and it was scary as a child to watch his once sharp mind decay until nothing and no-one was recognizable.

shadchante said...

Beautifully written and so true...

I watched my grandmother fade away into confusion...

fromthesamesky said...

Beautiful writing! :)

Rachida Benamar said...

Your writing is very soothing ! Well done