A Translation For The Spiritual Mediator Who May
Speak For Me To Sadie J. Carman, Wherever She May Be:
Sadie, somebody's just a laying on their horn this morning, right
outside your window. I just sat down to get through to you, but he's
out there, just hollering his ass off. So how I'm supposed to do
Grandmother, I should not speak to the dead, but I'm lonely.
Yesterday afternoon I slept, hot dreaming of a baby that wouldn't
stop crying in my arms. It was mine, that baby, and its hunger was
all I needed in this world.
Sadie, you would throw a fit. That stupid fucking EMS done tore up
your carpet with their dirty boots, and Frankie had to tape up your
mirrored closet door where they cracked it trying to get you outta
here. I don't know what their big rush was anyways, considering. I
been Windexing and Cloroxing since I got here Thursday, but ain't a
thing I can do for that carpet except rip it up, and your closet
door's no good until I can just replace it.
Grandmother, your son pulled your teeth out for drops of
nitroglycerin, morphine, a desperate last phenobaritol. It was 2:00
p.m. on a Sunday afternoon and the tumor in your abdomen had pushed
your heart up so far it couldn't anymore. EMS arrived and took you
to the hospital to run an EKG to prove what we already knew. It was
paperwork, really, pushing it through quickly in order for the state
to wrap things up. Hospice picked up your bed the very next morning
and sent a nurse to count and collect all unused pills.
Frankie, God bless his pea-picking heart, is just about the sweetest
fucker I ever did see. Did you know he ran up to Publix yesterday
morning just to get me Cheetos and everything to make chicken n'
dumplings? Now you know and I know that that cheese and that soup
was just a making him gag, but he did it anyways, God love him. He's
trying, Sadie. He's trying.
Your lactose-intolerant son. Your son who cleared out every single
item in your refrigerator after you were gone but refused to let
anyone move anything else. Your one-armed reading glasses, your
extra-large bottle of extra-strength Tylenol, your rhinestone
writing pen. All still on your nightstand. He's drinking again, and
heavy, and last night he was already asleep when it was still light
outside and still asleep when I got home. He's trying. Jesus, is he
Don't you fuss at me. I ain't seeing that boy no more, and I did
just what you said to do: I kept my head high and walked right past.
The one I was with was sour and cold, so I held on for a month or
I got little Jim's class ring for him, and for mama I'm bring her
your rolling pen and flour sifter. And for myself I'm collecting all
the little things I can that might help me remember, like your
Aqua-filters and one of them 16-ounce plastic glasses you like for
your Pepsi. I'm taking an article too I found in your underwear
drawer, the one about Pleasant Grove and that river you were
baptized in. And oh, yeah, I'm taking this lavender scarf. I hope
you don't mind, I thought I just might wear it in my hair when the
weather turns this spring.
It is not enough. I cannot describe you and lay you flat on this
page with words, words, words. The palm trees beyond your living
room window have grown thick enough that no one could possibly see
from the outside now.