Woke up very early today—around six—and decided to stay up since yesterday Jesus had said they’d come earlier next time to beat the midday sun and also because the rainy season is coming on fast this year and they need to finish painting the murals around the outside of my studio within the week. I thought I’d get my blog written, the animals fed and maybe make them a special breakfast instead of the usual cookies or cake or chocolates that I serve with their morning coffee. (I make Jesus and Eduardo, not the animals, morning coffee with sweet treats. Ha! Thanks to Dolly and Irene for setting me straight on my faux pas.) So, all my tasks finished, I brewed a pot of coffee and started preparations for molletes–one way to use all those beans I cooked earlier this week that seem not to be vanishing at a rapid-enough rate in spite of the fact I’ve had them for every meal since. So, I located the beans in the fridge, sliced a bolillo (small fresh bread loaf) buttered one side of each of the pieces of bread and lay half of the pieces butter-side down on the grill, then layered manchego cheese, beans and manchego cheese before topping them each off with another slice of bolillo, butter side up. When they got here, I would grill both sides for an extra little treat. Half molette, half grilled cheese sandwich, it would be an Americanized version of a Mexican favorite.
Putting the grill on the unlit stovetop, I covered the molletes with a cloth, took my meds, instructed Echo to set my timer for a half hour when I would take the rest of my meds and went to check on my blog. Hmm. 9:15. It seemed as though if they were coming early, they should have been here by now, as their usual time of arrival was 10. It was then that I thought to look not only at the time but the day of the week. Sunday!!!
A full pot of brewed coffee and a grill full of potential molletes–and I a person who had done a smoothie for breakfast for over 30 years and who had to give up coffee 24 years ago! I guess there is always a valid excuse for breaking routine, so in an hour, after I’ve waited to take my second round of meds and waited the prescribed half hour, I will be dining on molletes and real coffee. I’ll have my smoothie for dinner and drink extra water to ward off the bad leg and arm cramps I get when I drink caffeine. The world will not end if I break a few of my own rules.
I’ve finally calculated the amount my head can hold— sorted, classified and filed, folded, stacked or rolled. It’s just enough to get me by and leave room there for me. If you want to learn some more, you’ve got to leave space free.
Don’t jump to the conclusion I don’t prioritize. One’s got to be selective in what they memorize. Keep the best stuff handy in your mental cache. Put some stuff on a higher shelf and throw away the trash.
Heads do not get bigger like hips and waists and ears, so if you are forgetting things, let me calm your fears. It’s nature’s way of making room for more important thought. Emphasizing what we are, erasing what we’re not.
Though memories are sketchy, those that remain are vivid— mere scraps of joy or humor or times when she was livid. No way to tell what snips of time her memory will nourish—
current relations lost to time while past ones live and flourish.
The mind does nasty tricks when it decides to misbehave. It may leave us abandoned within its darkening cave, or perhaps it casts a cinema only one can see, drawing them into a world of dreams where they are free.
No one who walks through memory’s door can return to tell whether it is heaven or a living hell. Another trick of life that draws us fast within it, forcing us to play the game without a way to win it.
I must have said no a hundred thousand times as we enacted first-love’s mimes. Parked breath-heavy in the summer night, how we would tongue and rub and bite at those cloth boundaries as, at love’s height, he asked if we might, whereas I, preferring passion’s flight, turned on the light.
Searching through the rubble of my bedroom desk drawer, I find the estranged top to my last remaining Flair pen. I’ve been looking for it for weeks, sealing up that last precious pen in Saran Wrap and a Ziplock bag, lest it dry out. They don’t seem to import Flair pens to Mexico and the last time I looked for them in the states, I could only find lurid colors of orange and purple and green. No black.
My first attempts to scribble poetry with a mere rolling writer were not successful. That attempt was without precedent. I’ve been scribbling with Flair pens for as long as I can remember. Their little felt nibs flow so effortlessly over the surface of the paper. The track they leave is wide enough to make a writer feel important and acknowledged. In the world of writing aids—pen, paper, notebooks, staplers, dictionaries—Flair pens are the perfect neighbors. They do not make a noise or leave an impression on the page under them.
Now I move to restore this much-looked-for cap to its spouse, only to find someone has moved the ziplock back containing the pen. With no one else to blame but the cats or Yolanda, my three-times-a-week housekeeper, I mine my mind for memories of where I might have moved it. Sigh. Place the top in the place formerly designated for its companion. The search continues.
This piece was written making use of these three prompts: If you are in need of a prompt, click on any URL for how to submit your work.:
When we were younger, we all were amused as my mom steadily grew more confused–– losing her keys and her glasses and purse. Each year of her life, it seemed to get worse. At tax time she snorted, she fussed and she stewed as her simple receipts she sorted and viewed. One thing at a time was all she could do. She grew somewhat flustered when confronted with two. It was a puzzle for those forced to view it. With much less to do, she took longer to do it.
But now as my seventies get so much nearer, what my mother faced is getting much clearer. Once a multi-task wizard, I find even two tasks at one time are too much to do. When on the computer I now have to think to accomplish functions once done in a blink. The names of close friends I now search my brain for. What once came so easily, I must now strain for. I still have my memory—try to believe it. It just takes me longer to sort and retrieve it.
When it comes to time limits, I just confuse myself. In games like Trivia, I must recuse myself. The end of my stories I’m often delaying, for I can’t recall what I started out saying. When I finally remember why I came to town, I’ve forgotten the list where I carefully wrote down all of my errands and then what is worse, when I get back home, they are there in my purse! I’m glad I’ve no kids with whom I can share or they’d already have me in memory care.
“After all our years have settled like dust . . .” ––okc forgottenman
Ashes and Dust
When that cruel wind
blows against memories
that have settled like dust
on our lives,
what will remain
sealed in our crevasses
––fine furniture that we are
of a bygone age?
What remaining minutes
of a long life of years
will define us then?
A kiss? A child held in arms?
In those storerooms
where people sit
stacked in silent cubicles,
what zephyrs whisper through
to stir the embers
of their minds?
Is there music in those currents
or are they the sad
that curl over headstones
and lament the dust that settles there,
moaning through cracks in attics
and around hanging eaves troughs,
causing them to swing and bump
lonely against the fading
wood of abandoned houses?
LIfe builds us and wears us away
like the mountain.
Like sand on the beach.
We are not above it all.
No matter how much power
we think we gain,
Nature is a wind that breathes
into us at birth,
then blows itself away.
The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem making use of the first line of someone else’s poem. You can find the poem by okc forgottenman that I drew inspiration fromHere.The WordPress prompt was “whisper.”
Like a worn suitcase
so stretched from countless trips back and forth
between the scattered parts of my life
that there is always room for one garment more,
I close around your memory.
Tomorrow I will take you out
and fold you like an old comfortable shirt
over my shoulders.