Monday, April 14, 2014


What will I do when she comes, bustles in, all business, forgetting to say hello, never noticing my open mouth, hand half-raised in greeting, brushing my cheek with her lips? You should shave, she’ll say, and I’ll know she’s right. Always right.
It’s an element of speed. That’s my theory. Speed, not haste. She moves so quickly, without hesitation, that you know everything she does is an imperative without the necessity of thought which makes it right. Every statement a proclamation. Every observation accurate and never a question. She doesn’t believe in questions. Said that once. If I don’t know, I find out. No need to ask anything.
But how do you find out if you don’t ask questions?
That question, my question, drew a look that showed why all questions were stupid, particularly that one.
Didn’t answer, went on organizing my life. The drawer next to the stove that time.
I spent yesterday cleaning, organizing, making my paltry existence tidy, in order, boring, which is how she likes it.
So what will I do when she comes?
       What will she do?
I look around. There is nothing to do. Nothing. My meager two rooms look like something in a magazine. Real Simple. And clean.

How cruel is that? Nothing to do? I could drop a sock in the middle of the floor, rumple the bed, disturb the silverware. Would be a kindness to her, but I don’t. I don’t even sit down, so there is no crease on the sofa. I stand, freshly shaven, posture perfect, and wait.

© 2014 Kathleen Coskran

1 comment:

  1. I love it! I can just picture the narrator actually cleaning for Mother and standing in the middle of his apartment with no where to sit. Of course, I'd go ahead and drop the sock just to be contrary. :-)