Save The Last Dance For Me

When Richard and the dog are both snoring it’s just me and iTunes, lonesome music in a crowded bed, thoughts of the future pester my brain and rob me of sleep. 

It’s dangerous to look ahead. 

I suppose it’s just my mind doing its best to prepare me for the almost certain future in which I will be, if not alone, without my best friend, whose fitful sleep and troubled dreams populate my nights.
The tapestry of our lives unravels and soon the picture will surely go. Where? Away.

I need no disturbance to keep my eyes open wide staring into the dark. I see the thing approaching. The writing’s on the wall. I don’t need a Daniel to decipher for me. 

My days are filled with it, as his brain declines and his world falls apart. It breaks my heart. 

Frantic days, I become an easy mark for the latest “alternative” remedy. All the money I’ve thrown at my hopeless hope! Daily he is less and less here.

In the snoring hours, I grieve. My sorrow tastes like lead, as heavy, as dead. I hate Alzheimer’s. And my fast-approaching empty bed.

Atlantic Avenue

Atlantic Avenue stretches from the Williamsburg Bridge on the East River all the way into East New York and the neighborhood known as City Line, where Brooklyn morphed into Queens. It was always a multi-ethnic route, to a non-descript working class Italian-Irish-German neighborhood.

I remember the apartment where my grandparents lived. We had lived there too until the big falling out between my father and his father. I remember the big kitchen and the two bedrooms that shared a wall at the back. I remember the tiny hexagonal and rectangular white and black tiles that covered the hallway floors. I remember my grandmother cooking.

But I was very small. Perhaps my happiest memory from those first years was going to the park nearby. There was a maple tree with a low branch that extended out at no more than one or two feet above the ground. I clearly recall my delight at running out along that branch and jumping from the end of it onto the pungent, moist mowed grass of the park. It was just across the avenue from the apartment house. I was two.

I never got tired of it and I never forgot it. It’s funny what moments emerge as the happiest in one’s life.













A Day Full Of Love

Sometimes I don’t know the words. I see my grandsons on Face Time, sleepy beautiful faces in my phone. Wanting to put in their Christmas request: they would like a computer in their room. It has to be fast for interactive gaming.

I welcome this direction. I will be their dancer on a mirror, singing and spinning, a 21st Century Ecstatic Grandmother. Wanting only to be used, to be a part of it.

“Yes,” I agree. “I’ll start searching.”

Among many other things, like golf clubs and kayaks, I get them those “extras” that can be difficult for parents to afford.

It makes me swoon when those two fresh young faces appear on my screen. Live, no less. (I do love technology.)

But the biggest part of me is my heart, swelling. Such blessings as these are mine. Gratitude washes from me in waves that fill the room with light.

This is today. A day full of love.

The Chairs

I have to say

    The Four Agreements

by Don Miguel Ruiz have much of value for me on my spiritual path. I particularly find benefit in the admonition: Don’t take anything personally. Taking things personally has been a huge issue for me.

Case in point: The Chairs

I imagine if my brother or my sister or my Mom were to read these words (The chairs) they would react as I do now, with a sensation of “uh oh” in the pit of my stomach.

What ever possessed any of us three toddlers to try poking a kitchen fork into the vinyl cushions of the kitchen chairs, I cannot recall or even guess. Memory has been blurred by the upset that followed.

I have always maintained my innocence. I didn’t do it. My sis was so little she can’t remember any of it.

We all three got laid bare-ass on the bed and spanked with a leather belt in turn. The wailing was intense. Pop said he wasn’t stopping until someone admitted guilt.

No one admitted guilt.

I was welts from ankles to waist and the blows kept coming, new on top of old.

I begged him to admit it. He said nothing.

It was bad. We had to stay home from school next day, the welts couldn’t all be hidden.

It felt like I was on fire. Meanwhile my father hit us and hit us and hit us.

Finally I said, “Okay okay! I didn’t do it but I’ll admit it if you’ll stop!”

Whew! And just that quickly it was over.

My brother never admitted he did it. Everybody assumes it was me.

Seriously, we’re in our sixties and he’s still letting me take the blame. The Chairs! Ugh.

Was it personal to me? No. He was just protecting himself. But I wonder about the adult.

We grew up and I became rigorously honest; and my bro? He became a liar. Famously so.

And, I took it personally. ‘You shit, I thought, you let us get beaten almost bloody so you could “pretend” you were innocent!” Some big brother!

None of which was really about me. It was all “by, for and about” him.

He never set out to hurt me.

Through experience I have determined resentment has a bitter after taste.

I think I’ll pass.