Like a concentration camp victim wearing Ralph Lauren pajamas. Even his lips look thin. A pencil sketch of our mother, his eyes and cheeks, like hers, have little bite left in them. I am frightened by his hairpiece, for his dragon skin, this hollowing shell of a man-like creature, unrecognizable except I know him so well. Even his fingernails look jaundice. But then he moves. Like a slow dance with the kitchen floor. The stainless steel refrigerator reflects poorly on all that has wasted away. No fun remains in this fun house mirror. I am tempted to say—why can’t I yell?—look, don’t you see, but it is neither my refrigerator nor my place. A mere couch moocher in between another episode of my split-crock existence. Even his coffee maker drips willowy. But then he slices a banana into equally small bites. I sit up to watch him eat, pretending to be thinking profoundly. I have come to discover houseguest silence increases, exponentially, ones staying power capability. Even his chewing sounds cold. But then he sits beside me, staring ahead at the empty fifty-five inch TV screen, our bare feet breathing on matching foot stools.
Our father’s blood still runs between us. Like strings of a winter duet, we are plucked for the season, watching the sun peek in on us without laughing. Even his toes crack counter intuitively.
published 14 December 2011