Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sharpie Vs. Mascara

Walking though leaves this morning, watching autumn fall around me,
I thought of my mother, the R.N..
Specifically, about how when she pulled into the driveway after a ten hour workday involving terminally ill people, a wonderland of Halloween garbage awaited her removal.

Perhaps it was the tens of thousands of handmade Kleenex
ghosts tied with rubber bands and entire reels of fishing line in our front yard.

Maybe it was the slate path I pulled up and reassembled into a functioning graveyard. Better yet, the homemade candles (made from melting regular candles into "other shapes") set to burn the place down entirely.

I was staked out like a Sheen brother, somewhere behind a cardboard tomb,
monitoring all entrances into Spookworld.
Mom slammed the car door, looking gorgeous in her white uniform, red leather jacket, and gray French braid. I knew I was a dead man, and there were plenty of plots to choose from.

Only now, as an adult, and an Aunt, can I feel the weight of her parental exhale. That "oh for christ sakes" breath of someone poised to rake out a soon-to-be cyclone of wet toilet paper bombs. And equally, from someone who was now out of toilet paper.

Today my five month old niece will don a Strawberry suit at the hands of my sister Sarah. Halloween Beatrice will be prepped in black leggings, black socks, black Onesie and tiny green cap. Like a mime without whiteface, she will slip into something less comfortable so we can kiss the hell out of her.
And I promise, when she stubs out a marker on my carpet, or makes a tire swing out of a tire I'm currently using, I will take my lumps.


2 comments:

corinne said...

where are the strawberBea photos? i still can't believe those stupid rats blocked me from this delectable delight!

Nina Johns said...

Dear Rachel,
This seemed as good a place as any to comment on the NPR interview I heard this morning. I wanted to tell you of my admiration for your "selfless" caring for your father and to have a moment of understanding and connection since I am learning, at age 58 and with a full life under my belt thus far, to be selfless in order to care for my elderly mother and to, as I suspected, enrich my "self". There is no substitute for this as most plunge headlong into the American dream/nightmare of achievement. Glad you've gotten the experience earlier than I, and not sad because illness and death are the human condition. Thank you for your candor and obvious good character.