A My Private Coney project Flash non-fiction, brief moments and old memories of a city and mother's emotional and physical real estate disappearing at the speed of heartbreak.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
An Untitled Day
It’s Sunday and I’ve arrived with my usual bags of food from various eating joints. Penny has successfully cleaned Florence up and gotten her to the kitchen table.
The Jonathan Schwartz show is on and Sinatra pours out of the old kitchen table radio. Florence sings along furiously along and at some point, to hell with Sinatra wherever he is at in the song, she is in the middle of her own rendition. She motions me to join in and I sing along with her as I dish food onto her plate.
"I am singing every note in tune! You don't sing in tune!" Florence yells at me.
I don't bother to argue with her that she is in a different key than the radio. Like most recent experiences it doesn't matter what I do. Today all that matters is that Florence needs me to be someone incapable of singing as well as she does, keys be damned. It's the highlight of her week.
Coleslaw shakes precariously on her fork. I hover with a napkin. Florence hates everything she eats, save the coleslaw. That she'll eat without telling me how awful it tastes.
I cut another piece of meatloaf. Hand it to her. Do the mommy thing of "Just one bite come on you need to eat some more..."
She bites. "This is terrible."
It's the third sandwich I've tried on her this week. Nothing works. “How can I make it better?"
"Make the food taste good again."
I stare at all the pills I've poured into little neat daily piles. The drugs keeping her alive are killing her life.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.