Weekend in August
"I spent a weekend with my mother in August, and she was in pain the entire time. I hovered ineffectually and made suggestions of compresses and pills and she was purchasing me school supplies and it was so many incongruous scenes folded in on itself - back to school shopping, at age 26. We slept next to each other on my grandmother’s sofa that night, in the same exact place where I had last seen my aunt sitting shortly before she died of AIDS. My grandmother left the front door wide open and I did not really sleep. I thought about the fact that I had not slept next to my mother in years, and how nice it was, how I couldn’t sleep with the front door wide open because someone might walk in uninvited and I had to be aware, and I tried very hard to not think about Cathy laying in the spot I was laying in, but I did anyway, and I thought about how much pain Mom was in, and was it really just her back like she thought? Could someone’s back hurt that much?"

From "Strange Silences"
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