Linda: Born somewhere South of Ohio, North of Nigeria, not sure where. Maternal grandparents; pastors and pedophiles. Father; not sure, something where you have to move around a lot, like the military, but not the military, sketch artist, huge baseball fan. Younger brother, Bill, now lives in Indiana with a woman, has a daughter, grandchildren, very nice, casual, wore blue jeans to his mother's funeral. Their mother, Mary Eloise, worked in the home from what I can gather. Died recently, about five years ago, had about a million strokes, coughed, and died. She was a simple sweet woman who put mayonnaise on her potato salads. The speaker of this story has about six memories of her. One of her crying. One of her writing my name in a bible. The rest mostly silent. White sugar over corn cereals, nicknames, pleated skirts over crossed knees. Backyards falling into warm summer lakes, faint noises. Bags of peppermints on the floor. The speaker of this story never met her grandfather, her mother's father, the first husband of Mary Eloise. He died suddenly of a heart attack while the speaker of this story was in utero, and Linda was on bed rest, supposedly, could not make it to the funeral. Linda. Married her high school sweet heart, her best friend's brother, Earl, or Spark as he is affectionately nick named, I think for his love of trains. Linda and Earl had three daughters. Linda tried to kill herself. Linda got "help." Linda got a part time "job" at a hospital, met a very young speaker of this story's eventual father, had an affair, left her family, moved to New York, had a still born son, had a daughter; Jessica. Another affair. Divorced. Another marriage. Divorced. Found an apartment and a man named Tom. Lived high and strong till the depression demons won. Used up all eight of her lives, dipped down to 70 pounds. Left. Has had her body sliced open more times than the speaker of this story can count. Now lives alone with her medication in the Back Bay of Boston, eats meals on wheels, watches TV, lives in close proximity to her oldest daughter, grand daughter, and two great grand daughters. The speaker of this story has called Linda three times in the past year, after a glass or two of wine, in a public restroom, leaning against the outside of her wedding venue, and leaning against the outside of a busy restaurant on Clark & Berwyn. Linda has a cat named Morgan, active in the church. Relatively good standing with her Boston relatives, although, they prefer to refer to her as Linda, grandmother is a title earned in my family. It is safe to say that Linda is, and always was, sick. It is safe to say it's not her fault. It it safe to say she sucks at mothering. It is safe to say I miss her every day.
The musicality of Ani Difranco
And the iconography of Katharine Hepburn
Happy mothers day to who ever it was that said "sure" to your "can I sleep here tonight?"
Put The Load Right On Me,
Skin & Toast