Brain Jumps


I am in bed with my poetry and my books. And my cats.

***

Tonight as I was stacking the dishwasher, I had a strange sensation before an image from the film Nell shot back to me; of a wide-eyed woman, alone in a cabin in the woods.

How nice to live alone in a cabin in the woods.

But a woman, alone in a cabin in the woods, must be a witch.

How nice to be a witch in a cabin in the woods.

***

At the beginning of my senior year of high school, when I was 16, my parents separated. My mother never re-partnered. And, to this day, I don’t believe she ever even dated. My father. My father, on the other hand. I don’t speak of my father. Or to him.

But my mother.

When my parents separated, my mother was four years younger than I am now. She had two teenage children; me, and my brother, three years younger than me.

In my memory, I assume she was too busy to date. But that can’t be true. Because she danced. Many times a week. In a line, with others. She took up this type of dancing because it did not require a partner. Perhaps, neither did she.

In my memory, I assume she never stopped loving my father. Even though she left him. But I know my father; so this can’t be entirely true, either.

In my reality, what is perhaps most true, is that I didn’t think any of these things about my mother. I didn’t think about her or her happiness at all.

When G and I moved back home from the Leukaemia Foundation apartments last year, we had G’s elder daughter over for an outdoor dinner. At one point, the conversation became morbid and I shared the fact that if G dies before me, I do not intend to re-partner. His daughter, still blissful in the first year of new love, was shocked. But won’t you be lonely? she asked with genuine concern.

It’s possible.

But I wouldn’t have to take care of anyone except myself. And my schedule and time would be entirely mine.

Perhaps that is why my mother didn’t re-partner. And if that’s the case, I may have more in common with her than I thought.

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