Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Living Memories

Again, I know it's Monday and I'm just getting around to posting (and writing, frankly) my Sunday Scribblings. What can I say? I'm a rebel. I'm also fighting the urge right now to do a major cleaning in the kitchen. But since I haven't done my writing today, here I am pondering how in the world I'm going to use "slippery" in an entry. Guess I better get started.

Prompt #67: Slippery
"Living Memories"

"I've lived more than seven decades," the woman said as her granddaughter brushed the thinning silver hair that covered the older woman's head. "I can barely remember my name some days. But on the good days, I can remember moments in a world that no longer exists." The young girl, sensing something important was about to happen, put down the brush and came to sit on the stool facing her grandmother.

"Memories are slippery suckers," the grandmother said. "They slide into my mind and then, before I can grab hold of them, or even bring them into focus, they slip right out again." She reached her thin and age-spotted hand out as if trying to hold onto a particular moment in time.

"Some days they're slower than others," she continued. "Some days I can see them clearly, the moments I thought I'd lost forever. They crawl around for a while so that I can get a good look at them and then they mosey away with a wave and a smile. Those are the days I feel young again. I see pictures of my parents before age settled into their bones. I see my first love sitting beside me at the Diner. I see your mother the day she was born."

The young girl leaned forward, putting her chin on her folded hands, her elbows on her knees. "What was she like, Grandma? When she was young, what was she like?"

Her Grandmother gazed into the air over the young girl's shoulder, willing the memories to visit today. The granddaughter could see the effort in her grandmother's face and she reached out to touch the old woman's knee.

The touch seemed to bring the woman back to present, but it didn't bring with it the answers her granddaughter wanted. "Some days they'll stay for tea," she said, as if she'd never been inturrupted. "They'll tell stories that invite other memories to join us. On those days, the memories don't like to go home. They claw at the creases in my brain, holding on for dear life as they fall, sliding gradually off the cliffs of my mind." She grimaced as if she could feel the fingernails of memories sliding through her cerebelum. The girl stayed silent now, waiting on whatever her grandmother needed to tell her. Answers didn't come when she asked questions anymore. Now they came whenever her grandmother had them. The young girl knew she had to always be listening or she might miss what it was she needed to hear.

"On slippery days, they pass in and out of the rooms in my mind like eels through the water. I try to catch them; I do what I can. I smooth-talk them and bribe them, but they just won't have it. No gift will lure them into sticking around. So on these days I resign myself to their slipperiness and hope for a sticky day tomorrow."

The old woman closed her eyes and breathed deeply, but the young girl waited, hoped. When her grandmother opened her eyes again, she looked directly at her granddaughter. The young girl held her breath. And then she got what she was waiting for.

"You are just like your mother," the grandmother said. "She gave you everything she had. When I look at you, I see her. You are my only living memory."


Rob Kistner said...

Very warm and engaging... I enjoyed this post a great deal! ;)

nejyerf said...

i just finished catching up on your posts.

what a nice way to end it.

i like that sentence - "you are my only living memory".

nice job

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