Friday, December 31, 2004


lord blow the moon out.

this band covers a song my mom used to sing at girl scout camp. if you are a seattle or a san francisco reader, they're coming to your town soon. it's fitting music to stay inside and be warm to.

images later, and possibly also a blessedly short home movie, but for now, this: my grandmother, whose confusion surreptitiously approaches senility more and more often these days, came to my house for christmas dinner. it was quite a group: me, the monkey, my squabbling parents, my ex-nun aunt whom my father can't stand, her unmarried daughter with her five year old son. there was a dog, too, whom everyone unfeelingly made wait in the car.

"it's sort of like having grandpa Simpson at the table," the monkey said of my grandmother. i watched her switch her one finger of liberally watered bourbon for my father's alarmingly full glass while he was out of the room. she winked at me, and i wouldn't have given her away except for my worry that too much juice would make her sick. the one finger may have loosened her tongue, though, because before long she was interrupting conversations at will with random anecdotes. "do you remember the time i had the bananas?" she announced in my direction once. and, truly, i did not remember. later, someone mentioned the name cecelia, which is the name of her nursing home roommate. cecelia is japanese, and because of this my grandmother believes there is a language barrier separating them (so far as i can see, this is not the case) and that she is very, very shy (also not the case; she smiles and waves at me every time i visit). she also believes, varyingly, that she has to take special sisterly care to look out for cecelia and that cecelia is stealing her hairbrushes.

anyway. someone mentions the name, and my grandmother lights up and winds up to tell a story: "at the nursing home, that chinaman . . ." and then, she falls silent. it seems that she's aware she's said something inappropriate. so she bates:

" . . . i mean, chinaperson."


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