Saturday, July 25, 2009

Freeze Frame

I am on pause mode at the kitchen sink, mid morning. Five million tasks completed, five million more to do, but I do tend to exaggerate, when she appears again. We run through her usual itinerary of questions, all part of the daily routine, a check list and head count of everyone’s whereabouts and doings. I do not care to recall or count the number of times we have already started the day.
“Good morning Nonna? Good night’s sleep?”
“Sleep? Me? I never sleep.”
We continue for several minutes, same tone, same answers, careful to ensure that there are no hic-cups. As she wanders off with a cup of hot slopping coffee I feel a dip in my spirits. I stare at the empty pristine sink with a rising sense of guilt and confusion when she re-appears at my side to place the coffee mug down.

We start again.

“Good morning Nonna? Good night’s sleep?”
“Sleep? Me? I always sleep perfectly but I am you know……a bit weary.” I jump at the chance.
“I know what you mean. The boys are stuck on 4:45 a.m.”
“Wot? Dat’s morning anyway? Or is dat night time?”
“You tell me?”
“Wot you are den?”
I blink because English is a foreign language when translated from the Italian, but she unravels, “why you are so …….dirty today?”
“Gardening.”
“No…dat……..it’s white……grey?”
“Clay.”
“Oh you have a nice play wiv your pottery den?”
“Yup.”
“When you do dat den?”
“Just now.”
“So you are cook now? Wot are you cook today?”
“I haven’t quite figured that out yet.”
“Well……dat’s your business. Wot else?”
“Hmm?”
“You look sort of……..ow you are?”
“Tired.”
“Tired! You’re too young to be tired. Ow old you are now den?”
“48.”
“48!” She fluffs her palms in exasperation, “when I was 48…….let me see now…..?” I see her reflect upon earlier times with her one delightful child, my husband, before she continues, “yes…..maybe…….don’t worry yourself…….soon you will be really old too and den you can forget all about it.”

She has a point.

1 comment:

jinksy said...

Age has its compensations, then...