I Love My Pomegranate
by Amy Quincy
My moms a little
ditzy. I used to think our miscommunications were
my fault, because the stroke left me with a slur.
Not anymore. Its not just me. She can be
spacey. And hard of hearing. Not that shed
ever admit it.
An SUVs parked
illegally in the handicapped spot at our hair
salon. Mom leaves me in my wheelchair and walks
in a realty office.
Oh Lord. Here we go. Inside,
I see her pointing to me. Shes having words
with some guy. Theyre coming outside, his
keys in hand.
There was nobody here,
Were here now,
Sorry, the man
huffs. He isnt. Im embarrassed, but a
little proud too.
Then she blows it.
Dont do it
again, she says. This is too much for his
ego to handle.
Look lady. You
dont have to be so rude.
Rude? Im rude?
My hairdresser, Jill, opens
Whats going on?
she asks me over the yelling.
Just pull me in,
Once inside, my mother
plops in a swivel chair. That guy was way
out of line, she says. Give me a
second to decompose.
I look at my mother, then
at Jill, who looks at me, confused. We burst out
What? Mom asks.
Jill manages, Well,
were all decomposing a little every day.
This only makes me laugh harder.
My mother, still puzzled,
looks at us.
You mean decompress?
At least shes
acknowledges the problem -- this propensity to
use the wrong word. Shell substitute any
word in a pinch. Last week, she confessed to
walking Frankie, our Pekingese, when the name of
his breed escaped her.
What kind of dog is
that? some passerby asked.
said my mother, without hesitation.
Once, she called to say
shed pick me up at eight a.m. I responded I
had every faith in the world shed be on
time. Its a running joke, since shes
not exactly a morning person.
You have every what?
F as in Frank,
I started to spell.
What about Frank?
When overnight guests
visited, one friend asked if he could turn on the
oven. Im going to make strawberry
pies, he said.
Ohhh. I was going to
say ... she trailed off.
Im going to
make strawberry pies, he repeated.
Why would I say strawberry ties, Suzanne?
That doesnt even make sense.
Exactly. I know if I was
losing my hearing and didnt want to admit
it, my common sense would be working double time.
Not so with my mother.
We went out to lunch that
day after the salon. I apologized for my bad mood
Yes, baboons, Mom.
Im apologizing for my baboons.
Shes looking at me
strangely. Its amazing how you can want to
protect someone and strangle them at the same
time. But I dont strangle her. I take a
deep breath. All I need is a second to decompose.