Saturday, October 18, 2014

Funeral memories

The chatter of people in the grocery store and the woman, who was wearing too much rose perfume, standing in front of her in the cashiers line reminded her of her son's funeral and the people muttering their prayers as they passed by his casket before moving onto her.

She didn't remember what they said, only how they would take her hand in both of theirs.

She didn't want any of those memories nor the ones of him playing in the yard too near the street with a ball before she screamed.

The memories came unbidden, anyway.

Monday, June 30, 2014

To Ben


The sun was hot. Alain rested against the wall in front of the mural. He looked at his watch.

It should have been a short walk ending with a cool beer., But Elena kept stopping to take photos. He'd long ago leaned not to point out anything because she'd stop and take endless pictures.

This time she was taking the angel statue.

Why oh why had he ever bought that camera for her?


Elena focused on the angel's wings. Her collection for the exhibition was almost done.

Four years ago she would never have thought of taking any photo.

Then Ben, sweet ten-year old Ben, forgot once again to look both ways before crossing the street.

Why Alain thought a camera would lessen her grief, she had no idea. It hadn't.

What the camera had given her was a different focus on the world. She discovered the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Alain still didn't know about the exhibition. She wanted to surprise him. As soon as she added the last few photos, they would print up the programs with the words on the first page in ten point type: To Ben.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Woman in Prayer

Marie-Claude's knees hurt as she knelt in the centuries-old church. She glanced at her watch. Seven and a half minutes to go..."Hail Mary full of . . ." don't let my mind wander "...full of grace..."

A man walked down the aisle . ..  "blessed art thou . . ." He looked like Jean-Paul, her non-dearly departed husband ". . .among women . . ." Where was she? . . . "The Lord is with  . . . "

Damn. She thinks, damn doesn't belong in the middle of her rosary. ". . . Where was she again? Oh yes, ". . .thee. And blessed be the fruit of thy womb . . ." Jesus. Not Jesus as in "blessed be the fruit of thy womb, Jesus" but in Jesus she had a cramp in her leg and it hurt like hell.

She refused to stand and walk on the leg. Her penance for hating Jean-Paul and for hastening his death was to go go church every day and say 15 minutes of rosary.

"Holy Mary, Mother . . ." Damn that leg hurt. Probably Jean-Paul, buried outside the church was cursing her ". . .Mother of God. Pray for us sinners . . ."

Marie-Claude looked at her watch. Time was up. Tomorrow, same time, same place.

She limped from the church.