Umber (47.35 — Oleander’s Story)

September 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

One evening I sat on the blue rug in the living room and made paper clothes for my paper dolls.  I could hear Miss Brigid in her bedroom, talking to her sister in the mirror.  I heard Mama in the dining room, praying aloud; or, no, it sounded more like she was having a conversation…or maybe an argument.  I peeked into the dining room to see who she was talking to.  She didn’t see me.  She was alone, facing the statues and holy cards on the sideboard.

In an exasperated voice, she blurted out, “It doesn’t matter!  I can’t do it!  I want to, but I can’t!  I have principles, you know!  If I don’t live by them, what kind of worthless human being does that make me?  I would have thought that you of all people would have figured that out.  How in the name of all that’s holy did you get to your present position?  I really expected better advice from you!  My God, I had no idea life was going to be this complicated!”

She made a disgusted snort, balled up the dishtowel and flung it at the sideboard, and stormed out of the dining room.  All the little votive candles flickered, but managed to stay lit.

I wondered if Mama was losing her mind, sort of like Miss Brigid.


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