Collecting bottles, tossing leftovers, taking out the garbage
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Lovely things, the railings. When it’s raining just right — half raining, the way it so often does here — the spiderwebs spun across the rails collect mist and shine, so that the Corrib looks like it’s swathed in sequined cloth.
The cataracts give her an otherworldly countenance, like a blind prophet who gazes more easily into the past than into the present. She is otherworldly, because she isn’t a part of this time where I dwell — not fully. She floats closer to us and then away again before we can grasp her.
I was six years old when I became aware that death was something that would happen to me. I was in the car with my mom, in the backseat because she followed the rules, and we were on our way home from the grocery store.
We rent a condominium together, my eighty-six-year-old widowed mother and I. Sometimes she summons me from her bedroom at the end of the hall. I have learned to guess from her tone what it is she wants.
My tester asks me to take a seat in the waiting room while she reviews my score. She wants to see if I have missed anything. I want to tell her I missed my fifties, skipped that whole section of my life, lived anesthetized for a decade, ten years on autopilot — years you think will continue to replicate themselves, dull and identical, until you die. Then the serious aging starts, and you know your fifties as gold poorly spent.