It was almost 9:00 PM when I left work today. The rain had stopped but it was cold like fall, which lurks everywhere now. I thought it would be warm and dressed as though it was. I am not ready to accept another season.
Everyone on the bus had that musty smell and looked a little sad. I stood for a while then found a seat, and arranged myself for the ride home. It was unusually quiet, and I noticed that this was because no one on the bus was talking on a cell phone, which almost never happens anymore.
When I got home, I retreated into my pyjamas and watched the news. The coverage is settling now, after days of rupture and chaos. Reporters have regained their composure and are on the outside of the story again. Soon, too soon, it will be business as usual.
I am trying not to think about my mother, but I still brace for long-distance rings. For the time being, I have decided not to answer them. One came last week, and without thinking, I picked up. I shouldn’t have.
It was awful to hear her, so full was she of fear and anger and bile. Listening to her rave, I felt like I was drowning in floodwater, and I realised that I don’t have it in me anymore. She is already gone.
Since then, everything has been muted and strange. I go to work. I watch the news. I have coffee with friends. I do these things even though, in another city, my mother is crazy and dying.
I feel like a ghost in my skin.