--AND HERE I THOUGHT WE WERE JUST GETTING BACK TO NORMAL
Two and a Half
When I arrived she was out of her wheelchair and seated on a gold sofa, so old now, so brittle-looking yet giggling like a child into her fist while watching a sitcom. A clear globe of snot filled her nostril, then burst and I remembered days of summer when she and I would have a bucket of soapy dishwater, homemade slush from which to blow bubbles using for a tool an old pair of eye glasses with the lenses popped out.
In the raw sunshine, we blew and grinned. We hummed Partridge Family songs—“Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque” and “I Can Hear Your Heartbeat.” We liked the same things but would never admit it because we were twins.
From the upstairs sundeck that one summer day we watched the bubbles glide windswept. Some caught on the old maple and stuck there like crystal balls. Others wobbled away, taking their sweet time before disappearing into a great skein of clouds.
Below Dad loped across our sun-scorched lawn and ambled over the curb, holding his lower back and stretching before stepping inside the white Caddie.
“I bet that lady makes him feel younger,” my sis said.
Momma was inside the house and even though she couldn’t hear us way up there, even though she had no idea, I punched my sister harder than I meant to. She flew back. Hit the top porch rail mid-spine. I watched her eyes crack like white lightning, never again to be so lively or disgusted.
Now she jerks when she senses my presence at the door frame, me having not knocked loud enough.
“You scared me,” she says. On TV there are two men and a young boy, a laugh track. “You really scared me,” she says.