Mother’s Day

Dry eyes close. Don’t close, I’m driving. Eyes close, lashes dark. She closes her eyes more than she opens them these days, functioning while asleep, closing out the world, plaques and proteins scuppering the synapses, ships sunk, cut off from shore, dead ends of words and mumbled, jumbled jargon. She closes her eyes. Later, I fight the glue in mine. Don’t close. I’m driving. The journey home, this day alone. Mother’s Day. The journey home is broken by a rummage through trousers in the supermarket, trying to find trousers that will fit, unconvinced by the sizes and the memory of what size she wears. A staff member apologises, I don’t know why. My dry gritty eyes stare past her. In my head, buying trousers has become the worst day of my life. In my head, everything is the worst day of my life. I sleep with my eyes open. I bump from Sunday moment to peeling Sunday moment, blistered and flaking. The uncared for varnish. The shabby social veneer. Mother’s Day. With a mother who is dying, plaques and proteins deadening the synapses, short circuiting the memories, gobbling up the life she has lived, leaving the rest of us behind.