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Grapemo Day # 7: TUESDAY TEASERS!!!


The window framed us, night glass reflecting us— and for a moment, I stared. We fit, exactly. Always had. Everyone knew it. Like the moon changed shape, like the sun came up— the two of us were meant to be. In third grade, Bailey and Jenna chased me across the playground, throwing dandelion heads and singing:

Tikki tikki tembo, Seth Ar-sham-bo
kissing Willa Dixon, in her mama's kitchen!
Gonna get married, gonna get married, boo!

They sang it until I cried, and Mrs. Graham sent them to time out. No idea why it upset me.


Kathie C

This is a book about the Old Woman—in my life and yours. It begins with a personal reflection—the first and indelible experience I had of Old Woman: my maternal grandmother who lived with us from the time I was born until she died when I was 20. I found her again in the nursing home I worked in while going to college and then again decades later when I worked for an agency on aging. And out in the world? She is still all around me, her richness and power obscured almost completely in the haze of anti-aging ads, books, obsessions. What makes her so FEARED? I wonder. Why are older women largely invisible, their value discarded at the end of their childrearing days or sentimentalized to death in the image of ‘sweet Grandma’ or denigrated and reduced to ‘the little old lady in tennis shoes’? While the majority of older adults in America are women, they have no place in the world, no special status, ‘nothing to do’. Yet they still tend the old, the young, the quick and the dead, for it is women who most often are caregivers of both young and old. I want to see Her, I long to see Her--- and out of this longing, I wrote this book: to make visible to you and to myself, Her great variety, Her intensity, Her gentle and terrible midwifeing through aging into death.
She moves through our dreams, underscores our fears, leads us like Ariadne’s thread through the labyrinth:  the aches and pains of our bodies, the erraticness of memory, the roadmap of wrinkles showing where we have been and how long are our journeys. And in the end, She cradles us much as She did when we were born and nurses us with the milk of forgetting, of gently or combatively letting go, of disappearance and dissolution into the sea which pre-dates and post-dates our beings.

They reached the reservoir at last, both of them sweating, muscles of their arms aching with the effort. They had not spoken the whole way for fear of attracting attention. But now, by the noise of the water rushing over the sluice gate, they could risk speech.

“The water is so strong,” Heidle said. “It’s very likely he’ll drown.”
“If we haven’t killed him already.” Nande knelt by the great body stretched at their feet, all its strength arrested. His utter stillness worried her. She pressed experienced, knobby fingers against his broad neck and closed her eyes for a moment in relief. The blow had been hard. Neither woman had known how to calculate a blow that would fell a giant like Walde without killing him. But the whole undertaking was a risk. And now, yes, the risk was that he would drown, but they had no other choice.

“Is he…?” Heidle asked.

 Nande nodded. “His heart still beats. Quickly now. There’s little time before the watch comes round.”

She fumbled in the pocket of her skirt for a small leather pouch and tucked it into the pocket of Walde’s breeches. From the neck of her blouse, she drew a needle and thread and sewed the pocket shut. She nodded at Heidle, who lifted her own skirts and from around her thigh, unbuckled a sheath that held a sharp blade. Heidle bent and strapped it to Walde’s forearm, the band too short to circle any other part of him. His own knife and gun had been taken by the council, and Heidle would suffer when the loss of her knife became known. There was nothing else they could safely give him. Nothing else that they could anticipate he would need.

“Man the gate,” Nande ordered. “It must fall the moment his body hits the water or he will sink and drown.”
“And after?”
“After is up to God.”

To express how I feel about Jesse, I’ll tell you about the ritual I do every night. I light a lilac scented candle because it promotes sweet dreams, then I kneel beside my bed like I'm going to pray, except instead of speaking to Jesus I just picture Jesse Esposito's face. I imagine it in my mind until it's good and real, then I daydream myself into the scenario, fill in the background (sometimes we're at the pizza shop, sometimes some place exotic and totally improbable like Paris or Aruba), and then he leans in and kisses me. That whole routine takes about twenty minutes. Then I get in bed and let it replay over and over, hoping it will seep into my subconscious and I'll dream something beautiful.

I've been totally committed to this bedtime routine for the past week, but so far I've only dreamed about off the wall ridiculous stuff. Like jellyfish and Burlington Coat Factory.

As I sit up in bed, my dreams from last night come flooding back to me. I did finally dream about kissing! Unfortunately Jesse Esposito was nowhere in sight.

I was in the band room on the first day of eleventh grade, holding my clarinet across my lap while the overweight greying band teacher Mr. Krantz passed out sheet music. When he got to my stand, he tossed the stack of papers over his head and pulled me into a passionate embrace, his mouth all over mine and his hairy stomach bulging out from beneath the bottom of his scratchy sweater vest. As I tried to pull away from Mr. Krantz, I looked past him and saw the entire band staring at me and I thought, “Oh Lord, I definitely have to transfer to chorus.”

I lean over the side of my bed and dry heave.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
Awesome! Thanks!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Jeannine Garsee

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