Saturday, February 27, 2016

Why my book is not finished. Excuse # 743

I have come next door to visit Mom and bring her various things: the newspaper, fresh eggs, batteries, a book about Ethiopia, chicken Marbella I made yesterday. I’ve fixed the curtains in her bedroom, and deciphered a name on a piece of mail. (A very old Belgian friend. “I never liked him,” she told me.) Now it is time for me to get going.
Me: Bye Mom.
Mom: Where are you going?
Me: Home, next door.
Mom: Well what for?
Me: I have to get to work.
Mom: Oh? What are you working on?
Me: I am writing a book.
Mom: That’s nice. What is it about.

Me: It’s a novel about a Hungarian man who develops a rare disease and tries to cure himself with horseshoe crab blood, and his ex-wife, who still loves him, but had an unfortunate affair with an ex-felon, and their daughter who is obsessed with language and a boy named Henry.
Mom: Why is he Hungarian?
Me (One foot out the door): It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Mom: Your father and I went to Hungary, but we didn’t like the food.
Me: (Curbing the impulse to tell her that they never went to Hungary, because it is bad form to contradict an Alzheimer’s Assertion, and I know that claiming to have been in every country ever mentioned is a compensatory mechanism for her these days.) It doesn’t take place in Hungary. It mostly happens on Cape Cod.
Mom: What is Cape Cod?
Me: It’s right near where you lived for sixty years. We used to go there in the summers.
Mom: I don’t think so, but if you say so.

Me: Thank you. I’ll see you later.
Mom: What is it called?
Me: What?
Mom: The….. the thing you are writing.
Me: I’ll let you know when it’s done.
Mom: When will it be done?
Me: Never. If I keep answering questions.
Mom: But when can I read it?
Me: When it’s done.
Mom: So when will it be done?
Me: Soon, but now I have to go.
Mom: You never talk to me.

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