Three deer barely visible in a dark field beside a dark forest. Smokestacks here and there dispensing smoke or steam into the sky. Everything is grey and washed-out, nothing is grey, it’s already vibrating with potential color. The black naked trees are already deep brown if you look at them closely.
“So how was the mental hospital? Was it scary?”
“I didn’t think so. Just sad. That one lady screaming all the time because she thought everyone was poisoning her.”
“Not the one who thought she was being anally raped?”
“No, the poisoning one was doing the screaming.”
Beta is writing a paper on familial murder-suicide for school and met with a psychiatrist yesterday.
“The mental hospital seemed sad when your great-grandma was there. We all drove up, but then only dad went in to visit her and the rest of the family waited in the car in the parking lot.”
It was a 1969 (I think) Pontiac station wagon. Blue. We had a 3-pound coffee can in the back seat, empty, for when us kids had to pee on long trips.
“She was in for manic-depression. I don’t know if they sent her in while she was depressed, or manic, or how that works. She got electroshock treatment. I don’t think it did her any good, to put it mildly. They stopped using electroshock for a long time. Now they’re using it again. I hear they’re being more careful with it.”
A friend of mine told me a story about fixing a lamp and touching the wrong wire and being knocked clear off the ladder onto the floor. At first she hoped it had given her new mental powers. When I was little I touched an electric fence and my hand closed around the wire and I couldn’t let go. I was standing in a wading pool at the time. I used to wonder if that was what made me so much smarter than the other kids in my class. Now I just wonder whether my parents had taken out a large life-insurance policy on me around that time.
Yesterday Beta played a new piece on the harp that sounded just like sunlight on water.
Last weekend I played bowing exercises on the cello that made my kids want to learn cello.
The sun’s up. Lately I prefer the dark.