My youngest daughter, her name is Gamma, can bilocate. She did it last night after dinner. We had cleared the dining table and were sitting there talking and getting ready to do what we do after dinner, practice cello, play a game, brush our teeth and go to bed, whatever, depending on the person. My father-in-law often takes a walk around the village at that time. My mother-in-law lies on the sofa with her leg-bending machine and her crutches and suffers from her knee-replacement surgery that prevents her from doing anything beyond dispensing criticism and instructions on matters great and small.

She, my MIL, got up from the table with great effort and limped, sigh-propelled, back to her sofa. We all talked about whatever we were talking about when suddenly Gamma pointed and shouted in a voice simultaneously awed and narky:


For that instant, Gamma was two other places: in a large tent crowded with the halt and the lame and an evangelical faith healer (I SAY THROW YOURAH CRUTCHES DOWN AND WALK! THANK YOU JESUS!) and in a police station, on the good side of a two-way mirror, pointing out a suspect in the line-up (THAT’S HER! THE ONE WITH THE “CRUTCHES”!).

Okay, so trilocation, seeing as how she was also still at the dining table. And her grandmother metamorphosed temporarily into a crab, a crab caught in the headlights, a crab hypnotized by the snake, and both quickly scurried back to the table to fetch her forgotten crutches and yet not quickly seeing as how she was unable to walk without them and moving quickly would undermine her status as one unable to walk without crutches.

We floated, suspended in a timeless bubble of impromptu delight. Then the clock resumed ticking and Gamma went and brushed her teeth.

8 responses to “Bilocation

  1. i adore gamma and her clean clean teeth.

  2. lucy

    Obviously, she gets her narky voice from you.

    “dispense criticism and instructions on matters great and small”- perfectly said. Heh.

  3. Surely there is a tale of an “Unfortunate Boy” to be found in this episode somewhere.

  4. j-a

    i was going to ask what bilocation meant but now i geddit.

  5. I guess that means the jig is up and Oma will be on her way back home soon?

  6. Julia

    I *love* this piece! It’s so funny and you paint such a great picture.
    Only just discovered your blog and your other writing is equally vivid and evocative. I can see and smell some of the places you describe.
    I’m relieved, also, to find someone with weirder dreams than mine!

  7. oh, i love oma!

  8. mig

    So do I. It’s not easy being Oma.