o doesn’t like that he’s a bookend. he has two canes. he likes the second doctor. he’s the one who deals with his heart and tells him not to get surgery for his bad knees. the third doctor he sees is a specialist. he wants o to go under the knife. o avoids him as much as he can. i’ve lost count of how many doctors he has. i believe he sees ten. his teeth are a healthy yellow and brown, which is to be expected
at his age of eighty years.
i’m more familiar with his body than with his thoughts. his mind has many levels. it looks like an ear. i don’t think he trusts it as much as he used to or maybe he trusts it more than he has. he has formidable concentration when he listens to what goes on inside.
i don’t trust my mind when it doesn’t have something to focus on. my mind doesn’t want to focus unless i have someone i can help.
o said i liked to talk on the phone like my mother. i liked talking to my mother. i hate talking on the phone. i don’t mind to text. he doesn’t have a cell phone. he doesn’t want to be modernized.
what would my mother look like today? i think she would look elastic and round. she has been dead for 6 years. i think she would be resilient. she was capable of happiness towards the end of her life. she had to tell me about the vile things that were said to her. there were many who were jealous and needed to hurt her or maybe they thought they were helping her or wanted to penetrate her and instead hurt her.
they gave me a new client. a short woman with bad teeth. she was in vegas. she wanted to talk on her phone.
you can’t use your phone, i said. she has a son. he looks like her. i didn’t allow him to be with us.
who are you, i said.
i’m a house cleaner, she said.
are you always on the phone. i said.
pretty much, she said. i like to let everyone know what i’m doing.
i was looking at a studio apartment but it was expensive.
for you and your son, i said.
yes, she said.
did you like it, i said.
it was between nine and 11 hundred, she said. we’re just looking. we saw 4 places today.
what is reality, i said.
do you have a pill for it, she said.
they don’t care about this woman. we want you to live they advertise.
i’m paulus, i said.
i’m helen, she said.
i’m sorry, i said. i forgot to introduce myself. sometimes i forget myself and i think i’m the person i’m talking to. do you ever think you are someone else?
no, helen said. my daughter and i have a cleaning business, helen said. she’s paying for college.
yes, she said.
she misses her father, i said.
i don’t know, she said. she doesn’t see him anymore. they don’t give a shit about her. they want for me to open her up. they want her to talk about what happened to her. i can tell only so much from being with her. i don’t think there is much there. i don’t think she remembers.
he wasn’t a good man, she said.
do you remember what happened, i said.
where is the pain, i said.
in my abdomen, she said.
i pushed two fingers into her stomach.
i feel very sad, she said. she began to cry.
why are you doing this to me, helen said.
you’re doing it, i said.