September 4, 2012
She requested a black magic marker.
Whenever I’d get into a funk as a child, Alice would urge me to get busy doing something. “A busy child is a happy child,” she liked to say. I think this applies more to her than to me. She couldn’t wait to get her hands on that marker and dive in.
(That cord over her right shoulder is for her Pocketalker.)
At last the job was done, although she did mention she might have to put on a second coat after this one dried.
She showed me her latest story and asked me to type it up for her so she could submit it to the newsletter. Then she picked up a paper bag next to her chair, held it up to her face and inhaled deeply. She held it out for me to smell. It was filled with all the rose petals from the stolen roses that I’d cut from the prosperous bushes along the chapel wall and brought to her all summer long, as I’ve done every summer since she moved here. This is the first summer, however, that she’s saved the petals.
“What will I ever do with all these?” she wondered, peering down at the hundreds of creamy white, yellow, red, and coral petals.
Just as I was about to suggest the traditional little sachets to tuck under her pillow and into bureau drawers, she brightened and looked up at me. ”You can sprinkle them on my body!”
We fell all over each other laughing.
Of course, I have to do it (don’t let me forget), but I hope that day is a long, long way off.