Friday, January 19, 2007


She thumbed through the left-behinds of her grandmother: bank statements, blue-safety paper checks in her mother's handwriting, blank cards from the 70's and 80's, and one white envelope from the state mental hospital. Within was a document detailing the Hell her deceased mother faced 30 days before her death. Her best friend and mother, feeling it in her best interest to have her admitted involuntarily. The canned verbage went something like "believe this person to be mentally ill and presents a strong danger to self." She stayed there for 6 days. Another paper shows patient voluntarily discharging herself. Three weeks and two days later, she was dead. Found in an upstairs room of an abondoned house on Patterson Street, across said street from the hospital, not 200 yards from the mental ward where the man was a patient. Somehow the man slipped out of 2 North, skitted across the street, had the thought of visiting the empty house, and discovered her mother dead. It made the Times. It was big news. The house is gone now. On top of those mental images of mushed restless spirit sits a heavy medical complex.

Mommy took her there one time. Perhaps she was plotting her own demise. Mommy was fascinated with the abandoned home. They walked through the waist-high weeds to the back entrance. She was scared. Vandals had left their marks, broken glass, shattered floors, missing steps. Her mother told her to stay on the ground floor while she took a look around upstairs.

Finding evidence of the tragedy that shook her very foundation at 13, she thought really hard and tried to paw through the mist of the long-forgotten memories. Nope. She can't remember what she was like then.

No comments: