The Beholder

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My Aunt

My Aunt’s Hair

Once, she called me to help her dyeing her hair. I looked to the white hair spreading over her head and I told her that she looked very fine indeed. Why ya hiding your age?! You must act like a mature woman! Of course I was kidding, and she knew that, but she couldn’t help herself exploding on my face, calling me as a “bloody sadistic who wants to break that youthful spirit she’s got”. For sure she was very angry, usually that edge of anger when I’m laughing about this every time she asking me to help, but she couldn’t deny that many times she laughed during yelling at me. Now she’s sitting there, thinking about something God only knows what is it, putting on a veil and letting her hair grow whiter and whiter every day that passes.

My Aunt’s Pillow

She’s short and nervous. Has the same adoration for cats’ from her mother’s blood. Goes to the grocer everyday to spend sums of money she really needs buying a can of salmon for her four cats, which were five. Had one marriage but it didn’t work. Working seven hours a day and spending hours like them going to friends and talking on the phone, telling anything that had happened to her and listening to their wise voices. But every night that passes she is lying on her bed and begins to think of and replay an ancient event occurred many decades ago; she merely didn’t tell anybody.

Her nephew could hear her speaking about that while she didn’t even realize that she really speaks. He could hear her asking herself if she might be the reason for her mother’s death ’cause she didn’t concede her a doctor earlier. He could hear her crying about a man she lost 30 years ago.

My Aunt and My Grandma

She was her mom’s second baby. The first baby was by a man who died after begetting a male child, she and her mom loves him as a son. They both have many things in common and many more differences. Sometimes mom called her a bloody damn woman who wants make her suffer, while the daughter accused her mom as the reason for the failure of her own marriage. Mom could say that her daughter is an untamable creature, and the daughter would say that her mom is a jerk woman who put them in that basement for being daddy’s sweetheart who sacrificed her own condo for his will. Sure it’s an old enough story about my Grandma’s father’s need of her apartment to inhabitant newcomers. She can stay at the good marvelous ground floor – actually it’s a basement – if…IF she accepted the replacement. Sure she accepted. Anyway, both of the two old women have a strange life of pulling and letting go of strings.

That could be based on the cooperative relation between the weakening old and the still-in-shape mature woman, and could be not, ’cause the fact is my Grandma had spent more than three years – while she was 70 years old – eating fast food. She’s a stubborn ass so as we as a family. Many years ago, things have been settled and they both lived ‘Happily Ever After’; but please hold your laughing when Grandma receives the coming new day with a smile and greets her daughter happily with a wide smile, then names her in unreasonable anger when the daughter gives us her back.

My Aunt and My Home

A new letter has come. She receives it and looks at her name written with a bad handwriting she easily recognizes. The 36 as her street number in the address could be read as 38 as usual. Her old colleague has sent another letter from the lands of desert and offensive sun. She thanked the postman who was a freshman, politely. Walking in the corridor, heading to the kitchen where she put the teapot on the fire. She heard the sound of her nephew turning on his bed during his sleep. She smiled. Just like his father.

She poured the tea, sitting on the nice little chair in the kitchen which she always called ‘cute’. Her friend was just fine. Living with her three kids and a decent husband. In the letter she asked how life was treating her nephew. She smiled again ’cause she saw flashes of old days. Her friend was deeply in love with her brother, the handsome officer who’s older than her by a full decade. They both - she and her friend – used to play ‘catch me’ in that huge house she lived in. Many times her brother was going out, or returning from his military college and smiling ‘hi’ to them. Her friend told her that she loves his smile and that old odor of his huge house with that lovely yard and that tall tree. That tree which she wrote on its surface ‘I love you’.

Her old colleague had a paranoid nightmare that her beloved’s mother, that stiff lady with merciless puritanical methods would find what she had written then banned her from seeing her love again. Days had passed. My brother has died. Mother too. You lucky bastard had a great life. Flashes of unpleasant memories hit her. She closed her eyes. Suddenly she felt like going out to the yard. She stood before the old tree, trying to recognize a phrase that had been written long time ago, with a bad handwriting.

My Aunt, My Grandma, Home and My Ex

Many times we had notable fights. I wasn’t always that polite boy she raised. She had to be frustrated and I never blamed her for that, not even for just a second. She wasn’t my Aunt, but my real mom. Grandma was on my side in most cases as her spoiled little grandson. That souvenir God’s sent her from her gone-too-soon son. My Aunt was murmuring, then shouting about my last birthday present from my girlfriend. It was a lighter in the shape of a naked woman. I told her that’s my own privacy. She replied that I’m not that wise mature man yet. What has that girl done to your mind? I threatened to leave that home which was making me sicker day after day. My Aunt had gone to her room and shut its door behind her in violence. I entered my room and made a phone call to my girlfriend. She was annoyed to hear such things and asked me how’d my Aunt know about the present and its sender. I replied it was a slip of the tongue. She asked me to compromise my Aunt. She’s your real mom. I knew very well that she held back a reasonable question: if you left that house, where the hell you gonna live? I was really broke and they all knew about that. I got furious and got my bag; opened it and began to set down my clothes.

Unreasonable actions of a real jerk during the age of foolishness. I have no home but here. I have no family but her. My mother probably being penetrated now by her new husband, didn’t give a shit about how life is with her own biological child. All what I was thinking about is to set myself “free” of anything that monitors my life. My Aunt wouldn’t be my Big Brother. Living alone. Getting a job. Have a brand new life. Maybe I’d kiss my girlfriend in my own condo for the first time in our relationship. I was fooling myself with all of those illusions. I knew it and I was on the edge of desperate helpless crying. I heard the sound of my door opening so I pulled myself together. Someone came near to my back. I didn’t turn around. Waiting for my disturbing anger to show up when my Aunt tried to cheer me up. I just heard the sound of crying. I turned around that time to find my Grandma standing before me, saying while crying do not leave me, sunny. I hugged her and failed to hold back my tears.

I saw my Aunt standing aside my door, looking to us the way a lonely sad dog would.

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