Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist


My mother used to know to turn her bedside light on when she used the commode but more recently she hasn't been doing it- so I've hidden a table lamp behind her TV and left it on all night.

Last night she called me in to question me about it.

"I didn't ask to have that light on," she said.

"But you need it," I said.


So you can see what you're doing."

And so on...

She didn't have her hearing aids in so I was shouting. I don't like how angry I sound when I'm shouting, but I can't pretend I wasn't a little bit angry. The imperious tone she adopts on these occasions stirs up childhood memories.

Was it she who made an anarchist of me? No, that would be altogether too simplistic, but she had a hand in it.

"Did you turn it on?"


"And are you going to turn it off?"


If Ailz had been asleep the concluding set of questions and answers would have woken her up. That last "No!" hurt my throat.

I need to remember my pulpit craft. I used to be able to bounce my voice off distant walls without going hoarse but it's a skill I haven't used in decades.

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