Let x = x

30/365 self-portrait
When my grandmother was in the hospital after losing her mind, she had verbal diarrhea (she could not stop talking, period, and it was mostly delusional.) I tried to get her to calm her mind and her mouth by having her sing “row, row, row your boat” with me. Anything to redirect the onslaught. It didn’t work. I cried from sheer frustration having to spend the night alone listening to her and not being able to do a thing to help.
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When calling my mom after her stroke I sometimes get her answering machine. I imagine her attempting to get to the phone so I talk as long as possible in case she’s almost about to pick up. I give little warnings that I’m about to hang up. Soon. Almost. Not there. Really? You’re not picking up. Maybe you’re not there. One more sec. Okay.
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Things I sing in the toilet (because of the acoustics, mind you):
* Ave Maria
* Laurie Anderson “O Superman

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3 thoughts on “Let x = x

  1. I’m a big time Laurie Anderson fan. I think I love “Let x=x” even more than “O Superman”.
    The answerphone thing reminds me of lovestruck teenagers postponing the end of the conversation. “You hang up”, “No, you hang up!”

  2. I love “O Superman” because my mom was the one who introduced me to Laurie Anderson. “Mom and dad. Ha ha ha ha ha.” (She got us tickets to see Laurie in Houston and then shipped me off to my grandmother’s for the summer–I was so mad.) It’s just a nice personal twist for me. That and Elsa and I would listen to it repeatedly at her house.

  3. Oh, I like to sing The Cole Porter songbook (à la Ella Fitzgerald) in the shower, or early k.d. lang. Both are roughly in my range, and I can really let fly on the rising notes.
    Uh, I don’t do this often in the apartment, where we share a bathroom wall. Sigh. My neighbors don’t know what they’re missing.

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