Demented mother

She could find the wrong way to anywhere on her best day.

And worse, everything was jumbled in her head.  Her sentences got stuck, two or three words strung together, punctuated with confused pauses. Her thoughts lurched around drunkenly and slurred into meaningless babble.

Her children, whose names and faces she mismatched when she was still plausibly lucid, seemed only vaguely familiar to her now.

She sometimes knew where she needed to be, but the day of the week, the time of day and the way there was a total fog. Everything around her seemed to be happening out of sequence and without reason.

She could be found many mornings standing naked next to the shower because she knew something, something, something was meant to happen next and if she waited long enough, it would occur.

She dirtied herself often and buried her soiled underwear among her other crumpled belongings. Better, she wrapped important things in the undergarments to hide and protect them from the strangers who invaded her sleep every night.

Afraid of the outside world, which was just a big place to get lost, she sealed herself into her small home. She shuttered the windows and sat in the dark, the red-tipped embers from multiple cigarettes all lit at once offering the only light.

Her teeth went missing all the time and when she found them, she could not eat because she could never puzzle through the numbers and codes on the magic box that sat in the kitchen.

On certain days, she felt clearheaded and bold and would lock herself outside of her horribly small world and try to escape on foot. But she would be lost by the time she got to the end of the driveway and stand there crying in her pajamas until a neighbor would find her and lock her back inside.

She was a missing person who just forgot to actually disappear.


67 thoughts on “Demented mother

  1. I work in this environment, it’s rewarding, heartbreaking, thought provoking, it completely changes your outlook on life yet defines who I am and my place in the world

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