Christmas List Thursday 15th Nov 2012
While composing neurotic ‘Christmas List’ for a month’s time (the month when love gains currency in increments of ten, twenty, fifty)
a name is missing
I remember your name, I haven’t forgotten; but for a moment I had and it killed me; made me wonder who I am and is this different to before: where did revelation go I am no robot.
‘Nanny’, also known as
Elizabeth Thomson, cackly laugh, bigot in her younger days when it was ok, the troubled times of which I know nothing and can’t comment on how evil or not she was. She also played the dreaded role of mother-in-law so stories of her tinted with this.
(Nanny you are multitudes, I can’t imagine you like this when your worst vice was hiding Werther’s Originals down the back of the sofa)
(We are all multitudes, hatred should not be possible because our evil is never final)
While writing this now straining the tears back. The tears not only of death but of sorrow of the world, at the terrible cycles of the universe, the cycle of having to die, that everyone has to die and there is no loophole — it’s not paying taxes.
Some more attributes of you, Nanny, although there is so much more to you than this and I can never know, and there is more to me too than this scribing, more than the other aspects I identify myself with, we are more than human in that we are only human. Here they are for you and I hope you find my memories in line with yours, wherever you are:
Wearer of slippers with furry rim and always those beige, skin-colored tights because even while sitting on your ‘press a button, get me up’ chair watching TV with infrequent visits you always dressed well, wore suit trousers and knitted Marks and Spencer jumpers; you had pride in yourself, maybe this is a generational thing, the old forgotten age of mending holes in jumpers instead of buying new ones.
Teller of gramophone-broken-tales: this is an oft-made comment about grandmothers but it’s true, you were lucid and yet your mind was weighed down with memories which circled round, you had to express them to take the weight off. It’s not about being so dull and having such an uneventful life that you have to look to the past, it’s more that you were taking account and willing yourself to remember the good things, the days with Poppy. This I understand now.
And those last days in the hospital that last time we saw you, you knew you were going to die, you knew, your glassy eyes said it, your crepe-paper enveloped eyes were creased with sorrow, and we knew that you knew and there was a connection of sorrow in the eyes. But also an immense guilt about leaving you there,
because we had to catch a very unimportant train.