I was living with a woman who suddenly began to stink. My mother sat in her chair all day, facing the back garden. She never spoke anymore, she never watched television, she never painted. She had always painted, even as she grew sick, the cancer taking over her body, even when she had to paint from a wheelchair. She never stopped. Until this week. She had just stopped one day. No more painting, no more soap operas, no more long conversations while I brushed her hair out. Her hair had grown though, it had grown quite a bit. Everyone says cancer patients’ hair falls out, but not my mother’s. It stayed shiny and soft, and it finally grew this last week. So did her fingernails. She never comments on my paintings anymore, though I show her every night. She’s begun to smell, even though I bathed her.
The light’s gone out from her eyes, ever since my mother died.