My Mother’s Touch: Creative NonFiction By Alexis Wiggins

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My Mother’s Touch

By Alexis Wiggins

When my mother tries to touch me, I flinch. I don’t like her to touch me at all, ever, and I don’t remember a time when we cuddled or hugged or she took me “uppy,” although it happened. My grandmother has proof, the old black and whites of me in my mother’s arms, in a cracked, brown leather album that says “OUR FAMILY” in faded gold letters on the front.

I dread our every embrace. I feel her bones, smell her breath – sharp, like the smell of New England Novembers – hear the excitement in her voice at welcoming me home, and I can’t wait to pull away. What kind of daughter am I?
My mother and I have the same hands. They are exactly the same: veiny, bony, and large-palmed. I wonder if my daughter will have my hands, my mother’s hands passed down twice.

Her hands:

Once, when I was seventeen, she refused to take me to the doctors when I had an earache. I couldn’t drive, and she said it wasn’t her responsibility to take me. I went to sleep and woke with a circle of brick-red blood the size of a silver dollar on my pillow. She felt terrible and took me to Dr. Marsh’s right away. She scrubbed the stain out of the pillowcase later in the sink, under the faucet, by hand.

Once, when I was eight, I was in the front seat of the car and must have said something smart, because she hit me hard with a backhand across the face. It was harder than a slap because I could feel her knuckles, and the rings scratched my cheek and nose. She later felt sorry about the rings.

Once, when I was at boarding school, she spent many hours writing me cards in her enviable, flawless penmanship, her right hand moving steadily across the page. Each line was perfectly straight, and all the ‘f’s and ‘q’s slanted the same beautiful way, like morning light through a window pane. The florid words always added up to the same: I was manipulative; I was trying to sabotage her in her job; I was blaming her for my father’s leaving us; I was the cause of her illness and near death the year before; I needed to grow up and face these facts. She always sent the same cards, reprints of impressionist paintings. I had a box full of them, but I preferred not to read the cards more than once. I hid them under my dorm bed, content to let Monet’s gardens flower in the dark.

So I can never tell her how much I don’t want her to touch me with those hands. I just let her embrace me, like the frozen juice around a popsicle stick, and wait, desperately, for her to let me go.

Quote For Today

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“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
P. J. O’Rourke


Homeless and Luckless, Piano Man Wows Internet and Gets New Start

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Originally posted on The Feels:

The city of Sarasota, Fla., has a project called “Sarasota Keys,” which installs lovely old upright pianos in public places where anyone can play. One day last week, a homeless man sat down at one of these sidewalk pianos at a public art exhibit and started playing the Styx’s “Come Sail Away.” Passersby took notice, pulling out smartphones to capture the moment and dollar bills to thank the musician.

Donald Gould, 51, a scrawny man of “cave man” appearance with scraggly hair and unkempt beard, kept his eyes on the keys and his music filled Main Street in downtown Sarasota, Fla.

Gould, or “Boone” as he is known around town, said he only wanted to earn a few bucks. A week later, video of his impromptu performance has been viewed more than 7.5 million times on YouTube and more than 5 million times on Facebook, with the videographer, Aroar Natasha,

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If Only I had A Brain

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For Everybody who has ever been told or made to feel they’re stupid.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Reblog From Out on the Stoop: We All Rock at Different Speeds

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Sunday, July 26, 2015
We All Rock at Different Speeds
I was on the bus and this man was verbally attacking a woman. Nothing new in that; seems to be an open sport now days. But you could tell that she had a problem, a mental health problem.

Old boy thought that insulting her, damning her and otherwise make her aware that she did not measure up to the high bar of humanity that he set himself up to be as lord and master of the planet. Read the entire post on the Out on the Stoop Blog.

Quote For Today

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“Those who enjoy their own emotionally bad health and who habitually fill their own minds with the rank poisons of suspicion, jealousy and hatred, as a rule take umbrage at those who refuse to do likewise, and they find a perverted relief in trying to denigrate them”.
Johannes Brahms


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