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the old woman’s face

published: 2013-12-15

This old woman. Her face is as creased as the tissue in my pocket, the one I forgot to throw away. But fumble with now.
She giggles a lot. It is not a chuckle, it is a girl’s giggle. It is bereft of all worries in life. The future is yet to
come when you suffer old age. I tell her I’m not feeling so well. Flu-ish, I say.
“You’re not really,” she says, with a crooked smile that breaks her face even more. Tiny and watery blue eyes.
“It’s what I wanted to say about your novels,” she adds.
Her words fall on me like snowflakes, melting on impact. Having me wonder whether she is speaking to me at all.
“You’re afraid. That you can’t handle things. Won’t manage.”
Flake upon flake, word after word.
“Let it go.”
Then she turns to her new piano. Her son is playing it.
“The sound of it surprises me every time. It brings tears to my eyes.”
I consider taking the tissue out of my pocket. I don’t. It would be like rubbing my face with hers.

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