By Monica I Wylie
The little lady is facing me this morning. She must wanna hang out with me
Clear green eyes- like my mom who called her Sheba because my little feline reminded her of the cats seen in Egyptian documentaries. Regal and obtuse, obstinate and indifferent to us- her roommates. We are her maids, her cooks, her groomers and providers of amorous affection. Today she faces me. -at arm’s length distance away-tolerated me jutting a hand to rub her cheek-peers out the open window looking for a fluttering or chirping of a small bird, a curious squirrel- there is snow out today and most animals will stay in their itty bitty warm burrows.
She is curious. Wants to touch them. Introduce herself.
I dreamt of you mom last night.
I was a college student, a young woman, and your mother was the instructor teaching her first class. Her suit is crisp- a textured wool. Almost a tweed, sage green in color with soft contrasting Easter colored threads mixed in with the warp and weft of the material. The oversized buttons are closed on her tailored jacket. She is a busty woman yet the buttons are not struggling to stay clasped disclosing the immaculate tailoring of the coat to bring a flat and smooth, polished appearance.
I did not know the link she had to you at that moment: her surname was not the same as yours.
I sensed the anticipation from the tone of her voice. Her tone was intentional as she shared her personal bio with the class. Shared her family history which revolved around her children– her sons to be specific.
I tuned out as I began to daydream– permitted my thoughts to glaze over as I peered out the window. I sat in the back. It was nearly the back, really, not quite in the back row.
Your mother mentioned her kids again, and I am brought back to the room, to the present. The now.
She is telling of how her family came to be in Arizona- roots started elsewhere- not quite sure where- but elsewhere. I tune into her story when she begins to indicate her family’s migration to Arizona. Where you played college sports.
My mind quickly begins to connect dots. Could this be you, I think?
No, I affirm to myself. Her name is not the same as yours. You never mentioned this truth, or was I not listening? Did I not inquire? I never wanted to appear presumptive or bias or naïve or uninformed.
But I was. I was a novice. Socially inexperienced.
My defense was to stay quiet, observe.
I come back to the present: she is handing out what appears to be notebooks. I smile. So cute- gifts on the first day of class.
What a mom-like thing to do.
I look at the notebook and find the cover has been embellished with stylized cross stitching with silk threads. I run my fingers over the letters-fragile as the loops are long and wide which can easily snagged and torn.
I skim name one. Her spouse. The second is hers. The third is a brother. The last- the baby I presume.
I look at the stitches which form the stylized letters. Could this be you?
I find my mind’s eye attempting to make sense of the letters to form your last name.
I am left with questions.
An affirmation of questions unasked.