SSM: “Three Bodies” by Mike Meginnis

22 May

My grandma has dementia. My grandpa died years ago of cancer. She wakes everyday to the belief that he is alive. I don’t know if the nurses at the home tell her he isn’t. She’d forget again in a matter of minutes anyway, so it’s probably best to discount her the grief.

I once asked my grandma if she’d eaten that day. She asked me, “What’s it matter if I’m not hungry?”

Sometimes I’m terrified of the thought of forgetting who I am, and sometimes it’s comforting. I can never make up my mind. I’ll likely never make up my mind until I lose the capability of it. One day, like this body, I’ll remember you only by the feel of your body against mine. Please don’t take your body from me.

This body cannot remember the faces of other bodies. Not its wife’s body’s face. Not it’s father’s body’s face. Not its mother’s body’s face. It can only recognize hands. It turns the hands over in its hands. Remembers the moles. Remembers the wrinkles.

At night it holds its wife’s body’s hands in its own. It speaks to these. They seem to speak when her body speaks. Its body is therefore most recognizable to its wife’s body when its face is downcast.

Read the other bodies at Smokelong.

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3 Responses to “SSM: “Three Bodies” by Mike Meginnis”

  1. KW May 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Katie and I were just watching “A River Runs Through It” and she turned to me when it was over and said that her older clients often tell her, “Katie, never get old.” And I said, “So the only option is to die young?”

    There’s no punchline here. Just that I agree with your post.

  2. Ponikaa Girl May 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    “Still Alice” holds the same truthful, hopeless realization of not knowing those we know best. I like the image of the hands, turning over, trying to find a thread of familiarity through a pattern of moles and wrinkles. I wonder if midnight lamp ever flickers. Thanks for sharing.

    • ce. May 26, 2011 at 6:52 am #

      I’ve not read Still Alice before. Is it the same sort of theme/storyline?

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