Saturday, April 24, 2010


Oh a hot shower, yes a hot shower and the water pressure here is amazing. Until the hot water runs out, and it’s a cold shower. I tell my mother’s no hot water, and she says I know. We should call the plumber, I say – there’s a number on the hot water heater. But my mother doesn’t want to call the plumber, she says she doesn’t want to spend anything on the house, but she just spent $1800 getting the garden landscaped: it does look beautiful.

I say listen, a hot shower is one of the few things that I can rely on to help with my pain – it’s probably just something small, if they say we need to get the hot water heater replaced them we just won’t do that. When the plumber comes over, he pulls a big pair of socks over his boots – I’ve never seen that before, I guess maybe it’s something plumbers do when you have money? He says sorry about your grandmother’s death, and he looks emotional too. He says my grandfather worked on this house, if that kind of thing. In the basement, he’s showing me the emergency switch to shut off the water, the way to start the washing machine, he wants to know if we want the hoses turned on – they turn them off in the winter.

He says: my grandfather died a few years ago, and my mother still hasn’t gotten over it, are you an artist? My mother’s a writer too – she wrote a book of poems about my grandfather’s death, and I can’t understand a word of it. The last time I was here, your grandmother gave me the book of her art, all of her art in the museum collection – he looks up towards the studio: where is the last painting she was working on?

I don’t know, actually – I think it might still be at the funeral home, I haven’t seen it yet. He walks to the back, looks at the garden – it’s beautiful, he says, this was her little paradise. When he leaves, the birds are chirping – so many birds and it’s incredible. Big bumblebees flying around, and a woodpecker in the background – my grandmother was always nervous about that woodpecker, but I think the sound is soothing.

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