…“Any chance of my potato chips?” Momma called from her bedroom.
“Oh, sorry,” I called back, “I just got bogged down in my own thoughts.”
“Isn’t this Beethoven beautiful?” Momma asked. “Sure,” I said as I made my way into her bedroom and tried to focus on the sounds of the orchestra coming from the Sirius radio. I managed to hand the napkin full of potato chips to Momma. “You’re a sweetheart,” she said.
I sprawled on the extra twin bed. “Brahms is next,” she cried. “I am so glad I can still play some Beethoven, Brahms and Chopin on the piano.”
The silent tension between my mother and me has always been this: She could have picked me up and prevented my blindness. True, she was accustomed to servants watching children and servants ironing. But the fact was, she didn’t have any servants and I was two and a half. We never talked about my blinding, never.
Irresponsibility and poor judgment go hand in hand. Momma often showed poor judgment in her lifetime. Like, when she was a senior in high school and she and her friend Arvila sat across the street from their principal’s office the last week of high school, smoking cigarettes in Arvila’s parked car. The principal expelled both girls, but Momma’s daddy, a lawyer, got Momma reinstated so she could graduate. Arvila didn’t get to graduate. She was killed the next week while speeding down the road.
And what about my mother’s depression? How depressed was she the day I was blinded? Did irresponsibility, poor judgment and depression all come together?