the red comb
It's been weeks since my mom died, and Abby has moved in. When she is gone I sneak into her room to try on our mom’s glasses. They rest on a shelf just inside the door. Heavy and thick. Calling to me.
Around the corner I creep, when Abby is at work, and gingerly pick the glasses up. I cradle them, stretched and fragile from years of wear. Eyes closed, I press them against my face. They feel cold and heavy, the lenses much thicker than my own. Walking light and timid steps to the mirror, I realize that if I strain hard enough, pull my hair back away from my face, and look just the right way - I can see her.
Other times I grab her comb. Red, and plastic. Thick. For a few weeks it smelled of her. Of a scent so strong and real. Of hair and Suave, and body and life. Inhaling deeply, lungs expanding to full capacity, I begin to feel a sense of calm. Like a drug, I need more to move forward. I need the red comb, I need her old glasses.
Soon though, the scent of my mother begins to make me uneasy. Sick almost. It's too real, as though she should be standing here, but isn’t. This physical presence is so near, too near, when I smell that red comb. Soon it gives me a stomach ache and I have to stop visiting it.