Agnes has had some bad news. She feels gutted, as though all of her soft parts are in the scrap pan, waiting for the dog.
Shame is a fire, burning my core.
Blanche draws me by her very diffidence. She stands apart, looking unhappy and confused.
Grandma looks bewildered, like a child who’s been tricked. I’ve seen this look on her face before. In the hospital, mostly in the evening. The physical therapist told me not to worry. “It happens with stroke patients. We call it sundowning. They get confused. Expect her to have good days and bad. Expect her to cry and be moody. Don’t be alarmed at outbursts, accusations.” I’ve never feared for anything until now.
We were a couple. Nobody on the floor but us. This went on for, oh, I don’t know how long. He even begged me to go away with him.
Who is this poor man, so tired, so broken? Slowly, she recognizes Bart. She can only guess at his suffering, his contained hours of grief. He is in love.
“You can’t be around a man five minutes without turning it on. I’ve watched you.” Mildred’s words were venom. “You’re sad, Susan, sad. Batting your eyes, sticking your boobs out. Pulling down your mouth like Marilyn Monroe.”
It’s Led Zeppelin,” Mildred tells her. “From the eighties, can you imagine? Whole Lotta Love, day after day. She’s only fifteen.”