Grandmama was as colorful as her house, but instead of flowers adorning her steps, she had pictures covering her arms and neck. Maybe other places too. She’d been in the circus, she said.
Five years after she died, I came across a book of criminal tattoos. As I read the meanings of the designs I’d grown up seeing on my grandmama’s skin, I realized I never really knew her.
“You knew her,” my mother said when I confronted her. “You knew the person she remade from the ruins of that former life. It is easier to change spirit than skin.”
copyright The Reclining Gentleman
Waiting for Hubby
“Aren’t you cold out here, Grandma?”
“No.” She stared out at the monochromatic sea, ruffled by a chilly breeze. “I’m just waiting for my husband. He should be here soon.”
Poor Grandma. Her mind was adrift, like a ship becalmed on a foggy sea. I didn’t have the heart to tell her Grandpa was ten years gone and buried.
I was just leaving when the sea erupted in spray and a huge man emerged.
Grandma caught my look of shock. “My first husband . . .”
She laughed. “That water lily? No, this is Njörðr.”
Good on you, Grandma. Good on you.