Evil Twin

“That Elaine was shit, she says.”
“I’m Elaine, Ma,” I say.
“No,” she says. “I mean the other Elaine. She wants to be with her four girlfriends. She has no use for me. You’re good to me. You are like my mother.”
Before we moved here, before she began declining so rapidly, I used to try to get out at least a couple of times a month– meet friends for dinner or a movie. I could tell that she wanted to go with me, but I ignored her hints and grabbed whatever time for myself that I could. Since I wasn’t totally dedicated to her, apparently she thought I was a shit.
That “other” Elaine — the one who had a life. In her mind, the Evil Twin.
She’s rallied a bit, but the hospital experience has left her with residual aches and pains. So I still sleep in the next room. My brother has rigged up an alarm that sounds when she gets out of bed. She’s still a bit unstable on her feet, so I get up at night to help her get to the bathroom.
This is the good Elaine, the one whose life revolves around her mother. Just what my mother always wanted.
Meanwhile, I’m getting the hang of my bread machine — made a delicious loaf of Russian Sweet Bread, which is similar to the bread my mother used to make around the holidays. Half of the loaf is gone already. Tomorrow I will make more and also roast the marinated boneless leg of lamb that was supposed to be for Christmas Day dinner. Good thing I like to cook.

1 thought on “Evil Twin

  1. My Mother died on June 9th this year. Still hard for me to say, much less grasp. I did not like my mother all the time. She could be hurtful, mean and terribly selfish. My younger sister did 99% of the caretaking of our mother and paid the price by being the “Evil Twin” at times. She’ll have my admiration and gratitude forever for the things she tolerated and the time she spent taking care of someone who was not always the best patient. I would be remiss if I did not say our mother could also be warm, supportive, loving and loyal.
    I do not know what brings out the “Evil Mother” but when she appears, you need armour around your heart.
    And I hope yours is better than what the boys were sent in Iraq, Elaine.

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