by Richard Ballon
Setting: A cluttered kitchen in a small apartment in Queens, New York City
Time: The present
Character: EVA SUCICH, 50-year-old lesbian, first generation American of Croatian descent.
EVA speaks to her lover.
I told you honey, this finger is off limits. You can’t put it in your mouth. I’ve got this sore that won’t heal. No, I’m not suggesting I’ve been messing around, of course we’re careful and everything. Will you get over that idea? I am not messing around. It’s kind of about my mother. What? No I’m not sleeping with my mother. Eww.
She died a couple months ago just before I met you. You would have liked her. She was like a dancing bear. She enjoyed her food and liked to snag relatives in the paw of a good argument. She would shake herself awake as she turned her mattress every morning so her dreams wouldn’t sit there asking to be remembered. My Ma’s name was Griselda. You can imagine what I got as a kid to have a mother named Griselda with a foreign accent in her apron pocket.
My Ma didn’t walk, she lumbered, and things she touched burned bright and shame on the foreheads of the few she gave a piece of her mind. She spread wide as a hen over two bus seats and she would cluck a comment to someone she was bound to overhear, though she claims her hearing was going. She used to tell me, “These ears only fill up with good news.”
Well, give her a bit of gossip and she would peck at it, passing it on, politely, like she was apologetically offering a piece of day old cake. Continue reading