Scene4 Magazine: Claudine Jones |
Claudine Jones



May 2014

I feel good. There is no empirical evidence at hand to explain this...I'm just going with Dick Cavett, who said 'if I don't have a headache and both my shoes are tied, I'm happy'.

My mom's new 'boyfriend' is a mystery to all of us. It seems as though it should be straight out of a Bill Murray movie or something…youngish economics professor from Mumbai becomes enchanted with elderly French émigré & they trade poems & talk philosophy. Her 91st birthday would be a special time to celebrate & her sons & daughter invite her to dinner only to find that Raj has already made plans with her. There's nothing for it but to crash the party, so at the last minute we go from 5 to 10 at the restaurant—Chinese, because that's what the birthday girl wants—& we all sit around the same table, squoze together.

I'm by myself—my partner is at a monthly Economic Justice Committee meeting—& this time of the evening the sun is still up & streaming through the window to my right. The tall old plum tree which recently got a nice trim is fluttering away just outside; part of the charm of this particular artifact of my three plus decades here is that from up at the back of the house I'm at the 40 foot level. The exposed craggy branches of that tree produce bright green speckled leaves all year round.  (Means year round leaf-fall as well, but that's what compost bins are for.)

'America's fucked' whispers my mom, as we're wheeling our cart out of Safeway with her groceries. 'I know, Ma, that's why I'm boycotting Safeway, you know. Corporations suck.' Something about being in this space has disappointed her, yet it's the only place to get the Italian Wedding Soup she loves.

Earlier, my son & his lady returned from their mission to scout the local thrift stores for a hand-mixer—something curiously missing from my kitchen arsenal—so I now have a comfy sort of thought in the recesses which involves the production of—hopefully—very tasty Madeleines. I got laughed at for the umpteenth time yesterday when my pans arrived in the mail, but dammit, VSCN3670-crI'm half-French and I've never made Madeleines, so now I have my pans, & my hand-mixer—cleaned-up & shiny, Westinghouse (wouldn't have been my first choice, but there you go)—& everything else required. The only question is when.

I've had my hearing-aids for almost 90 days now. It's given me a glimpse (if you can say that about ears) into what it has been like for my brother & my mom—for years it has been a point of contention, denial & argument--& now my brother is a convert & my mother is alone.  She shouts at me through the phone: 'Leave me alone! I know what I'm doing!' & all I wanted to do was pay her bills directly through the bank, saving her postage & mix-ups.

Timing is critical here. Right now, I'm at ease, not pushing for any goal. Enjoying watching the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy—I so get snorted at for that—& haven't even printed out the recipe yet, although it is saved on my Desktop in the Food folder. There's a little breath of calm in the room with me. I just finished a book yesterday, so no need to jump on another one quite yet. Lord knows there are no auditions at the moment, so no character-clutch. Piano practice I save for just before bedtime. Sudoku is not boring me, it is kicking my butt, and while that is a thing I have said I welcome, in the competitive spirit, it is also disheartening. So fuck that, for the moment. 

Raj really wants to take my mom to India, to show her the sights, once-in-a-lifetime experience. The family thinks it's nuts. I've been there; I know what's in store even if it's first class. He implores her. She gets her doctor to write her a note saying her health won't permit it. Not even her sister in Paris can get her to travel.

Wow.  Just this moment the sun has hit squarely on my rack of tiny glass wands containing all different sparkly things in jewel tones to go with my kaleidoscope —birthday present from (grandson) Jake— & in the time that it has taken me to write this sentence, the sun is gone. The wands are gleaming & changing every time I glance over there.

That was quite cool.

Yeah. The cakes can wait.

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Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine Jones has worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of decades.
She also writes a monthly column in Scene4.
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©2014 Claudine Jones
©2014 Publication Scene4 Magazine


Scene4 - International Magazine of Arts and Culture

May 2014

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