Because everything is a fog, Mum lies down. On her bed. Feet in the air. And turns off the radio. Because everything is a fog, I get out the ironing board and the iron. Then I tackle the small pile on the chair. The napkins, the nighties, the apron, the tea towel. Because everything is a fog, we try and talk our way through. Mum wonders where it all will end. What will happen. Why it has to happen. Why to her? Because everything is a fog, I tell her not to think like that. It’s too big. Enormous. Never ending. And we should think of a smaller things. A little question. Something easier. Something we can manage.
"When do you want lunch?" I say.
“I don’t know,” Mum says. “1pm?”
“That sounds good.”
“What do you want for lunch Mum? Something from the list?”
“The shopping list. We made it yesterday.”
“We did it together. Don’t you remember?”
Because everything is a fog, there’s a pause. Then Mum says, “No, I don’t remember. Not yesterday. Or the day before.”
I look at Mum. And I think what a stupid question. What a thing to ask. Of all the things, that’s the worst. The dumbest thing. Because everything is a fog, she looks at me. Her face translucent. Her body limp. Defenceless. Her right hand skims her arm. Scratches a dry patch. Then she drops it. Because everything is a fog, we stay still, in her bedroom. Looking at each other. Blinking in our breath. Lost. To ourselves. And each other. And I’m behind the ironing board. But I’m in the fog. With her. Both of us. Reaching out for sense.