You know how it is.
There is not much to tell you which hasn’t already been said. Things like this or that, that or this. Or even this: I was six when I found my mother’s head in my sandbox.
I’m sure that something like it has been said some time at some place for some reason, sometimes. Maybe even my Mom said it with her hungry lawl and empty eyes, though she was silent when I found her.
She, though it hardly could be considered a fixed point due to everything and everyone who had ever touched her from me to an ice-cream man to maybe even you, was thirty-six. It was a Tuesday. Summer was coming kind of like it always does, but we still get excited by it even though here it is, the same thing as last time and the time before that. And so on and so on, until, you know how it is, your mother’s head rolls into your hands.
She didn’t look like my mother at first. She was just like anyone else. There was hardly any flesh on her, at any rate, so I can’t be blamed for the comparison. Besides, the summer sun didn’t help either. It just made the red bits, the pieces that were still rotting with life, glimmer against the yellow waves of light.
You see, I was digging. I do that a lot. Dig. For what? Does it matter? A person digs for a hole, and ultimately for dirt. And I dug some forty-three little handfuls with a yellow plastic shovel with its handle bending and it spitting sand bits every which way and the earth – a mushy lifeblood of vegetation and rocks and nutrients and shit – moving under the weight of my push. Then clink, stop, clink, stop, look, clink, clink, clink and enter: my mother.
What are you doing down there?
You know how it is.
We both do – I raised my son well. Good digging.
Thank you. You look great considering, Mom.
You know how it is down here.
We both do. It’s a bit stuffy, though.
Same with up here, Mom.
Some things never change. You know how it is.
We both do.
What now, Mom? Mom? Mom? Are you there?
I look at her, the object that was first on the ground and lifeless, and find that she is shaking. Or I am. Or we both are. That is the only sound I hear. It is probably the only sound she hears too. You know how it is when things shake around you.