I went on a road trip around the South Island with my Dad. I took a holiday from all my routines, except for writing every night. This is one of the few things I wrote that’s remotely fit for public consumption.
Richmond, 5 March 2017
There are still snapdragons growing on the street border of my grandmother’s garden. They are still bright pink but they’re smaller than I remember them being when I was six years old and played fascinated with the moving parts of their jaws, when my baby sister slept in a box and we fitted our family of four into the caravan where now there’s a garden shed and a washing line and grown-up fishtank pebbles for me to feel under my bare feet.I was always like this, my mother told me, taking my shoes off to feel textures wherever we went.
I was upset with my grandfather that time with the snapdragons and the plums, because “he treats me like I’m a baby”, and my mother gently told me about Alzheimer’s Disease and what that meant. I asked my father yesterday what his father died of, it was pneumonia or influenza or something that, without the underlying condition of Alzheimer’s, meant as little as “heart failure” on my mother’s death certificate when we all know she really died of cancer.
Tonight I’ll sleep in the little dining room with the net curtains where a cicada flew up my nightdress when I was a little girl.