Driven to distraction

Riding shotgun in my mother’s car. It is early morning, rush hour. No one knows which way to go; our hold on the road is tenuous, seeking gaps between predatory traffic.

Medications everywhere; bottles, sachets, paper patient info leaflets sprawl across my mother’s lap, under the pedals; she reaches down. I flinch as another driver shows the whites of his eyes, dismissing our right of way. She ploughs right on, stuffing all the poisonous pieces back into their flimsy pharmacy paper lunch bag. I snap,

“That can wait! Pay attention to the here and now!”

Only after I have woken up, walked downstairs, fed the cats, boiled the kettle do I pause to consider that, for someone who’s been dead ten years, she is not doing so badly, after all.

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