Every Day Above Ground (mallorys_camera) wrote,
Every Day Above Ground

Gardens, Dementia, and Secrets


Yesterday was a fabulous day! Sunny, warm, interspersed with zephyr breezes.

So, I toddled off to the garden.

I was expecting to find the garden in a horrible state since I’ve been sorely neglecting it for the past six weeks or so. But it was flourishing. That late-season flourish, which is different from the gentle green of spring or the jungle lushness of mid-summer:


My basil plants want me to keep eating pesto for the rest of my life! This was particularly amazing since the basil plants in all the other garden plots are half-dead:


My collards and Swiss Chard are leafy and vigorous. Volunteer peas and beans have taken over the empty tomato cages—although, speaking of tomatoes, I harvested a good gallon or so of those smallish, pear-shaped San Marzano tomatoes:


In mid-October!

(San Marzano tomato vines tend to grow close to the ground, so they don’t really need cages.)

The undisputed stars of my garden, though, are my chili peppers. A month ago, they were prolific, but now they are some kind of loaves and fishes miracle:



I’m gonna have to make hot sauce.


Since my return from Ithaca, I’ve been feeling curiously… nonverbal. My mind which is generally a whirring engine of words (most of which I don’t speak) has slowed wayyyyy down—as though the hamsters that generate the energy that runs that engine have gotten tired of running around on those wheels inside my brain.

It’s a weird feeling.

Who am I if I can’t free-associate a thousand pithy insights at the drop of a pin?

Getting back in touch with Annie has been a bit scary.

She is clearly in early- to mid-stage dementia.

Jane, my oldest aunt, also had dementia—though with her, it was difficult to disentangle the dementia from the pervasive insanity that invaded every other area of her life.

But if two of my closest distaff relations have/had dementia, there’s a better than average chance that I will develop it, too.

“Don’t worry, Mom,” said Ichabod to whom I confided this worry. “Robin and I will make sure that you’re safe and happy.”

And I thought, Robin and you will not get the chance to make sure that I’m safe and happy because if I even think that that’s happening, I will get a hose, strap it to the exhaust of my car, get in my car, turn it on and die of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Suicide by nitrous oxide poisoning would be my first choice!

But nitrous oxide is so very difficult to come by these days.



Anton confided a secret to me yesterday.

He did this by inviting me to read the first few pages of the memoir he’s beginning to write.

Once again, I am reminded of how different people are from one’s impressions of them. Anton is just this amazingly handsome, bright, and somewhat aloof guy; I was always under the impression that his social reserve sprang from self-possession when in fact, it turns out that it springs from deep-seated pain.

Anyway, I told him that I would be happy to mentor him through the memoir-writing process.

I was surprised, actually, that he opened up to me. He is Black, I am white; I he is male, I am female; he is gay, I am—well, what, exactly? Bi by inclination, certainly, with more of an innate physical attraction toward women than men though heterosexual in habit for the last 35 years or so, and not in the least conflicted about that.

We’re very different, in other words.

What does he see in me that makes him feel safe confiding his secret?

I wondered and wondered. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.
Tags: #else, #since, covid-19, family, friends, garden
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