Do you know the old joke?
A: Do you have any naked pictures of your mother?
A: Would you like to buy some?
This is why you must never try to set me up for that joke. Yep. It’s Mom, in the buff, circa 1960. She was 30. Actually, it’s a photo of a Xerox of a stat of a Polaroid my dad (whew!) took. The original hung on the wall of my office. It was a popular attraction. My mother only visited me up here in Yankeeland the one time and she was shocked when she saw it.
“What kind of daughter hangs a naked picture of her mother on her office wall?”
“The kind of daughter who has a naked picture of her mother.”
Then I showed her the Miracle of Photoshop and she spent half an hour trying to fluff up her right tit because, “it was all flat from nursing you.”
I was going to try to elevate the tone of this blog today, but screw it. I got a notice that I never quite finished some paperwork related to Mother’s sad little estate, so I had to go into the Ouchy Folder tonight and try to find one last copy of her death certificate to file with some useless scrap of bureaucratic hoo-ha. One more verse of the Intimations of Mortality Rag.
I found her Do Not Resuscitate order. She had to counter-sign it herself. Can you imagine what a downer that was for her? There’s a real grown up moment, right there. I found a bunch of paperwork from the hospice, chock full of vomitous metaphors about ships and naps and adventures. I found a bunch of uncashed checks I never opened because I assumed they were bills I had taken care of (yes, Uncle B, I’ll make some calls tomorrow).
And I found a whole stack of Xeroxes of this picture. Mother always said, “I hope you don’t post this on the Internet” in a tone that sounded like of all the things in her life she really didn’t want to happen, if this one happened it would make her the least unhappy.
So there you go, Mom. Immortality.
p.s. I don’t seem to have any more copies of the death certificate, dammit.
p.p.s. I’ve called my mother “Mom” twice in this post, which might be just enough to earn me a haunting. Only I’m pretty sure she’d have haunted me already for the hell of it, if she possibly could.
p.p.p.s. No, we don’t look all that much alike.