Drama Queens and Nocturnal Lizards

“I could’ve been dead!” my old lizard cried. “I could’ve died in my sleep and laid there in my bed cold and dead, and none of you unworthy lasses would have suspected a thing!” That is entirely untrue. I checked on her repeatedly and she was sleeping peacefully, her fist balled on her pillow, her breath deep and regular. It’s true that she was still sleeping when I left the house at 1:30pm to go to the museum, but dead she was not. In fact, I was pleased she was resting. I enjoyed feeding grandma her breakfast of milk and biscuits followed by sweet coffee, and I enjoyed not waking the old lizard. The other aunts who came after I left didn’t wake her up either. She slept until after 3pm.

“That is unheard of! Didn’t any if you worry? Didn’t you realize I was half dead? I never sleep this late!” she protested. Hm. Not sure about that. I am convinced she is nocturnal. She was talking to herself so late into the night, I had to use earplugs to sleep.

Other than that, things are as they are. Grandma comes up with creative ways to work her imminent death into any line of conversation. The mannequins downtown are still all dressed as brides and they look like something out of a horror movie. The museum was lovely, its windows wide open to the scent of linden blossoms, the art inside magnificent. I made a new friend, a painter. We talked about how much good art originated here, around Craiova, how the landscape is a source of magic: Brancusi, Victor Brauner, Tzuculescu, to name a few, all came from here or through here.

When I got home everybody was screaming, the nocturnal lizard blaming us all for her prolonged hibernation, grandma going on and on about death, and demanding I no longer go out. Except to buy biscuits. She needs more biscuits. Though it’s doubtful she’ll live long enough to eat a whole package.


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