Such Little Things

By Patricia Ogden

Little things pile up each day.
I sort them out after a while.
Little things like a coffee order being wrong and having to put gas in my
tank Again…
Little things like the laughter of my neighbor’s baby or the wag of my dog’s tail.
Little things
The look on his face when I trip over nothing harkens me back to a face
long since dead and I realize that I have married my father.
Just like my mother said.
I find myself doing a lot of things she said.
Little things.
Practical.
Annoying.
From a distance I begin to see the shoreline of the island known as My
Mother.
No longer a villain.
I wonder now that we are apart just how many little things I will become.
I already love lavender and Victorian houses. I’ve always walked on the
balls of my feet instead of using the whole foot. I move just like her. I look
just like her.
I wonder if I will develop her love for shoes or inherit her skill of kissing
boo boos?
Will I worry about lines on my face? Keep boxes of sentimental whatnots
that no one wants for so many years I don’t even know what is in them
anymore because god forbid I just find a marker and label anything?
I wonder if years from now I will drink a little too much just a little too
often…and find confession not in a church but the eyes of a teenaged
daughter. If I will tell her how I resent her youth and the opportunities I
never had even though I am the one who handed them all to her every
chance I had.
Will I let her remain confused the next day? Forever wondering whether I
was merely too drunk to remember or if I’m just pretending it didn’t happen? Like she did with so many other little things.
Will I make an enemy of my child in my attempts to save just a little more spotlight for myself? To squeeze just a drop more life out of my life…. Will I find myself one day in a cage of a marriage that, had I known what I was
doing, would never have chosen?
Will I keep drawers in my house full of old knickknacks and baby socks
and sit there looking at them wanting to remember just what it is about the little things?
Each day they pile up.
Side by side.
I love. I hate.
I desire. I fear.
Every day the totals change and one pile overshadows the others and I
wonder…
Is this normal? Is this comforting? Should it frighten me to know that with
all the big things in this world so much of me can only be found here, in these piles of little things?