Writing Practice 1/1/2019 – Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary…

Mary, would you like to go to the zoo with us this weekend? We’ll see all your favorite animals – monkeys, and lemurs, and the penguins.

No.

Mary, would you like pancakes for breakfast? We can put syrup on them and blueberries inside, I remember how you liked them like that at grandmother’s house last month.

No.

Mary, would you please take out the trash? It’s been in the bin for a couple of days and is starting to smell.

No.

Mary would you like to go on a date with me this weekend? I would like to go see the new play at the community theater.

No.

Mary, would you consider majoring in architecture while you’re at university? You seem to have an aptitude for lines, and you’re always checking out the shapes of the places we go. You might really like it.

No.

Mary, would you like to have a drink with me next weekend? I’ll be back in town and it’s been a while since we’ve talked.

No.

Mary, would you help your other brothers and me with Mom? She’s been getting older and ever since Dad passed last year, she just seems so down.

No.

Mary, would you ever consider getting married? It’s been a long time, you’re quite lonely, and I think having a man in your life might do you some good.

No.

Mary, would you help your niece? She’s going to college soon, and, seeing as you’ve saved up quite a bit of money from never having kids of your own, this might be a chance for you to give some of that back. I mean, we’ve put up with an awful lot of negativity from you over the years. Wouldn’t you like to make some amends before you pass?

No.

Mary, would you like to sign this living will? And the Do Not Resuscitate order? I have done everything you asked, and as your counsel, I cannot force you to sign, only strongly recommend that you do so. You really don’t want your family members to have to do that once you become incapacitated. They’ll just muck it all up. What do you say – one last thing?

No.

Mary, can you hear me? Can you understand what’s going on? The doctors say you’re in there – that the hearing is the last to go. So – Mary, can you hear me? It’s Trisha, your little sister. You know, that never was easy, living with you. And now, now I don’t have to. Thanks to the fact that you never signed your DNR, you’re in that bed, hooked up to all those machines. Good. I hope it’s torture for you. I hope your lungs burn and your throat is on fire, and that the needles, feel that – I’m poking this goddamn IV right further up in your arm – I hope these needles feel like ice in your veins, that you can’t sleep, can’t rest, can’t relax, that you’ve got a million thoughts running through your head that you want to say but can’t because of that terrible, horrible tube stuck down your throat, I hope it’s torture for you to have to lie there and listen to me take control and make decisions for once. I hope this is simply eating you up inside because you can’t say “No” any more. That’s all I ever heard from you, Mary, “No”, no to playing, no to sharing, no to caring. Sometimes I don’t know why I bothered trying to keep the relationship going, you were so negative. But I did, and I’m here, and look, now you get to listen to me. Oh, surprise, surprise, what should I say? Should I tell you how my marriage fell apart four years ago because Brad admitted he’d had feelings for you for a decade? Should I tell you how my own daughter wants to follow in your negative footsteps and run away and live in the middle of the Texas wilderness in a van? Shall I tell you how much your own “friends” talk about you behind your back? Shall I tell you the awful secret of mom and Dad, too, that you were an illegitimate child and they once told me it would have been better if they had given you for adoption, as grandmother suggested? What do you have to say to that, to those horrible, terrible things you’ve really been all along? What do you have to say for yourself? Do you really like this life, this legacy you’ve left? Are you proud of who you turned out to be? Don’t you wish everyone in the world could know your story?