Yesterday I felt my mother’s body pass through me. Not her ghost, her body. It happened when I was sitting on the radiator, putting my boots on. It was another cold, rainy morning and the light in the kitchen was gray. I was feeling tired of feeling hopeless. I knew it was just the weather, the resurgence of winter we’ve had after all the pretty spring flowers started to open and now we wake up with snow on the roof.
So my brain knew this was the cause of my ennui but still. It was hard getting my coat and scarf and hat on. It was too hard to pull my boots on standing up, so I sat on the radiator. I pulled them on, one and then the other, and then leaned back, waiting for the will to stand up and go outside.
Then, just when my body was leaning back and my legs were stretched in front of me and I stared into the gray kitchen light with some indefinable combination of resignation and defiance, I felt my mother’s body. Like I was in her body looking out. Like I felt what she felt on those days she had that weird expression on her face and said annoying things like, “Come on, Cozzola,” to herself. I held myself still and felt it. It wasn’t happy, it didn’t feel good but it felt precious. I wondered if it was just because half her genes and stuff are in me that I felt this, the way you feel a creaky elbow and know it’s your dad’s arthritis. But this was physical and not physical. It felt like a body that had paused, briefly, inside my outline.
I spoke tentatively into the empty room. “Mom? I know how you felt. I wish I could tell you I know exactly how you felt.” I wondered if this was why people had kids, to know they continue after death, in other bodies. I was relieved I wouldn’t be passing this on. The moment passed and my body was mine again, so I got up and went outside. I really hope we get some sunshine soon.