I have become my Memom, even though I can’t afford real tissues that fluff up gently from the box like a papery, snow white flame. No, toilet paper has to suffice. My Memom’s number one rule in life is “go everywhere with tissues in your pocket or purse. You never know when you might need them.”
She keeps them everywhere–the pocket of her dressing gown, her purse, nightstand, end table next to the recliner, every single bathroom. She’s never caught out. No toilet paper in the public toilet? No problem, just dig through your handbag for the tissues. Weepy at the movie theatre? Please. Tissues in the pocket… bam! Problem solved. She’s like a superhero in many ways, my Memom, but her special superpower has got to be materializing tissues out of thin air.
Me? I was never into the tissue thing. I’m going to be grossly honest to a fault here and say that when I had a runny nose on the go? Yeah, I was that person snorting and sniffling. If I had to cry or my eyes watered I used whatever was handy… sleeve, scarf, didn’t matter. If I had to blot my lipstick (like I ever wear it), well then I just didn’t. I’m not going to even discuss being caught out in a restroom.
When N and I flew back to London from Kentucky, my grandparents, sisters and nephew took us to the airport. I always cry, my Memom cries, it’s a freaking sob-fest. This time though was worse than usual, though I’m not one hundred percent sure why. It’s like ripping a bandaid off of a scraped knee every time I go home and have to leave again. That wound just never seems to heal or even scab over. It’s always raw and red and hot no matter what I do to steel myself.
I still have a tissue in my coat pocket from that last goodbye at the airport. Of course, the tissue came from Memom. It’s a bit shredded now, over-used and falling to bits, thin and tattered. But it’s still there in my pocket, like a good luck talisman or a rabbit’s foot that I stroke over and over when I’m nervous or even just absentmindedly as I wait for the bus. It feels wrong to take it out of my pocket. It might even be there at the end of the winter when I take my coat to the charity shop… who knows?
As if anyone would want my lucky, used tissue anyhow.
Hanging out with the fine folks over at Yeah Write (same peeps who run the Speakeasy) this weekend. If you enjoyed this post, check out the other submissions over here.