#75 I, Isabel Scheherazade, explain about explaining to Pop and Mimi about what Mom and Dad did or didn’t do and how it’s hard, all this while Mimi tackles the tangles, or tries to.

by storytellerisabel


I settle back on the floor; this time I lean against the ottoman with Mimi’s knees on either side of me, sort of like how Miss Mary shears her sheep: pins them between her knees and goes to it with the clippers. Only I’m not bleating. Anymore. And Mimi doesn’t have clippers. Just the comb. She takes a snarl and starts on it like she’s undoing a knot in a delicate, gold chain.

I think, This is going to take forever. But I stay silent.


Explaining to Mimi and Pop how Mom or Dad used to do something is hard for me. I had trouble with this just yesterday.

It was breakfast time. Pop is trying to get the twins to do more things on their own like get their own cereal and pour it in the bowl. He’s standing at the ready holding the milk jug, waiting on them to finish pretending to be Lightning McQueen and Luigi, those Pixar car dudes. (They have a tackle-box full of all the cars in the CARS movies which I admit I like too. Hey, when there’s no TV except for the occasional Red Box DVD rental? I don’t fuss.)

Sam (holding Lightning McQueen on his back tires) : OK Luigi give me the best set of black walls you’ve got.

Clyde (making Luigi jump up and down): NoNONO!! You don’t know what you want! Luigi know what you want.

Sam: You do?

Clyde: Black-wall tires, they blend into pavement. White-wall? They say look at me, here I am, love me!

(At this Pop and I laugh out loud.)

Sam: OKOK. You’re the expert. But don’t forget the spare.

So while Pop and I watch this mini-play, he asks me if Mom used to fix the boys’ cereal, or did they do it themselves. I mumble and shrug my shoulders.

Then Mimi comes in the room and says, Let me help, Dearie.

This explaining business is like trying to cross a wild river with the bridge out. Impossible. It’s like I can’t be on both banks at the same time. The Before bank and the After bank.


Back to the combing.

I hear Mimi sigh. She holds a batch of snarly curls out so I can them see from the corner of my eye. She gives it a tiny jiggle. I’m sorry, Isabel. I know this will be hard for you, but I need some pointers.