Sleeping Naked, Petting in the Back Seat, and my Second Person, You

I, you, he/she/it. We, You, they. In certain company, deliberations over those few words could cover pages, and probably bore everyone else half to death. Writing without the pronouns could be some kind of poetry, or perhaps just a torturous exercise. I prefer to write to you, or more than one of you, which is You, about her, him, and them, and myself. We, you and I, are not the same as we, me and him/her. This is all part of how the tea is brewed; most people would rather just drink the sweet hot beverage, ready in the cup.

My mother. She spent all of April and May and the first half of June in hospitals and a nursing home. I will spare You the medical details, though some of You , curious and caring, might complain about that. Others will tune out at more than ten words. Pneumonia, intestinal virus, bleeding. ICU (is that a word?), tranfusions (16 of them), enlarged spleen. Convalescence, therapy. Then she came home. Since my job is in-home caregiving, we have settled into place, all the meds and devices in place. One night, about a week after she was home, getting ready for bed, she said, “It’s so good to be able to sleep naked again.” We (she and I) share that definition of being at home.

I still work some short shifts with my usual elderly friends. We, my dog and I, spend precious hours with a friend with advanced Alzheimer’s. One day, our friend was too sleepy for walking, so we went for a ride in the car. She, the friend, rides in the back seat with it, the dog. They’ve been friends for years; they snuggle and hug. The dog kisses her; the woman holds and pets it. She dozes off, and wakes, again and again; each time, when she opens her eyes and sees her best friend, she cries out ecstatically, “Oh, it’s you!” This is heart-breaking good.

Preferences, discoveries, choices. Writers discuss tenses (a different conversation) and voices, the choice of first or third person. In fiction, am “I” more intimate or trustworthy than “she?” As a writer, will I discover more about her if she’s cast as “me?” I, Alice, write reams of first person, in journals, in some stories, in these blogs. What’s fascinating me lately is, Who are you, you and You? What would this blog be without You?

Journaling is pure I, naked writing. By me, to myself, for some future me. Occasionally I throw in a short “I love you” to whomever has the fortitude upon inheritance to even try to read those piles of cursive books. Then, there are letters. I, myself, writing to some special you, a unique her/ him, forming that exquisite “we” of “you and me.” Love letters and hate mail, a longer story for another day. Today, what matters is You, the delicious friends and anonymous strangers reading this. Oh, it’s You! Thank You for being my 2nd persons.


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