Lake Effect, Spring 2018, Volume 22: "Lament in C Minor"

Lament in C Minor

by Aimee Parkison


In the video, snow pelts the windows as the elderly couple sits on the sofa, talking. The windows become white. I assume it’s December or January. The house and its living room are familiar, walls painted in tasteful, if somewhat drab, antique neutral, the patchwork sofa fanciful in its mending, patches made from old jeans, trousers. They could afford a new sofa and never bought one; such is the wealth of Bartlesville. In the video, her eyes appear smaller, aged. I realize this is what happens to people. They grow old. They sag and fade and sink into themselves, bodies settling like old houses. Even their eyes, windows to the soul, get smaller, sinking into faces, the light fading. Is it necessary to say I was their child? In the video, a song plays softly in the background, like it always did. “Lament in C Minor.” Her face is still beautiful, even though the skin is fragile now, like tissue paper. I listen to what they’re saying, when I don’t want to hear them talking about me as if  in  a dark room where I’m always pretending to sleep, afraid she’s in the corner. I still feel her hiding sometimes, though I live hundreds of miles away.