Sitting up with a groan and a pang in my back, I put my feet on the faded gold wall-to-wall carpet. Digging first my toes and then my heels into carpet pile, I survey where the polish has rubbed off my toenails. The wall is made of imitation paneling that I painted white. A month ago, I found a botanical print at a yard sale. It is of a lady slipper. I admire it, thinking for a long moment of camp in Maine. It makes me smile. Heaving a sigh, I slide on some shorts. They don’t match the t-shirt I took a nap in. I reach to the bedside table for the glass of tea that used to have ice in it before my nap. I drain it. I want a cigarette, but I need the bathroom more.

A few minutes later, I squint into the sunshine at the marigolds growing beside the metal steps my mother planted when she visited last. I don’t really like them. I sit on the steps and set down a book I took from the bathroom, thinking I’d read on the pier. The steps feel hot on my butt as I put on my Espadrilles. I reach over and dead head a couple shrunken flowers. The heavy scent of marigolds is still on them. The hot metal scent of them seems cloying, but they remind me of another island I love where my mother’s garden is. I don’t mind the scent so much when I think of my mother’s house. I toss the desiccated flower heads behind the steps. (For more of this story, click the page link below…)

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