In She’s Gonna Be edited by Ann Decter one finds a short prose piece by Annie Coyle Martin entitled “Jody”. It begins in unassuming fashion with a character’s wish
“I wish once, just once, my mother would come alone to see me,” Jody said. The light was behind him, fading in the big window, his face was in a shadow that hid the expression in the huge, near-sighted eyes. “Is that too much to ask?”
The narrator progressively reveals Jody’s story and ends with Jody’s funeral, observing the mother and wondering if Jody got his wish. It is then at story’s end that we learn the stakes. We are put in the position of the mother.
“I wish, just once, that my mother would come alone to see me, so that I can have her sit there and tell her, ‘Mother I’m gay, and I’m dying of AIDS, what about that mother?'”
And just as a little voice in my head begins to clamour “why didn’t you?” the story treats us to a mirror glimpse of just how alike mother and son are in what they value. And close the book on the tale of missed opportunity and an expression of anger averted.
And so for day 1409