Ida Mae encounters many ghosts as she starves herself, and the curtain between the real world and the spirit world lifts. But of the various ghosts who appear to her, only one plays a major role:
She’s always there, you know?
Ever sighing, oy-ing, spouting generations of motherly Jewish wisdom, shoving food in mouths, and pointing out what you “should have done.” Edna Glick is the woman who gets under your skin and stays there.
I mean, all mothers, even absent mothers, have a place in their kids’ lives, even if it’s merely by omission; but Edna, she was not content with just a place in our lives. Oh, no, Edna Glick had to control ours.
She would, if anyone asked, say this was because she was utterly devoted to us. But, I think even Lisa would agree that our mother’s need to control us came from a deep need to be needed, and this came from the fact that she had no life of her own.
I suppose she had a dream of her own while growing up in Brooklyn, but it was quickly replaced by marriage, the suburbs, and her “girls,” since all that occurred in rapid sequence after she graduated from high school in 1949. Oh, when pressed, she’d say something like, “When I was a girl, I had dreams of dancing with the Rockettes,” or “I always thought I’d be famous for something,” but we always knew her real ambition—to be a Great Jewish Matriarch.
God, she makes me sad and crazy, makes all the scenes of my life run into each other like one cascading waterfall. And I stand, hapless, thinking I’m far enough in front of or behind the liquid screen so I can view the pictures upon it safely, but invariably I wind up deluged and drenched by images, unable to tell which is real and which is an illusion.
This is the control she has over me, that when the waterfall hits, I am thoroughly displaced, not where I am supposed to be, and the worst part is the sense that I wouldn’t recognize where I’m supposed to be even if I were there. This is Edna Glick’s legacy. No matter where I am standing, it is in the wrong place.
Causes Barbara Froman Supports
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Lawyers for the Creative Arts