Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Clara was always so gentle with me, soft knocks on my bedroom door, a hand just barely on my back as we walked, her voice always low with me, like speaking to someone ill who had just woken up. She once came to my room with a sack of clementines and asked me if I would like one. I didn’t know what a clementine was but I said yes. I always said yes. We sat in the living room and she showed me how to puncture the skin, tear back the peel, divide the sections out like a strange bloom. I ate one after another just so I could peel them again and again. (Did anyone else notice how citrus skin released a wet blast of oil with each pull?)…I kept my mouth full of citrus, rubbed the oil from the peels against my palms and wrists, and still every time I see a clementine I think of this moment, think of Clara.

~ Catherine Lacey, from “The Answers: A Novel

Photo: Haikudeck


  1. Splendid words written and such a great read, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gentle love and caring. how sweet the memory that will never fade.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pretty sure if Clara wasn’t there, he wouldn’t be eating clementines 🍊🍊🍊

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  4. These words offered such a perfect sensory experience…

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  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    OH!! I know the feeling … clementines are so good!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That sweet blast of citrus oil…of course. Such a sensory piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such gentle and beautiful words… the power of smell and touch is amazing…

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  8. Have always heard that our olfactory memories are the strongest. It’s certainly true for me. This passage is such a piquant reminder….

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  9. One of the cutest things my granddaughter ever said to me was that I always smell like an orange… lol It’s because I’m always peeling and giving them clementines. I haven’t read that book, but the passage makes me think of what is going on in my life right now. I’ve become a caregiver to Michael, something I never imagined I would be doing at this point in my life. Everything has changed and life is different now. Your life becomes not your own anymore when you are taking care of someone else 24 hours a day. Too long a story to even go into here, but as always, thank you for always finding and posting the most poignant passages.

    Liked by 1 person

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