Elephants in the Room by Charlene Wexler
Elephants In The Room is award-winning author Charlene Wexler's latest collection of short fiction and essays examining life, love, and the tragedy and comedy of the human condition. On sale now for $2.99 at Amazon.
Five-star reviews from readers:
“What a delightful story! Charlene Wexler's work is always fun and full of warmth and wit!”
“I've been waiting for Charlene Wexler to do another book of short stories and essays. Great to be able to read one of her books in short bursts and come back to it again and again. There's a lot of funny in this book, and a lot that makes you think, too. People of all ages can enjoy her light and breezy style. Thanks, Char, for your latest gem!”
Please enjoy this excerpt:
A Letter to my Parents from a Woman Approaching Seventy
I understand now.
I understand now: Why you wanted to tell me stories about your youth and my ancestors. I only wish I had listened and asked you more questions.
I understand now: Why you repeated the same stories over and over. My friends hold up their fingers to let me know how many times I've told them the same story. Sometimes they run out of fingers.
I understand now: Why you said, “Don't try to take my car away. I only drive on roads I know.” My own eyes and reflexes have slowed down, but I have no problem driving on the roads that I know.
I understand now: Why you read the obituaries in the newspaper, and took a comforting breath when you found no-one you knew.
I understand now: Why you kept so much stuff. You should see my garage and basement today.
I understand now: Why when you went out with friends the two men sat in the front seat and the two women sat in the back.
I understand now: Why you talked so much about your aches and pains, and how much your medicine cost.
I understand now: Why your hands trembled, and you dropped things. My friends now call me “Shaky”.
I understand now: Why you talked about people and places that haven't existed for years. Singers like Al Jolson; places like Fidelman's in South Haven, Michigan; or restaurants like Ashkenaz. I reminisce about Elvis Presley, the Nippersink resort, and the Rascal House deli.
I understand now: Why you refused to learn how to use the VCR. You wouldn't believe the electronics I have to try to work today.
I understand now: Why you hated to go out in the ice and snow. Broken toes and broken ribs heal much more slowly when you are older.
I understand now: Why you forgot names, and mixed up places.
I understand now: Why you almost burned down the house while cooking. I just don't bother cooking any longer.
I understand now: Why you napped.
I understand now: Why, though you dressed with care, by the end of the day your clothes had a few food stains.
I understand now: Why you couldn't keep up with my pace when we walked.
I understand now: Why you tired so after playing with your grandchildren, even though you loved being with them.
I understand now: Why you sometimes forgot why you went into a room.
I understand now: Why you had so much time, after spending a lifetime of being busy and always in a hurry.
I understand now: Why you no longer criticized me when I made a mistake.
I understand now: Why you constantly told me that you loved me.
I understand now: Why you let me win at Kalookie.
I understand now: Why you said, “Don't buy me gifts, just be sure to remember me with a call, a card, and a hug.”
I understand now: Why you just smiled when I disregarded experience and acted like I knew better than you did.
I understand now: Why you said, “Keep things in perspective. Know the difference between a slight problem and real trouble.”
I understand now: Why you believed that the important things in life are love, health, friendship, and respect—not money and power.
I understand now: Why you quoted the old Jewish saying: “Man plans, and God laughs!”