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An Act of Hoping

By Daniel Blokh

Summer 2015

This is the year Babushka, grandmother on my mother’s side, has a dental injection. They give her a slight anesthetic, and when she returns home, something has changed.

She isn’t herself. She was always forgetful, but now, she doesn’t recognize her apartment, her hotel. She will get better the next day, the displacement of the anesthesia worn off, but none of us know that.

     “She was doing alright before I left her apartment,” Mother tells me from the front seat of the car. “And then, right as I was about to go, she turned to me and asked, Where’s my daughter? Just like that, with me before her. I couldn’t understand it. I was right there, and yet, it was like she completely did not understand who I was.” 

     “Did you ask her who she thought you were?” I say, turning to her. I sit in the passenger seat nowadays, me being almost old enough to have to drive, her old enough to need company. Her eyes stare ahead, but they are creased in worry. “No. I simply left. No questions.” She grows silent, driving along in her usual, slow way. My father skids from place to place as though someone was on his tail, but my mother is careful, takes her time, each hand gently spinning the wheel, each finger positioned perfectly. “I hate to see how she is now, but that’s not what worries me,” she says. “What worries me is the future. If this is how she is now, what’ll I do when time goes on? When she gets worse? What’ll happen next year?”



About the Author

Daniel Blokh is a 16-year-old American writer of Russian Jewish descent, living in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of the memoir In Migration (BAM! Publishing 2016) and the chapbook Grimmening (forthcoming from Diode Editions). His work has appeared in DIALOGIST, Permafrost, Blueshift, Cleaver, and Gigantic Sequins, among others.