Mom had seen the doctor. The Jenny Craig diet wasn't working, but the doctor suggested Zantac to deal with the vast amounts of intestinal gas in her intestines. And the bloating. The gas, too.
"That food they send me just doesn't agree with me." Mom grimaced like a Noh theater mask. "But the doctor said I can drink wine. So that's good news."
"So the only thing you got out of your doctor visit is that you can now drink wine?"
"Drinking wine can be good for you, you know. A little can be. And I thought with my diabetes I couldn't. But actually I can!"
"Life is full of crazy twists. So, is that wine?" I pointed at the clear glass filled with dark liquid.
"No, I wish! This is Pepsi. I love it so much! I know I shouldn't drink it, but I was depressed yesterday so I ordered a pizza and some Pepsi."
Mom gave me a sheepish look.
"Ugh, Mom, why are you telling me this? You know I don't want to hear that."
"I was bad."
"You make the perfect Catholic. You sin, you feel guilt, and then you want absolution. Do you want me to forgive you? And then you can start the cycle all over again?"
"Oh, be quiet. So will I see you next Wednesday?"
"Why wouldn't you see me?"
"Because you're going off to Montrose to see that girl."
A neon sign blared over Mom's head: ABANDONMENT ISSUES
"I plan on coming back, yes."
"Are you sure?"
"Good." Mom paused to refresh herself. "You know, when I was in London I drank Pepsi all the time. Me and my friend Karen Warner."
"Sounds like you two were up to no good."
"Karen Warner lives in Montrose now. And I think she once visited Petaluma."
I gave Mom the skeptical Noh theater look. "That's a pretty wild coincidence, Mom. Are you sure? Maybe Karen lives in Rifle or Delta, one of those places. There are a lot of towns around there."
Mom belched. "No, no, no. I'm pretty sure it's Montrose. Would you like me to find out? I'll give her a call. You remember Karen, don't you? She was at both of your weddings."
"Both? There should be a congressional medal for that."
"You can visit Karen when you're there."
"Sounds wonderful. I'd really like to go to her house and catch up for hours with a person I have never spoken to once in my entire life. Wow, I can't wait. I just hope I won't be a pest, wanting to stay for so long."
"You can go now."
"Aren't you afraid I'll never return?"
Mom gazed lovingly at her Pepsi. "No," she said.