"Disneyland?!?! I LOVE Disneyland!!"
Mom frowned. "That's you."
"You sound a bit... accusatory."
"It fell out of the organ bench."
Mom has an old organ (so do I) in her living room. Apparently, every so often, the bench belches out objects. And my young self was one of them. (I think I have my next topic for my therapist...)
"So how much longer are you going to work on Wednesday nights?"
"I don't know, Mom. Jewel is still out with her disability..."
"This is so unfair to you. How can you let people take advantage of you like that is beyond me. And what kind of disability does Jewel have?"
"It's more of an inability, actually--an inability to stop taking painkillers."
"I need you to take out the trash on Wednesday nights. Soon the snow will come. And the wolves."
"Yes, Mom. I just don't know. It's up to Jewel--she's basically taken her job hostage, she's up in a warehouse with a gun to its head..." I formed a megaphone with my hands, for the purposes of comedy. "Come down, Jewel! And no one gets hurt!..."
Mom had stopped listening. In the gloom of her living room, she had her license-plate-sized phone out and she was looking at Facebook, the reflections scrolling across the lenses of her glasses.
"That's its function. Everyone is happy and enjoying their lives while you're the person looking at Facebook. It's rather Hegelian."
"Bagels are the least of my worries. I just wish my sons would give me a call once in a while. Is that so much to ask?"
"Mom, I'm here sitting with you right now. And you're looking at Facebook."
"Just a minute..."
Mom called Chris. He didn't answer. Forty-five seconds later, she called again. No answer. Mom put down her phone, frowny.
"Let me guess," I said. "He didn't pick up the first time, and you thought he saw it was you and said Oh hell no. Then you called a second time right away to make him think you'd fallen and couldn't get up?"
Mom said nothing. A minute later, Chris called, wondering if Mom had fallen. They talked about Toots taking confirmation class at Mom's church and how it was a less than scintillating experience for Toots. During their conversation, Mom continually made wild, exaggerated faces at her phone. Tongue out, eyes bugging, grimaces worthy of Kabuki.
"Okay, bye now, yes, love you, bye. Yes, bye."
With a final tongue protrusion, Mom hung up. She sighed. Then her eyes turned to the portrait of me.
"You were such a sweet boy..."
"How old was I?"
"You were six."
"Ah. That's a fun age."
Silence. And then:
"What happened to you?" she said.
"I don't know, Mom. I don't know."
This blog is FOUR YEARS OLD!!! I want to thank everyone who's been reading all this time. Now, could you please stop?