Mom’s Call

I’d just been saying to my wife, “Getting hold of Mom is so hard.”

“Why?” She was peering over her glasses, typing on her computer. She’s always doing that – or reading or bathing (much time is spent in the bathtub reading) – so I’m not bothered by bothering her.

“She doesn’t text, or answer emails. I don’t think she checks her email every day or even every other day. She says she’s going to call back, but she doesn’t. She leaves a number but she doesn’t answer it. It doesn’t even go to her email.” I shook my head, dismayed by the recitation. Mom lives a continent away. Visiting her is a challenge. It’s rural on both ends. Rural meaning, no airports within an hour. Rural, meaning the flights to the nearest airport means travel days that begin and end in darkness on either end.

I’d just been saying/thinking these things when the phone rang. Suspicious of telemarketers – they’re focused on car warranties right now (meanwhile, I’m receiving solicitations about being cremated or getting my hearing tested in the mail) – I checked the number. “Mom’s number,” I said, answering the phone.

Hello was exchanged and I began my opening remarks. “How are you? I’ve been calling since you last called but I don’t get any answer.”

“Your father is dead.”

“Really?” Suspicions reared up. “You told me that three times before.”

“Twice. The other time was him.”

“No, he told you that he committed suicide.”

“It was a note.”

“Still, you called me and told me Dad was dead.”

“I thought he was.”

“That he’d killed himself.”

“I thought he had.”

I left the office to wander the house, a nervous habit I had when talking with Mom. “Even though there wasn’t a body.”

“I thought he was being thoughtful and had gone off and killed himself in the woods. He’s really dead this time.”

“Is there a body this time?”

“Yes.”

“I think I need third-party verification.”

“Your sister is here.”

“Which one?”

“Debby.”

“Debby? Really?”

“Yes, she came up to see us. She and the boys drove up. The got here last Thursday. She’s staying in the spare room. Her boys are staying with Jean. I think Jean got the better deal.”

“Probably.”

“Do you want to talk to her? She’ll tell you that your Dad is dead.”

I stopped at the living room back window. A blue jay was screeching in the back yard. Our black cat watched from atop a sunny knoll. “No, I don’t trust Debby any more than you.”

“I understand.”

I changed hands and thought. “What about my other sisters?”

“They’re not here.”

“Have you told them?”

“Yes. Jean is at work. She’s coming over when she gets off, after she picks up the boys. The boys are going to school from home. Rooming.”

“Zooming.”

“That’s what I said.”

“Is anyone there with them?”

“Yes, of course, Dibo.”

“Is he sober?”

“He says he is. Jean doesn’t have any alcohol in the house any longer. Dibo drank it all. She won’t let him buy more.”

“Where there’s a credit card, there’s a way.” I was quoting Mom from her previous calls.

“She took his credit cards away from him.”

“What about Jan?”

“I don’t think Dibo is drinking any more. He quit smoking, too, except for medical marijuana. He lost a lot of weight but now he’s gained most of it back.”

“Did you tell Jan?”

Mom hesitated. “No, I didn’t tell Jan.”

“Why not?”

“She has other things that she’s dealing with.”

“What?”

“Well, she got into an argument over a parking space. Apparently, some words were exchanged. Anyway, some people filmed it with their phones. Now they’re calling her Karen and she’s in jail for assault with a shopping cart.”

I sighed, trying to think of a response. I heard water running on the other end. Talking followed. “What’s going on?”

The talking continued. So did the water sounds. “Mom? Hello, Mom? It’s me, your son. You’re on the phone. Hello?”

Changing hands, I walked the house, listening and thinking.

Mom finally said, “Your father’s up. I need to make him dinner. I’ll call you later, okay? I love you, bye.”

She hung up before I replied. Pressing the phone’s off button, I walked back into the office where my wife continued typing.

“Was that your Mom?”

“Yes.”

“How is everything?”

“Dad is still alive. Debby is visiting, Dibo is straight, and Jan is in jail.”

“Same as last time.”

“Yep.” I sat in my office chair and swiveled it to the front window. A heavy sigh rolled up out of my chest. “Some day she’ll accept that Dad divorced her and the others don’t exist.” I always said that. It never happened. I just went along with it all.

“Phone calls will be a lot shorter.”

I stared out the front window, wistfully watching a man and woman walking a dog. They seemed so normal. But so did Mom. “Yes, they will.”

Floofalogue

Floofalogue (floofinition) – 1. A conversation between one or more people with one or more animals.

In use: “The question about who is hungry always began a floofalogue with the cat, but the dogs — a little more reticent, in her opinion, more polite, really — always did join in.”

2. An enumeration of items arranged by an animal.

In use: “The cat had developed a habit of stealing from neighbors and lining up his treasures as a sort of floofalogue of his exploits.”

A Crush of Dreams

What a crush of dreams the night held. First came stupidity.

I was in a broad, lightly-used parking light. A woman with two girls (daughters, I assumed), were on blankets and towels on the parking lot, sunning themselves. All were fair skinned. The youngest was to her mother’s right, with her arms thrust out to either side.

Along comes a red car. It backs up and turns. Although there are scant other cars on this lot, they do this right in front of the threesome. As I do, I realize that they’re going to run over the young girl’s arm.

It’s a little red SUV. I run toward the SUV as it backs, shouting at them to stop. The woman and her daughters look over at me. The SUV’s windows are down. Its occupants all turn and look at me but the driver keeps back, going right over the girl’s arm, rear wheels, front. The girls screams. The SUV keeps going, then turns and pulls forward, away from the girl and me. They’re still oblivious about what has happened. The mother is attending the daughter. I run to the SUV, shouting at them, “What’s wrong with you? You ran over that girl’s arm.” The driver, a middle-aged white woman seems confused.

Without further resolution, I’m in a parking lot. A young woman in bright green shorts is laying on the asphalt. A car comes up and runs over her legs.

I watch with shock. Then, I think, again?

Dream shift. I’m in bed, naked and aroused. A petite brunette woman comes in a blue shirt and jeans. We seem to know each other. We start joking and goofing around, then she begins making up the bed with me in it. I fondle her breasts and ask if she wants to scream. Laughing, she replies, “Oh, why not?” She jumps into bed with me.

Now I’m at home. It’s a weird, disjointed place. I don’t recognize it and I’m struggling to recognize changes. Other people are there, my wife’s friends, apparently. I ignore them as I walk around, looking for my wife, trying to understand the changes that have been put in place. I’ve been working all night; now I want to rest. But she’s decided to have a party. This infuriates me; didn’t she realize that I need my rest and the party noise will keep me awake? Glaring at her, I find a bench to sleep on, pulling covers up over my head.

Unable to sleep, I keep changing locations but the noises keep me up. I went to find my wife to register my complaints but she blew me off.

Next, we’re out somewhere with other couples. A guy asks her to dance. I’m pissed at her because she decided to sit at the other end of the table. I thought, WTF? After dancing with the guy, she gestures at me from across the room, ‘want to dance?’. I ignore her. She goes off to dance with the other guy again. Disgusted, angry, I leave the area and find myself in a cold, dark, wet place.

That’s where it ended.

Monday’s Theme Music

Salutations, and welcome to another Monday, the last of March’s Mondays, making it March 29, 2021. Or is it being March 29, 2021 that makes it Monday?

Sol snuck in around 6:59 AM in Ashland! Woo hoo! Solar exit for our spring-blessed land is anticipated at 7:33 PM Pacific. All kinds of problems are expected if the sun doesn’t do its thing then.

We’re rejoicing in the household. Ever Given, ever stuck — well, six days and nights — in the Suez Canal is finally free. I haven’t read much about it. I’m waiting for the movie. I think Tom Hanks will star in some capacity.

Yesterday was a quintessential spring day. Bold sunshine, warm air, and temperatures that briefly clipped 70 degrees F. I had high hopes for yard work but was sucked into a reading vortex. Nothing that I could do broke the book’s hold. Like I tried (sarcasm). I needed to read it all the way through. Except for eating and some light cleaning and of course, floofwork, reading and writing was all I did. Grand.

Today’s song is a one-hit wonder for Jo Jo Gunne. Called “Run, Run, Run”, the song hit charted number six in the U.K in 1972 but didn’t crack the top ten elsewhere. Haven’t a notion about the Wayback Machine’s machinations in delivering it to my mind’s surface thoughts on this March day. Well, it came about last night while I was gazing out the window, admiring the impending sunset and the illuminating effect on a clot of clouds being lit from behind. See the connection? Neither do I. The records show I selected this as a theme song back in 2019 PC but I was running at the time.

Hope you sample and enjoy it. This video and sound isn’t top quality but I enjoy seeing the era’s hair and clothing. Watching the band play is a kick. Meanwhile, stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers

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