It’s always nice to talk with my mom. For a while a few weeks ago we were talking practically every other day. Recently, because she’s busy being a hooker and I’m busy working, really slaving away, grinding my fingers to the bone, practically wearing myself down to nothing, we don’t talk that often, so I called to say hello and talk to her about some upcoming plans, one of which includes being in New York City at some point in time.
It’s always an adventure talking with my mom, too. Most of the time I’m silent while she chatters away mindlessly about the comings and goings of life in northern Vermont. In five minutes of my silence, I can expect no fewer than seventeen completely different topics of conversation, all begun and ended by my mother. I don’t have to say a word.
She begins, let’s say, by talking about who she saw at the post office that morning, usually one of my old teachers from elementary school. She’ll tell me she’s run into another person she knows I know, but, oh, gosh, she can’t remember his name, she is getting old you know, which reminds her that the pain in her legs at night is getting better thanks to that great medicine her doctor’s given her, but wouldn’t you know, she might have to go back in for some scans just to make sure there’s nothing more serious because the last time this happened–and it happened to a friend of hers, you remember that friend, the one from the secretaries’ group from years ago, don’t you? the short one with the curly hair? Marie? She says hello, by the way. She was asking all about you. Saw her at the Firefighter’s Dinner the other night, there with her husband. Frank was chatting like he always does with the other firefighters and then there she was! Told her about what you’ve been up to, and told her about your blog! I showed her pictures of the rug I hooked for Lynne and she loved it! Oh, she just! loved! it! Anyway, her son is doing just the most fantastic things, you wouldn’t believe what he’s been up to, traveling the world working in China, or maybe it’s Pakistan. Doing something with teaching, oh she’ll have to pass on his e-mail address because wouldn’t it be great just to touch base with another traveler?
It’s kind of like that children’s book, “If You Give A Moose A Muffin,” except it’s like, “If You Give My Mom A Phone Call.”
So, in my silence of today’s conversation, in addition to telling me about our neighbor, Farmer Dave, who my step-father Frank loves to spend time with talking about farm machines and going out to breakfast, she waxed poetic about the light filtering in through the trees that line our driveway that she could see from our library’s windows. (We don’t really have a library. It just happens to be a room with a lot of books and affectionately called a library.)
“It’s a real Vermont Life kind of day,” she told me, referencing, of course, the beautiful photography that graces the pages of that magazine. (Not the photo of the two old folks on the cover of this month’s edition, although it’s not far from reality.) She went on to describe how warm it is, how nice and relaxing and beautiful it is there in our little town of Jericho, and how she wished so much I were there.
Just as I was about to tell her I wished the same thing, her memory farted and suddenly she brought up New York again.
“Oh, just imagine if you’ll be in New York!” Her voice brought down to an excited whisper, the kind of voice you’d use if you were talking to a five year old about Santa Claus.
“I know…” I tried to say.
“Where will you live?” Still with that same voice, building up the excitement kind of like, “Whose feet do I hear on the roof right now? Are those reindeer? Is that Santa? Aren’t you excited?!”
And, not that I expected to be able to get in a word at all about a possible living situation, my mother then completed her own thought:
“In an alley!”
If you felt any kind of tremor today, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was caused by the reverberations coming from the roll of my eyes.