The phone rings and this time I’m sure. Of course I’ve been sure every time. But regardless, it rings and I watch mother answer. “Hi.” Some garbled talk. Her expression does not change as she turns to look at me. She nods. And I realize it is actually the call. The call has actually arrived. I was sure it was going to be the call and yet I didn’t think it would be. It never occurred to me for one second that it actually would be the call. And yet here it is, standing around like a 9’4″ 400 pound basketball player in the hall foyer, taking up sweaty space, aggravating the hell out of me. The damned call. A call for a life. The little insubordinate woman has finally given up. What did they do with her? Is there a dumpster for the sickly somewhere? Did they skip that on the tour? I picture her alone in the bed, asleep, then suddenly stirring and swearing off the whole sanitarium with its stifling disinfectants and puddly food with her last breath. I’m sure by now she has a martini in hand. I’m sure they can use one more insubordinate woman. I’m sure He’s delighted to have her back.
But I miss her like hell.