Sunday, November 09, 2008
Warning: Not A Pretty Picture
Today I woke up in a good mood and made a plan. I decided I would be happy no matter how today's phone conversation with Mom went.
Around 4:00 I was winding down, and starting to get a little anxious. I knew Mom would be calling. I was tired, so I lay down but couldn't fall asleep. The phone rang and it was Mom.
Mom: Honey, I can't find my toothbrush. I haven't been able to brush my teeth for days. My teeth feel like carpet.
Me: Mom, I know you said you found your toothbrush on the floor yesterday. I told you to wash it off. Did you?
Mom: I tried to. But now it's disappeared again. What can I do? ... And how long will I be here? Can you tell me that? And why am I here?
Me: I'm going to call the front desk and see if they have a toothbrush. I'll call you right back, OK?
I get in touch with Mona, who's in charge of Mom's hall. She tells me that she was just in Mom's apartment 20 minutes ago and found her toothbrush and put it in her hand. But that she'll go back and find it again. I call Mom back.
Me: Hi, Mom! Mona's on her way over to help you find your toothbrush.
Mom: Oh, wait a minute, Honey. Mona's here, with another grown-up.
I hear Mom exclaim: Where did you find that? And I hear Mona tell her, Exactly where I put it before ... I'm going to go ahead and put toothpaste on it for you, and get you in your pajamas, OK?
I ask Mom to call me back once she's brushed her teeth and she agrees. A half hour later the phone rings.
Me: Mom, hi! So did you brush your teeth?
Me: Well why not?
Mom: I just ate!
Me: (laughing) Oh, OK. But you know where your toothbrush is, now, right?
Mom: No! And I'm really worried because I'm afraid that bug is going to reappear any minute.
Me: Bug? What bug?
Mom: He went behind the cushions.
Me: How big was he?
Mom: Oh, about half the size of my index finger.
Me: AGGGGHHH! You might have to pull the fire alarm and evacuate the building.
Me: Oh nothing. That's awful. Well, guess what. We have bugs, too.
Mom: I don't know if I'm going to be able to sleep tonight.
Me: I meant to ask you ... Did you get to watch Keeping Up Appearances last night?
Mom: I'm not sure. I meant to. I had it marked. ... Oh!
Me: What's wrong?
Mom: My nose is bleeding.
Me: Is it bad?
Mom: Yes, it's pretty bad.
When I hang up Tom asks me if I'm ready to go for a walk. Then he says: What happened? Take it off and go soak it in cold water.
I look down and see that the front of my shirt has blood on it and I realize I've been digging my nails into my neck the whole time I've been talking to Mom.
Tom and I walk on the Coastal Trail. I'm in a terrible mood. Everyone's in my way. Why do people walk three abreast? I step on a little orangish poodle's foot as I'm trying to pass his family. The poodle screams and I apologize profusely. It's too late. My plan didn't work and I've fallen into the abyss.