Delayed flight. They won’t know when to butcher the fatted cow. In a world of I-told-you-so’s, Connie has exclusivity. A Master’s Degree in I Know Best. Should have taken the 10:10 flight out of Dulles instead of swimming downstream to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta. Half a day out of the way, the long way around, a conscious avoidance of the collision.
Papa’s been dead for years now, and Mom is fading like a….
And then a long, extended pause. “You fill in the blanks, David. Double mastectomy, how do you think she’s fading? Like a goddamn summer sunset? You figure it out. You’re the smart one. Papa said you’d end up with your face sniffing the gutter, but you outsmarted him by thirty years. She’s asking for you. Isn’t that enough?”
Dear Connie: fuck off. I’m coming. If I have to drive dozen hours to avoid your spider eyes, then live with it. I’m coming.
And so I am.
In the airport, there’s nothing to do but wait. Delayed flight because of the weather, but it would have been the same out of Washington. So there, Connie. Put that in your bra and burn it. People walking around with a random purpose, all plugged into their phones, the new central nervous system. Yeah, flights delayed, no telling when, I’m looking at my weather ap now, and it says dot dot dot. Remember the old days, picking up a payphone, feeding it a few quarters? Yeah, still snowing. I’ll call you when I hear anything…. Now it’s a droning intimacy, plugged into the irrelevant. Pick up a quart of milk, sure, how are we for milk and gin? Round and round nothing, 24/7. Smart phones bleeding into the heart and there’s an app for that. Never mind, I’m old. I miss Cindy, I’m going home to a cracked and broken bit of nostalgia that was never that good when it was happening. Warm days on a porch wasn’t our style. Kitchen table full of newsletters and unopened envelopes from bill-collectors, that was more like it. How much of it falls to me, I don’t know. I came in during the second act, I didn’t write the script.