“Let’s go for a ride!” mom said sitting in her car after honking her horn several times as I walked out in the yard in my socks, t-shirt, and shorts.
I still had on my sleeping gear and sleepily rubbed my eyes just moments after crawling out of the bed.
“Let me put on my clothes and shave,” I told her eager to go and so glad to see her.
Mom locked her car, came inside and plopped down on the couch with Maggie and Caramel – both so excited at her arrival. Caramel brought mom one of her plush toys and put it at her feet. Maggie looked on jealously. Mom picked it up and made it squeak and told her what a pretty girl she was.
“Are you ready yet?” mom asked impatiently with me trying hurriedly to get ready.
“I am just shaving off what would soon be a mustache,” I replied with a smile as I stood in front of the mirror in my bathroom.
We headed down the Valley both quiet today just enjoying each other’s company. Mom stopped by dad’s pharmacy and got us lots of drinks and snacks for our trip – a packet of salted cashews being especially delicious.
“I noticed you bought the Kroger brand luncheon meat yesterday,” mom said ever obsessive compulsive as we once again passed Fairfax elementary school. “Don’t you want to go back to Kroger and get Butterball brand? It tastes much, much better. Put that other cheap luncheon meat in the freezer.”
We stopped by Kroger and did a little shopping. I got three packs of Butterball honey roasted turkey and they had Coke Zero on sale for four 2-liters for $4 dollars. I’ve given up on trying not to drink caffeinated drinks realizing I was going to have to lean on them for awhile to stay awake during nightshift. It is one of the few vices I have left these days.
“Let’s go get an ice cream,” mom then said.
“What about your diet?” I asked astonished.
“I am going to be bad today.”
We pulled into Sonic and ordered two banana splits as we both drank our colas from the pharmacy. The ice cream was delicious and mom declared she wasn’t ready to go home just yet.
“I just can’t stand to go home and be alone for the rest of the afternoon,” mom told me.
We drove down through the Valley once again this time both of us being more talkative. Each trip takes about thirty minutes at the speed at which mom drives. Mom told me how strange it was for me to be working and to be so independent these days.
“Every time you get out your debit card to offer to pay for something, it surprises me,” mom said. “Years went by and your father wouldn’t let you have any money. It is going to take some getting used to. He still grumbles about it saying you will start back drinking any day now.”
I scoffed at dad’s remark. I haven’t had a drink in many, many weeks now. I have no desire these days to go back to my old ways. I realize I can’t drink and work, too. I have too many goals and aspirations to go back to those terrible depressing years I spent drowning myself in alcohol.
“Let’s drive through downtown West Point,” mom then said heading back up through the Valley.
We passed all the many shops that a year ago were vacant store fronts – the local Kia automobile plant working wonders for West Point’s economy. Mom stared wistfully at the Sushi place and remarked about it as we passed.
“I don’t think I would like raw fish,” mom said, scrunching up her nose in distaste.
“You would like the California rolls,” I replied.
“What is that?” mom asked.
“It is similar to sushi, but it is vegetarian – vegetables rolled up in rice with a seaweed wrapper. You dip it in wasabi or soy sauce.”
“That sounds delicious,” mom said. “You, Stacey and I will have to try it some night.”
We took the long way back to my house passing mom and dad’s house. Dad’s automatic in-ground sprinkler system was running full tilt in the front yard wetting the road. A mile up the road the neighborhoods change in stark contrast going from $250,000 houses to $30,000 houses.
“There’s Edward,” mom said, waving vigorously at a black man moving a lawn in the impoverished neighborhood we were passing through. “You know he mowed your grandmother’s grass for decades before she went into the nursing home.”
“Ah, my competition,” I said laughing.
“Just how is your lawn care business going?” mom asked inquisitively.
“I am making about $500 dollars a month now,” I replied. “It is slowly building up.”
“I don’t see how you do that and work, too!”
“Well, it is going to prove interesting, but I have my heart so strongly set on it. I just want to be independent like dad.”
“Your father says you are going to get in trouble with the IRS,” mom said.
I wish mom wouldn’t tell me all the bad stuff dad says about me. I would rather not know and told her so.
“I’m sorry,” she replied.
We finally arrived home and I was wide awake now. I immediately put two 2-liters of Coke Zero in the freezer to get cold quickly. Mom lingered for awhile asking me questions about the Internet and my new position at Walmart.
“Are you liking your new position?” mom asked.
“It is much slower than my old position,” I replied. “And I thought my old position was slow!”
We both laughed.
“I am lucky I can get on the Internet at night in electronics. It helps pass the time and I do a lot of busy work as well. We get the third shift working crowd also. I had a man who works third shift at Kia come in and talk a long time about home theaters last night.”
“You got that from your grandfather,” mom said. “Your ability and like for all things computer and electronic related. We were the first ones on our block to get a television.”
“Well,” mom then said. “I am going home to lie down awhile and then I have to go eat Mexican Tuesday’s with Sandra. I will bring you and Stacey by some chicken fajitas about eight.”
I had forgotten about Mexican Tuesday’s and already defrosted mom’s recipe mushroom and chicken for supper. I didn’t tell her that, though, as it would have sent her into a stir. The dogs will just get a very special treat tonight. Stacey will be over soon and I look forward to seeing her. We haven’t had much chance to see each other these past few days.