The phone interrupted Mom’s reading. I pretty much know what’s going on with a conversation by listening to her side of it. But this time it was, “Oh, no. That’s just terrible.” She listened for a bit, then threw in another comment, “Oh, my... and the expense.”
Mom walked into her office, and while Mystery Somebody talked and talked, Mom put her basket of note cards on the ironing board. I couldn’t see what card she picked cuz I was on the floor, and I don’t get up on the ironing board. Well, not when Mom’s right there.
“I presume they have insurance,” she said. “Of course, it just covers so much—”
She listened while signing the card. “Right, and absolutely zilch to compensate—”
I couldn’t tell if someone flushed their false teeth down the toilet, got hurt when they drove through the garage door, or died and maybe weren’t headed for heaven. And I didn’t get to see the card she chose, cuz she put it in an envelope and walked back to the living room while the conversation went on some more. If you can call it a conversation.
I jumped up on the ironing board to see if my favorite card was still in the basket. I might want to send it to a sick kid someday.
“KittyCat! Get off of there! NOW!”
I would’ve heard Mom coming If she talked that loud on the phone. And I would’ve stayed off the ironing board, so wouldn’t have got scared by her yelling at me. And my foot wouldn’t have hit the basket as I jumped down, scattering cards all over the office floor. It was Mom’s own fault. But guess who got yelled at? Again!
She griped, “I wanted to relax with a book for five minutes, but now must pick up after you instead.”
I started to help. I pushed a real pretty card toward its envelope.
“KittyCat!” She snapped at me.”You’re scratching the card!”
Mom’s a writer, and they have thick skin, she says. But she also says as people get older, their skin gets thinner. I didn’t mean to make her bleed. I guess she’s more older than writer.
(c) 2011, Bernice Simpson