I have forgotten my phone at my parents. I am almost sure of this. I think I was distracted by the most amazing hummus and triscuit combination I have ever tasted or perhaps this seemingly random gift from my mother of a heart-shaped glass paperweight that was my grandmother’s that she took when they were last up to sort things after my uncle passed away a few months ago. Strange to be thought of now after several weeks of quiet and the odd recollection that I hadn’t thought of my grandmother in a while. Neither of them, really. My mother’s mother passed when I was very young, ten-ish maybe, and so I have always carried the version of her I knew at that time around with me. Another little twinge of comfort and support. But my father’s mother was always such a constant. Like a compass rose, you could orient yourself around her. She was this stalwart presence holding down the fort and farm in Minnesota, this refuge we could flee all our petty first-world problems. Now that she is on the other side, I worry that I don’t know how to know her in that same way. I wonder what she thinks of me from way far back. If all my secrets are made plain to her. If she pities me, without a pack of children at my legs, if she wants for me the things I want, or if it is as it always was, and she knows I have a path and she knows I will walk it and she will love me as I go. One of the distant girls, thick impasto impressions of a grandchild cut in small to look as though she’s far away.
Run, run, run, run.
I need to get the phone in the morning. Before the alarm goes off if I can. This is stupid. This is a waste of time. This is what must be. I feel as though I have forgotten easy breathing. I feel as though I see the plot, the bag of marbles, breaking through due to its own weight. It is better, it is fine, the work continues. It’s just been a stressful few days and I don’t really have a good way to vent ate the moment, so we find ourselves lost in reverie and spinning until the worst of it is jostled free and we gather up what we meant to keep when everything falls apart.
Tomorrow, the phone, remember? We’ll set the other alarm and rise up, paint up the face and swing around the lake without ever being noticed, without ever causing a ripple. And maybe snake some of that hummus.
This was all planned perfectly.
Tomorrow’s the first day of October, a year ago, was Italy, leaving a job that was half a prison, and starting something new. Think about that, darling, honey, pussycat.