I was forced out into the world yesterday. Rose is home on spring break.
Before I even left the house, my wallet was emptied for a cut and color.
Rose came home looking like a million bucks for my money. (I have not had a hair cut in two years.)
Our first stop was supposed to be at an ATM to replenish my wallet. I discovered my bank of forty years had closed yet another branch, so I had to Google where to find my money.
Next, I sat in the car for over an hour during her doctor’s appointment. I scrounged for reading material in the pockets behind the seats. This is not my first stay-in-the-car “Rose Rodeo.” I have stashes of supplies.
To my dismay, I discovered a steno pad that was used to document the days that fate started killing my in-laws this very week last year. I wondered why it was in MY car? Then why it took me a year to find it?( In my defense, I have steno pads everywhere, because I write all the time. )
I read through these records in horror and counted the misspelled words.
I then studied an atlas and memorized all the countries bordering poor little Ukraine.( Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Belarus and, of course, Russia.
After finally finding my money in a lovely new BofA in the rich section of town, we stumbled upon a sweet little Mexican restaurant. Something beeped in the bathroom, but my bladder was too full to care if it was a camera.
I was stopped in my tracks by a portrait of a familiar face on the wall over the bar. This is when it finally occurred to me that the universe was talking and I wasn’t listening. ( Frida Kahlo. I remembered many details, but not her name.)
Rose and I had a delicious lunch. I ate only half of mine, so I could save the other half for my husband’s supper. (I had a sense I would not be cooking later.)
Something kept clanging around in the back of my car as we drove. I am distracted by noises, so we investigated at our next stop. It was the metal grave markers of my in-laws that we removed when we went to look at the new headstone over the weekend.
We then ventured to our favorite strip mall. I went in my first store, but my hip quit working. I made a slow semi-circle around the front of the store, looking longingly at the lovely bottles in the back left corner. I knew I could not walk back there. If I did, I couldn’t carry my cargo to the counter. I hobbled back to my car empty handed.
I pulled out the atlas again to study Africa. I put my finger on Rwanda in memory of Dr. Paul Farmer, my hero who died recently.
After almost an hour, I saw a stranger walking towards my car wearing Rose’s clothes. It was Rose but the new hair and extra pounds threw me off.
I continued to camp in my car. I texted weather reports to Rose periodically. I finally became concerned and called her phone twice…no answer.
I was trying not to panic by this point. She had just had a procedure done. But I had parked between two exits, so I knew if I entered through one, there was a 100% chance she would exit through the other. It was pouring rain by this time. (No need to get wet due to worry.)
After an hour and a half of people watching, I got an “I’m coming.” I texted which exit Rose should use and pulled her chariot to the wet curb.
I do not remember the drive home, only the relief of getting my hip and bladder into the house. Bathroom, bed, blanket over head.
What was the universe saying to me? I need to lose weight? I need to drink less? I am haunted? We are moving to Mexico? I am too old to be Rose’s mother?
I have no idea. But I am staying home on this quiet, rainy day. I will try to figure it out while Rose sleeps in.
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