The usual phone call from Mama is somewhat one-sided. She asks what I’m doing (which is always working). She asks what the weather is here. (Then, no matter the answer, provides her substantiation of why it is worse where she is.) Complains about what ails her. (Because something always does…if she ever said “I feel great.”, I would run to the window and check for flying pigs.) Then she rambles on about whatever self induced drama has befallen her since her last call (four hours earlier).
Today was no different.
“What’s the weather doin?”
“We had like four inches of rain yesterday.”
“I think we had six.”
“Hopefully it will wash the pollen away.”
“My nose is so stopped up! I caint hardly stand to go outside.” (not that she would anyway.)
I asked what she had done this weekend.
“I found me a true friend!” Mama’s friendships are about as functional as her romantic liasons.
“She’s got red hair. And she lives over here with her ex-husband.”
“She’s kinda nervous and high strung.”
“But let me tell you how good a friend she is…she gave me the title to her trailer to hold on to. She’s afraid that ex husbands gonna try something. She’s the one who paid for it! I told her wouldn’t nobody bother it over here.”
“And?” I was waiting for the part that told me what a good friend this red headed neurotic was. But I guess that was it…entrusting the title to a mobile home now earns one the badge of sisterhood.
“I guess me and Florence are on the outs.” (Florence, of course, is the true friend Mama found after falling out with her other true friend, the black girl NeNe)
“Well you know how I like my things kept straight.” Oh yes. One look at her home would tell anyone what a neat freak she is.
“Well I had lined up on the coffee table some of my things. A little journal I bought to keep a diary in. And a bookmark in memory of those 13 miners that died. And two little heart charms. And my cigarettes. I guess you’d call ’em charms…I don’t know what they are exactly. Somebody give me one of ’em and I bought the other one at the Little Brick House…do you remember going in there when you were little?”
“What does this have to do with Florence??” My patience was thin.
“Oh, and a note pad. Well, she reached down there to get her a piece of paper.” She stopped, as if no further explanation was necessary. My mind was still trying to make a mental picture of all this junk on the damn coffee table.
“Well I don’t like anybody messing with my stuff! So I said ‘no, no, no!’ and I ain’t heard from her since.”
“Can you believe that?”
“At this point, I can believe anything.”