On the weekends, we have custody of my mother. This means that every Friday, I drive twenty miles and pick her up from my brother’s place. And on Friday, all her pent-up energy from the week suddenly explodes into a two-day reconnaissance mission to seize the last remaining pairs of gaucho pants from every Dress Barn in western Washington. Or to visit all the Safeway supermarkets to determine if that’s the place where she bought udon noodles because it may or may not be in the same place where the vegetables are and we MUST drive there to solve this woeful dillema.
And while I have become a part-time chauffeur, I am still a a full-time mother to one boy and one husband. I can understand when Nathan’s hysterically crying because he has tripped again over his own body, but my husband? The published poet with fancy degrees? The one whose perfect credit score bought our house? I came home to him furrowing his brow at our bathtub refusing to drain properly, a problem he blamed on me and my endlessly-shedding hair (whatever dude, my jungle hair and I are a package deal. Cry me a river! But not in the tub, por favor). And only after I ran downstairs to the kitchen to get the kettle boiling to dissolve the clog and had lugged up scalding hot water back to the bathroom did I discover the problem: the drain lever was flipped up.
And I wish I had reserved some of that boiling water to retaliate, but it was already funnelling down the drain in a smooth circular motion as a frazzled woman stared into it, wondering what more of her life would follow into that unclogged tube.