Copyright 2013 by
September 1, 2001
As I slammed the phone down, one thought fought its way to the surface. ‘I paid for that damn call!’
Hanging up on my mother had become a regular thing. She was usually a couple of vodka tonics to the wind when I would ring her. Given the three hour difference from New York to her Huntington Beach condo overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I always took into account the hour of the day before I called. Noon seemed to be her starting gate. But occasionally, after my morning coffee a little before lunch time on weekends, I would call her and, coming up on 9am her time, I could tell she’d already had a Vitamin V or two under the hood. The conversations were rarely substantive, usually rancorous, and I would almost always hang up with most of my naïve idealism that prompted the call in the first place shattered.
Her drinking was not the issue. Joan had grown bitter since my father’s suicide and would often lash out at me or my sister Sarah, flashing her anger and feelings of desertion we both knew she harbored since our escape to New York after college in California.