phone calls

solstice: two-cat night

Slip out at the end of the day, purse strap over shoulder and CDs in hand, and look east; the hills, visible over Huntsville's skyline, are darkening fast. Look west, toward my commute, and the sun might've hung around for one last metaphorical cup of coffee but is more than likely on its way to say hello to the next time zone over.

Greetings from Jupiter, Florida

The phone rang.

"Jupiter, Florida?" I said to myself. It looked like a real number, not one of the pseudo-numbers that a telemarketing center might use. Still, since I wasn't sure, I decided to let the answering machine grab -

Oh, crap. We did know someone in Jupiter, Florida: Brandon, one of Jeff's Theta Tau brothers. I put down what I was doing and raced to the bedroom, hearing our old, generic message ("Please. Leave. A. Message. After. The. Tone.") play as I did so.


Three a.m. found me outside, talking quietly into a cell phone while the cicadas traded stories with the crickets about the end of summer. Beneath me, the concrete gathered chill from the still, silent air, as clouds played peekaboo with a gibbous moon.

Fang and his brother, Fang

Recent events have forced a bit of discussion with the Feline Overlords, most of which involved my making intelligible sounds in the form of requests, all of which were ignored or drowned out by the sound of insistent purring.

Be there on Monday

I've been staring at the phone for the past few days, knowing that I should probably get up the bravery to call home and find out how things were going. But sometimes there is comfort in deliberately knowing nothing for a few days, in believing that while you're going on, blithely living your life, that just because everything is calm and quiet in your life everything is calm and quiet in everyone else's lives as well.

It's more deliberate than that, really. I didn't call home because I wasn't sure I wanted to hear what Mom had to say.

I decided to wait until last night to call. From the last time I talked with Mom, she'd said that the trips back and forth to take radiation treatments were pretty painful on Dad, and exhausted both of them. The first course of radiation ended on Monday, and I thought waiting until the next day to call might mean she'd had a chance to rest up a bit.