“So I talked to your uncle yesterday. It turns out the poor thing has pink eye.”
“Don’t tell me…Uncle Cyclops?”
“Ding ding ding,” she laughed before catching herself.
“Of course. It’s terrible, really. I do not know when he’ll ever get into the habit of regularly washing his hands.”
I laughed as well and then shook my head in disbelief as my mother prattled on about the whos-its and whats-its of her daily life.
It’s just what she did. I had not heard from her in about a month, so she had a laundry list of catching up. All on her side of course. That was typical.
As she went on, my mind wandered quite a distance down my list of to-dos for the gallery. I grabbed a pen out of the drawer and jotted a couple of notes on the back of a receipt. Then I realized she had gone silent.
“I said I heard through the grapevine that you’re avoiding your father,” she repeated.
“Huh. That’s rich,” I muttered. A flash of anger heated my cheeks.
“Watch the sass.”
“I’m sorry you were misinformed, Mother. He was actually the one who was too busy to see me.”
“And who told you that anyway? Melpomene the tragic?” I asked, knowing full well my sister loved to find space for a dramatic retelling of something unwarranted.
Mel spent more time with our mother than most of my sisters. It always seemed that she believed she could win Mother over by brief bursts of sycophancy.
It never worked.
“I’m not going to say. Let me just offer a gentle suggestion. One that might save you from future heartache. You need to stop clinging to your daddy issues and make peace.”
My eyes rolled so hard I actually felt dizzy.
I nearly bit though my tongue but I knew better than to try to argue with her. She would never listen. And she also would never forget anything I said in haste or anger. That was “one” downside of having the goddess of memory for a mother.
She was also one who should give pause before starting to lecture about family ties and feelings, but that’s a whole other issue.
“Bygones,” I quipped.
I changed the subject.
That’s how our family handles tension.
“You’ll have to come by and see the new gallery,” I tried to keep my tone casual. “I’ve lined up a new artist. You’ve never heard of him. His name is Adrian Savas. He is setting up his exhibit this week. I think he will create quite the buzz in the community. He has several stunning paintings, but you must see the one that was inspired by Grandmother. I think it might be something you cannot resist.”
Mother had amassed an incredible art collection over the years. Sleeping with Degas, Vermeer and Cezanne hadn’t hurt. While she wasn’t much for contemporary art, she might be swayed by the right piece.
“Hmmm, sounds interesting. I’ll have to take a look at my calendar and see when I can make it over.”
A small part of me wondered if she hoped to catch sight of my father. If it took letting her think she might bump into the almighty Zeus, so be it.
“A Starry Night Gallery. It’s on the 33rd Floor of the OA building. Adrian’s work will be up through the end of the month. I think Dad will be impressed with this opening.”
I smiled in spite of myself. I did not relish the idea of showing her around the gallery, but I could use a decent sale.
“Just think about what I said, NeeNee.”
I ignored that remark.
“It will be good to see you, Mother,” I acquiesced. “It’s been awhile.”
“Bygones,” she returned, and the call disconnected.
We shall see.