Let’s talk about summer school, the sweet fifth grade teacher said to Brett’s Mom during their parent teacher conference. Brett’s Mom sat up straighter. But instead of listening, she became mesmerized by the thick, fat, wet flakes blanketing the cars in the parking lot, including her ailing Toyota. Thinking about the Toyota slipping on the icy roads got Brett’s Mom going in a decidedly anxious direction. She stood up mid-sentence, indicating to the sweet teacher that the interview was over. By the time the teacher extended her hand for a quick handshake, Brett’s Mom was already out the door. On the highway, she had to pull over twice to regain her composure as the outline of her escape plan solidified. Always a fan of the big gesture, Brett’s Mom rolled down her window and sang into the icy air “Cali-for-nia here I come.” The snow swirled inside the car. Snowflakes danced in the warm eddies. She stuck out her tongue to catch a stray flake. Then the memory of naming her son and the promise of competence it suggested, that Brett would be a man of the world, caught her short. On an exhale, Brett’s Mom rolled up the window and turned on the radio to check road conditions.
December 10, 2013
by Lee Eiferman