“Ma!” I yelled. “I’m here. And can’t you get the gardener to trim these weeds?” Mother didn’t answer.
Mother was nowhere. The TV in the bedroom was muted and Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight glowed on the screen.
NIKOLINA BY SANDRA SHAPIRO 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 43
The call came at six o’clock in the morning on the dot. It was the usual. “This is Nikolina Abramowitz. Your mother. Why haven’t I heard from you?”
Mother demanded to know when I would make my next visit, what I am eating that is natural and does not contain gluten, whom I’m dating and whether she has a psychiatric record, why I should invest, and if I have been taking my painkillers for a root canal. Mother had not let up in forty years.
“Ma, it hasn’t even been thirty-six hours. I’ll be there today, sixish as promised,” I said in a raspy early morning voice. She didn’t like “sixish”. It wasn’t exact enough.
“Alright, six-thirty-six on the dot,” I said sarcastically.
She was about to ask me about my latest love interest, I could hear it in the vibrations of her voice. I changed the subject to the weather. “Seventy degrees in Febr…