oh a mother’s worry, that dark place that’s always there, the reason we seem so calm at work and in traffic slowed by some calamity affecting someone we don’t know. who cares, really? but then there’s no news from our boy who is on the road with no cell service and — last reported — lost in northern vermont, running out of gas. five hours later, i am lit with worry and anxiety, it’s a house afire, burning bright with the possibilities, all of them catastrophic: car crashed into tree, or car out of gas and he’s walking down the road (no coat), accosted by some derelict, or sleeping in the car, temperature dropping outside, his vehicle black by the side of the road, an obstacle the other car can’t see until … everything irritates me as i try to be productive, pushing a grocery cart, gratingly slow fellow shoppers in that supermarket stupor of torpid movement, grating christmas carols, grating grocery baggers in santa hats.
then he calls and he’s angry too — at our worry, at any suggestion that we must know where he is at any given moment.
we sag with relief.
rail away, son. we don’t care that you’re mad because you’re safe, at least for the moment.
also, when do you think you’ll be home?